Summer is here, and with the heat comes the ripening of berries, mangoes, jackfruit and other fruits of summer.
Last year, the Konkan Fruit Fest in Panjim threw up a complete surprise for many, and Jai Naik from Borda, Margao, gave the word ‘jackpot’ new meaning – he won the first prize for his potted plant bearing a jackfruit!
FESTIVAL OF FRUITS
Organized for the first time by the Botanical Society of Goa (BSG) along with the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) as the Festival Partner, in May 2003, the event was held with the support of the Directorate of Agriculture, University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwar, nurserymen, fruit processors and fruit enthusiasts.
This year, the festival comes back to Panjim and will be held from April 21 to 23, with the Agricos Alumni Association joining in for the first time.
This year, the BSG marks the 21st year of its association with the Corporation of the City of Panaji, which was created in April 2003. The collaboration actually began with the Panjim Municipal Council (PMC) for the Plant Utsav in November, 2002, an event that also continues to be held at the Garcia de Orta Garden, in Panjim.
The BSG has collaborated with the CCP for pruning of roadside trees, treatment of trees damaged by various causes and for documenting the diversity of trees in public spaces like roads and gardens.
With space constraints, not everyone can grow their own trees in the ground. So, trees in large pots is a growing option.
GROWING IN POTS
Fruit plant grafts have the ability to produce fruits in the same year of planting because the scion material is taken from a fruit-bearing tree that is known as the “mother plant”.
However, in the case of jackfruit, the fruits are borne directly on the main trunk and the fruit is very large as well as heavy. It is, therefore, important that it gains a good diameter and is strong enough to bear the weight of the fruit till it matures.
If one manures periodically and waters regularly, the tree can bear fruit in just two or three years. This offers an opportunity to those living in apartments to have homegrown jackfruits of their choice.
One can grow fruit plants in pots (or barrels or even old buckets) which have a diameter of 14 to 24 inches (35 cm to 60 cm). If one wants the plant to grow to a big size on the terrace, one can use blue or black HDPE barrels with a 200 litre capacity.
A chempedak or wild jackfruit that is edible, but smaller in size may also be good to grow in a pot. Whether for bonsai or in deep pots, the fruit species must survive the pruning of its roots and shoots. Limes and lemons are ideal to grow in pots.
A FESTIVE MONTH
There are going to be two fruit festivals in Panjim this month. The Cashew Festival (scheduled for April 15 and 16, while the Konkan Fruit Fest will take place from April 21 to 23 opposite Inox in Panjim with a focus on jackfruit.
Various government agencies including the Directorate of Agriculture, the Goa College of Agriculture, RCPR School of Agriculture, Kamaxi College of Hospitality, nurserymen, manufacturers of fruit products and others are expected to participate in this event which involves fresh fruit, fruit products, cooking and fruit eating competitions.
Come, be a part of the celebrations!