Fruit collector preserving over 1,300 rare types for future generations

World Today

Fruit collector preserving over 1,300 rare types for future generationsAraça-Boi (Eugenia Stipitata) is originally from the Amazon and is also popularly known as the ‘yogurt fruit’ as it can be mixed with milk to taste similar to yogurt. (Photo: Paulo Cabral)

There are lots of collectors in the world, but few can match a man in Brazil. He has an unusual collection. He’s amassed more than 1300 varieties of fruit in his orchard. His goal is to preserve fruits that are so rare that most people have never seen-or-heard of them. CGTN’s Paulo Cabral reports.

How many different kinds of fruit can an average person name? Maybe a few dozen, but ask Helton Muniz for the names of all the fruits he has in his orchard and he will list at least 1,300 varieties.

He’s been planting since 1995, add to that a couple hundred seedlings still sitting in his greenhouse.


Rare fruit gallery

Muniz is a fruit collector, but most what he collects are rare wild species he found while exploring the Brazilian woods and some other plants are from seeds sent to him by people who knew of his work.

“Fruits are a big asset of mankind because it’s the most important food we have,” said Muniz, who owns the Rare Fruit Ranch in Sao Paulo, Brazil. “Our body is all prepared to get its nutrition from fruits.”

Muniz does not charge visitors who come to see and taste the fruits, but he sells books with details on his orchard and seedlings of the rare varieties he cultivates. They go for about 10 dollars each.

Muniz’s orchard not only serves as a place to preserve biodiversity but also an opportunity to show people new flavors that nature has to offer.