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Feb 08, 2016

Bumper crop of local fruits- Good times for fruit buffs

Published Date: 30 Apr, 2011 (6:52 PM)

By Team Mangalorean
Mangalore Apr 26:
This coastal city might have been bitten by the development bug and may wear a very cosmopolitan mask but deep inside Mangalore is filled with nostalgia and green culture. Thanks to the traditional houses in the city their frontyard gardens are filled with fruits and berry plants that the world of modernity has forgotten.
In these days of global market it is easy to get an Australian pear or a Chinese apple and even grapes from US, but it has become difficult to see the endemic fruits that grow in our own gardens have stopped coming to market, one may feel dejected for having lost the traditional fruit and berries that had the freshness of the air and water of the region. But not do despair, there are few homes still left in Mangalore that grow traditional fruits and berries, but you need to know the right places, but don’t  blame this writer if you don’t find it next year as there are every chances that in that place a tall building would be coming up!.

But took a reality check and found many houses still have their fruit bearing trees intact and few owners who were interviewed told that they will never cut down their trees that have given them the goodness of nature right in their backyard.
Mangalore is known to have many Western Ghats endemic species fruits and berries, star fruit, goose berries, Jamboo (also known as Malayan Green apple) Kaat Mango (wild mangoes) Mulberries, wild fig, wild Neem, Hebbalasu (wild jack) Pannerale (wild rose apple), Bimbli (English equivalent not known) and many other trees. But due to rapid urbanization these trees have been sacrificed as a result there are only few patches of these fruity trees left in the city.
According to the horticulture department officials the city still had good number of these fruit trees and soon there will be a survey to determine the numbers of these trees and a drive to regenerate them through tissue culture and grafting. Roselyn Coelho a proud owner of a variety of local fruit trees at Neermarga told that “My Jamboo tree gives me not less than 5000-6000 fruits twice in a year and I distribute them among my relatives and friends and just to keep them in circulation I  give some of them to the vendors in the market, My husband who is a bio-technologist has a small tissue culture unit at home uses this technique to create trees and distribute them among the neighbours and relatives who have space to spare”.
Many Mangaloreans have taken inspiration from the iconic horticulturist of Moodbidri Dr. L.C. Soans, his enchanting farm at Bannadka on Moodbidri Karkala state highway has become a pilgrimage centre for fruit  tree lovers. “ I brought a sweet starfruit tree from his farm three years back and today as I see the bunches of yellow coloured fruits I forget myself, the tree gives so many fruits that I find it hard to pluck them and give them away to my friends” says Suguna Alagesan.
The local varieties of fruits are full of juices and it is quite characteristic for tropical fruits, they give you different types of minerals and anti oxidants which is good for health says Dr. Soans. “There are many exotic fruits that can be locally grown, some of them are Eggfruit, Rambutan, Mangastein and brown Jamboos and many varieties of cherries. They grow better with more water and organic manure” Dr. Soans says. 
“The best part is that these trees attract many types of birds, my garden is such a racket of bird cries in the morning and evening that it gives me a feeling that I am in some kind of tropical paradise. My daughter Sanjana does not allow me to pluck fruits especially the Papaya, she argues that some fruits have to be left for the birds to eat, we can get our fruits from market but the birds will have to depend on gardens like ours” says Mrs. Sharmila Raghuram of Chilimbi. “The other day I saw a nightingale pecking at a ripe Papaya and I realized how right was my daughter” she said.

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Asim/Mangalore, Oman Apr 30, 2011
shammi, India Apr 28, 2011
Wow! what a feeling. Eexcellent article. i loved reading it. i wish i had that opportunity to live in a garden of fruits and flowers
Mohan Alva, India Apr 27, 2011
Very refreshing article. Had a feeling of being in the garden with fruit trees and birds around. Great job Team Mangalorean!!
J M Bhandary, USA Apr 27, 2011
A beautiful report by Team Mangalorean. It is nice to read that the local fruits and trees are alive and well and are much appreciated.
Max & Jessie Rasquinha, USA Apr 26, 2011
Reliable Reports reveal that India is the largest producer of fruits of all varieties at different seasons. Reports also reveal that a large portion of the fruits get spoiled either due to unsuitable packaging or due to lack of suitable storage facilities.

We have physically witnessed the truck loads of fruits coming into the market area in Mangalore. Substantial quantity is already damaged and will have to be thrown away. This also causes escalation of prices. Government should intervene and make sure that the fruit producers and transporters have some means of protecting the fruits so that any damage is avoided and that the fruit crop reaches the market safely and swiftly.

Besides, the Government should also become involved in encouraging canning industry so that surplus availability of seasonal fruits are preserved and processed thru the canning industry. We have the know-how and we have the machinery and the people.

Export of canned fruits from India also needs research and study. Government intervention thru expert study as well as subsidy is equally important so that the fruit producer not only makes a reasonable profit but also saves the produce for good use to the growing demands within and outside India.

Fruits and vegetable production in India will save millions of people thru a good diet and good health.

University Students coming out of their Colleges should also be made involved with these kind of new researches so that they could also be enthused into horticultural programs as part of their profession and livelihood. All of these projects need timely study and timely intervention.
Ritesh P, India Apr 26, 2011
"Bimbli (English equivalent not known)"

Its botanical name (Binomial nomenclature)is Averrhoa Bilimbi (order: Geraniaceae). You can check from Google.

Curiously enough, it is internationally known as 'bilimbi' but its name got corrupted as 'bimbili' and 'bimbala' in Indian languages.
B H Giridhar Shetty, India Apr 26, 2011
This year my Jamboo tree also started to give abundant fruits. Apart from human beings fruits are being enjoyed by some kinds of birds and insects too of Katapadi.

If anybody knows about this fruit kindly advice me how to avoid some fruits being falling premature from trees and also is there any medicinal benefit and how and why it is beneficial to human body and health.
Silvia, India Apr 26, 2011
Thats something nice to read that leaving the fruits for the birds to eat. In fact we try to protect them from the birds tying up a plastic bag or paper etc.
Good article team
Alfred Vincent Monis, Bahrain Apr 26, 2011
Nice article.
Mahesh S, India Apr 26, 2011
Fantastic and refreshing article. I congratulate the author on his choice of subject.
Vinayak Shenoy, UAE Apr 26, 2011
These fruits have lot of healing powers. They keep the body away from toxins by improving our immune system to fight against all possible sickness. We need to treasure there fruits and save the trees. Otherwise, one day these fruits would be only history.

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