Relish flavours of all mangoes at the Horti fest

Ashwin Sajeev

Kozhikode: There once was a time when the months of April and May were filled with the sight of excited children enjoying their vacations climbing up mango trees and relishing the hand-plucked fruit. School vacations couldn’t have been timed better, it was a time when kids worried less about academics and more about how they would get the mangoes down from their trees.

Eventually, people got too busy with their lives and soon, more and more mango trees got orphaned as they barely had kids coming up to them to enjoy their ripe fruits. Nobody had the time to climb up trees and enjoy seasonal fruits.

A lot of children today aren’t lucky enough to have the natural experiences their parents and grandparents did. But there might just be a small ray of hope for the kids today to experience a part of that same vacation excitement their previous generations did.

The 26th edition of the annual Mango festival hosted by Calicut Agri-Horticulture Society has brought back the experience of true joy in relishing mangoes in the summer heat of vacations.

One of the main highlights of the festival was its mango eating competition. “It was a lot of fun to watch the competition! I even saw people climb up some of the trees to get a good look at the contestants trying to gorge down as many mangoes as they could in 2 minutes,” said Krishna Vaidyar, a member of the Calicut Agri-Horticulture society and a retired Agricultural Officer.

The festival includes the sale of various types mangoes and an exhibition of a number of mangoes that are not very commonly known. Some products from the government nurseries, such as H4, H44 and H151 were displayed. “We hope to introduce and educate the people about some special mangoes that are not very commonly available here,” added Vaidyar.

The mangoes are brought from the Mango Producers Society in Palakkad, just before they’re ripe, to avoid any chemicals being used in ripening them. The mangoes here are looked after and ripened in the most organic way possible.

The various mangoes on sale include Benganappaly, Sindhuram, Malgoa, Himappasanth, Neelam, Mallika, Tothappuri, Alphonsa and Gudadath. The price ranges from Rs.50 to Rs.120.

The exhibition also offers mango pickles and fresh mango juices, made on the spot using some of their ripe farm fresh mangoes.

They also have various types of mango saplings on sale. One of their main sapling attractions this time is the seedless black plum.

With the sale of all saplings, customers are provided with a number on their bill. Customers can later call the number regarding any queries they may have about the purchased plant or for guidance on growing and maintaining the young plants in the best possible way. The saplings range from Rs.250 to Rs.700 in cost.

The annual Mango festival has proved to be an informative and joyful experience for all, reminding us of the past and informing us of the future.

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