Sunday, April 3, 2016

Indian Summer, the season to enjoy fruits

Indian Summer, the season to enjoy fruits.

It's summer now, the season to enjoy colourful and varieties of fruits. Mango leads as the King/Queen with many popular varieties of Alphonsos, Kesar, Dasheri, Badami, Chaunsa, Langara, Kalami, Totapuri, Neelam, Rajapuri, Safeda, etc. Grafting has given us many varieties. It is said that Turks invaded India for mango fruits. India is a land of origin of magnifera indica, our beloved mangoes. Varieties of mangoes and rice what India has; perhaps none other can have.

Other than mango, people enjoy watermelon, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, litchi, cherry, plums, apricot, strawberry, other berries, chikoo, papaya, etc.

But I have missed listing the one, that will flood the market with its red and yellow colour soon. Any guess?

Dates, the desert fruit. The fruit, children used to spit out is now capturing market. The Israeli plant tissue (cell) culture made the fruit tastier and sweeter. It has four varieties: Medjoul, Noor, Barhi and Zhaidi. Medjoul is the king date and Noor is the Kohenoor. It has been cultivated in Kutch with Israeli cooperation. But they grew as couples. There are male date palm and female date palm. Both yield flowers. Male flower produce the pollen and female flowers become dates if they are pollinated.

As open pollination is very low, artificial pollination methods have been applied by the growers.
Farmers cut the mature male flowers and spray the pollen over the female flowers. Due to shortage of labourers, Israeli date growers machine spray the pollen, the success ratio may be 70-80%. Many old couple welcome the guests if they are ready to work in their farms in the morning hours. Our Kutchi date growers, use their no.11, move plant to plant and spray pollen with human hand and make sure that all females are pollinated.

You may be thinking that once we have captured the grafted mangoes alphonsos, kesar etc, or the tissue plants dates medjoul, noor, etc, we can multiply them with their seeds.

No. That won't happen.

The seed plants will go back to their origin and turn into "deshi", the deshi mango, deshi date. The artificial human touch can't sustain beyond the first generation.

Wonder the Nature!

Enjoy the summer fruits of the Mother Nature. Don't forget to taste Gujarati Kesar mango and the Kutchi dates, heavenly aroma and sweetness with human touch!

3 April 2016


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