In the year 2017, the state declared the coconut tree as the state tree of Goa, along with the crocodile bark tree. It’s quite obvious, in a state like Goa which is defined by swaying palms, to have this tree associated with its identity.
The coconut tree is not just a tree in Goa. It is a part and parcel of our lives and livelihood. It is impossible to think about Goa without the contribution of this tree. It is a part of our cuisine, lifestyle, architecture, agriculture and definitely the biodiversity. This tree is used in so many ways, and literally, no part of it is ever wasted.
Thus now, there is a need to celebrate this tree and focus on its various aspects. The ‘Coconut Tree Festival’ which will be held on October 15, 2023 at Edricia Farm, Siolim, (from 3 pm to 7 pm) is just doing that.
The event will feature around 20 stalls, wherein food made from coconut will be on sale. These will include toddy, vinegar, jaggery, feni, coconut oil, coconut caramel, coco peat, coconut ropes, mats, herbal products and many other coconut-based products.
AT THE FEST
The highlight of the event will be the four workshops that will revolve around making products from coconut palm fronds like mollam, brooms, palm baskets, and also a pottery workshop.
There will be talks on coconut tree health and how to control its disease, as well as coconut saplings on sale.
There will also be a section of art and illustrations, inspired by the coconut. This has been curated by famed Goan cartoonist, Alexyz, and it will features works of artists like Clarice Vaz.
Along with these, there will be live music with the ‘coconut’ as a theme.
Tanya Carvalho Fernandes, owner of Edricia Farm, and one of the curators of the festival said that she along with her friend, Erwin Fonseca of Assagao farmers, always wanted to host such festival where they can revive this traditional craft related to coconut palms and other varied occupations.
She plans to have workshops related to traditional occupations and crafts in future. “We are also planning to have a workshop on coir making and it will be conducted by Goa Coir Board,” she adds.
Erwin Fonseca, of Assagao farmers, informs that the many purposes of this Coconut Festival is to celebrate World Coconut Day in Siolim (which is usually held on September 2), and to celebrate the natural beauty of Siolim village (which sadly, is now under threat) and lastly, to highlight the importance of the coconut tree and the need to protect and preserve it.
All in all, it will be a fun event to discover the bounty of the coconut tree in a fun way.
The ‘Coconut Tree Festival’ will be held on Sunday, October 15, 2023 at Edricia Farm, Siolim, (from 3 pm to 7 pm). For more details about the festival, contact +91 98224 85296
Arti Das is a freelance journalist based in Goa. She loves writing about art, culture and the ecology of Goa.