Carob Seed - Locust Bean (Ceratonia Siliqua) St. John's Bread Locust Bean Organic Non GMO Heirloom Tree

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Carob Seed - Locust Bean (Ceratonia Siliqua) St. John's Bread Locust Bean Organic Non GMO Heirloom Tree

Caffeine Free - Gluten Free - No Preservatives or Additives - 100% Cretan Carob

The carob is a flowering evergreen tree or shrub in the Caesalpinioideae sub-family of the legume family, Fabaceae. It is widely cultivated for its edible fruit pods, and as an ornamental tree in gardens and landscapes. The carob tree is native to eastern portions of the Mediterranean Sea region, from the Middle East, to Greece, and Northern Africa.

Fruits are ground and used as a chocolate substitute in desserts, health foods, and number of other things. Carob seeds are used to create the famous locust beam gum that is a vegetable gum that is used as a thickening agent (gelling agent) in food.

Carobs are a long-lived evergreen tree native to the Mediterranean. They have dense foliage, the leaves are shiny, green, round and leathery, new growth is bronze coloured. Carob flowers in summer with male and female flowers on different trees (dioecious). Planting at least five trees will usually guarantee at least one of each sex, for pod production.

NOTE: Winter temperatures below -8°C will cause injury and can retard fruiting. Must be planted in a pot and taken in for colder weather in cooler climates; similar to all tropical plants. Medium sized tree from 30 to 50ft. The carob is subtropical, and actually grows best in Mediterranean climates. Hardy to about 20F, and can easily withstand temperatures to 120F. Trees are very drought tolerant, and need little water throughout much of the year.

Plants are often slow growing. It can take 6 to 7 years for a tree to begin to bear. The fruit is a dark brown flattened pod, 13 to 30 cm in length and about 2.5 cm wide, containing a sweet, chocolate tasting pulp and several bean-like seeds. The sugar content of the pods can be as high as 50%. 

      • Full sun
      • Soil Type: tolerant of wide range of soil types except heavy clay; need good drainage; pH 6.2 - 8.6
      • Carobs grow in full sun, are drought resistant, like dry, rocky sites and tolerate any soil except heavy clay
      • Seed Preparation: Nick seed with sharp knife or fingernail, drop in hot water - steep overnight followed by a 3 day soak. 
      • Seeds should be sown 2.5 to 5 cm deep in individual tree tubes.
      • Germination: 12 to 37 days; has a low germination percentage; germinates best at 22 - 26°C soil temperature.
      • Transplant the seedling when 8 to 10 cm high, either into a larger container or into the ground before the taproot is restricted by the tree tube. Care must be taken to prevent root damage, particularly 'J' rooting, which will slow down future growth.
      • Protect seedlings from frost and grazing animals. Watering when young is advisable.
      • Note: particular care must be taken during propagation, as carob seed is susceptible to fungal attack by 'damping off' soil organisms. The seed raising mix should be sandy and free draining. Using a sterilized seed raising mix to prevent fungal infection may double the seedling survival rate. It is important to avoid over-watering.
      • Harvest: pick and wash the ripe pods, 1) carob powder: boil in just enough water to cover or steam until tender, or place in a pressure cooker with water, and cook for 20 minutes at 15 pounds pressure. Cooking softens the pods, making splitting them open fairly easy. Remove seeds; cut pods into small pieces and dry well. Put the pieces in a blender and grind into a powder. Process only small amounts at a time. 2) Eating: the pods can be eaten fresh or roasted and ground into powder that is used as a caffeine-free chocolate substitute.
      • Seed Count: 4