Thursday, April 04, 2013

Seasonal Fruits from Private Lands

Spring season all over the world is the time to rejoice. You can see a rainbow of blooms all over and also some fruits that may or may not yield so copiously otherwise!

Ever since I occupied my present home in 1998, we planned to plant a few fruit bearing trees. The gardener we got then, was an non conventional one, and he misguided us grossly.

We had a lawn, many flowering plants and just two fruit plants then. The cost of laying the lawn and flowering plants cost us a fortune and maintenance was even more expensive. Ultimately we removed the lawn and also many flowering plants that stopped yielding!

We always give equal importance to plants, animals and humans as long as co-existence matters. Thus we nourished the two Chikku plants well for initial Five years, without finding any yield!
Then we found another gardener who said Chikku plant needs good sunlight to grow. Thus we moved one plant to a small patch where sunlight was available in abundance. The Chikku plant that was moved to a sunny place started yielding within Two years and we got many, not big ones but almost the size of Hog Plums(Ambade/Amte Kaayi). 

Its cousin grew almost as tall as the coconut tree standing nearby, and bears fruit as big as an apple! However, it gives us just half a dozen Chikkus in the season, while its cousin happily shows Hundreds all through the year!

Much before we we occupied the house, the previous owners had planted a Mango tree that looked like Kalappadi Mango Tree. That tree started yielding fruits Seven years later, that too a dozen at the most! Half of the crop was bitten by worms then and we felt happy with whatever we got then. Two years, that tree yielded heavy crop and died suddenly! 
Dr Soans said "There is a pest that eats the mother root of the tree, mostly grafted ones, and you can't do anything about that!" The mangoes we got from that tree resembled Kalappadi but tasted like Alphonso! Here are the pics:

The Kalappadi Mangoes we get from local market sometimes summed up for that tree which yielded low before  a slow death!

There were two more Mango trees, one that grew big but never flowered even. All it produced was red ants that some tribal may relish making chutney, the breed that's known in local Tulu dialect as 'Taburu'. That tree was hampering the growth of the Chikku plant that was growing tall but still refusing to yield! We had to ask the gardener to hack that down.

The other big mango tree has 'Sakkar Gutli' or Sakkare Potli' mangoes that are very sweet. That tree yields fruit once in two years.
There were three Jack Fruit trees. One had grown taller than a coconut tree and produced only three fruits in two years before dieing a slow death due to some pest attack. I guess the same pest caused its neighbour the grafted mango tree to collapse.
Another was a tree that bore hundreds of Jack Fruits but the fruits never ripened, in fact they were rock solid and turned black, yet not rotten! We had to remove that tree for all good reasons.

The only jack fruit tree that yields, is slim and tall, but yields at least a Hundred Jack Fruit every year! This year and an year before, there seems to be some environmental damage to the fruit. The yield looks double or three folds but the fruits are smaller and they keep falling before growing fully mature. The fruit tastes very succulent and sweet. A dash of honey enhances the taste and makes the hungry stomach happy. They say 'You must eat Jack Fruit when you are hungry and eat mangoes after a meal'!
Then there was this Karambola(Star Fruit) Tree that was looking like in its last legs but that tree yielded fruit for two years before collapsing.

A Bimbli tree was there, is there and will survive as per my assumptions. That tree bears loads of bimblis but also attracts pests that build muddy nests on it. Bimbli is a pungent sour fruit that can be used in curries and pickles. Even today, we find thousands of bimblis growing and half of that goes wasted as there are no takers!
Red Anona is a tropical fruit. Some call it 'Ram Phal' but I know that as 'Seeta Phal'. It is nothing but Custard Apple looking reddish Pink, with a smooth skin. We have one tree here since we moved in, but that is attacked by red ants again, and we get just 4-6 fruits a year! We don't feel so cruel to spray pesticides and kill those red ants that are harmless.

Dr Soans is our inspiration for many things. He educated us how to improve the garden and how to facilitate a few plants while sacrificing a few that are not productive! Thus we got rid of a few coconut trees. We planted Green Malay Rose Apple that started yielding thousands of sweet fruit within two years! Chikku plants also yielded better after that!
Some of our friends offer fruits from their gardens to share their happiness! Udma Saidath Nayak and Saigeetha S Pai, two of my good friends who hail from the Manohar Radio House family have offered us Red Water Apples and Mundappa Mangoes from their garden. Kumble Srinivas Nayak has shared Cashew Fruit from his property in Vamanjoor. Uma and Premnath Shenoi from Mannagudda have shared Neelam Mangoes from their garden.
My suggestion to those who buy a big plot and build house that occupies the full site - "Please develop a small patch of garden with fruit bearing trees. You can have one extra floor built vertically and leave that extra land for your future generation to enjoy playing and eating fresh fruit. Share that with your friends and relatives and share your happiness!"


Sundari Kamath said...

Lovely Post Maam. The last part of the write up touched my heart the most:). Kudos to you and Maayi on such a beautiful and well taken care of garden. Best wishes.

Neelambaram said...

Love your blog! I'm happy to follow you, you can visit my blog when you find time :)

Rajanikanth Shenoy, Kudpi said...

Thanks all for the comments

Unknown said...

Loved the post very much. :)

Rajanikanth Shenoy, Kudpi said...

Thanks Saigeetha.


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