Disclaimer: As always, doing anything I say is likely
impractical and illegal.
Areca catechu: AKA betel nut or betel palm; a shinny neck
member of the palmaceae family with arecoline containing nuts used as
an intoxicant in places such as Guam.
The Chinese government is attemping to crack down on the
cultivation of betel nut (see for
yourself). People from Guam, which is under control of the USA,
come to Florida and/or California as the climate best suits betel nut
cultivation. For Guamese to grow betel nut in these places is easy. As
a result, it is now widely cultivated in these areas, and A.catechu
palms are commonly sold in nurseries.
As you have read from the Chinese government's report on betel nut
crackdowns, it can easily become an epidemic. In Taiwan, betel nuts
are the #2 most valueable crop. Rice still holds #1. Most, if not
all Southeast Asian countries have merchants peddling them on the
The nut sold by Southeast Asian A.catechu peddlers is meant
to be inserted in the mouth and the sucked, knawed, licked, and
otherwise saliva soaked to release the powerful stimulant arecoline.
The arecoline forms more rapidly with the addition of lime, a mineral
one might find in a deep hole.
Ok, so you want to start your own betel nut farm right? Hectares
of tall and skinny palm trees yielding tons of betel nuts a year? For
climate, as already stated, somewhere in Palmaceae country like
California. They can either be purchased live for between $20 and $40
for a small tree or grown straight from seed. Terilized seeds from a
group of start plants will tend to increase adaptability of the seeds
in furthur generations to your particular microclimate.
Dig a big hole in the ground with a good shovel. Now fill the hole
with regular compost. Fill a smaller inner hole full of softer
compost. Put your seed in the smaller hole.
This can be illustrated as such:
Water it a little every day when it is small and a little more
every other day when it is tall. Get the seeds and dig an even deeper
hole to get a good supply of lime.
Now put a little bit of lime with a betel nut wrapped in a leaflet
and suck away at these until your gums fall out and you develop mouth