Jackfruit the nutritious fruit of Kerala, that we can grow easily for home gardens.
Kerala is a land of agriculture, because the climates as well as soil structures are suitable for tropical crops. Mostly paddy, coconut, banana, tapioca etc.
Likewise Kerala’s spices are very popular in Indian and international markets. Therefore, we export black pepper, dried ginger, cardamom etc. to different parts of the world.
Fruits of Kerala
Here I am sharing with you a few examples of fruits common in Kerala, that are delicious and nutritious. Definitely we can grow many of them in our backyards, gardens or even in balconies.
Really these fruit bearing plants include trees, shrubs, succulents, vines etc.
Not only edible purposes, but many of them are having medicinal properties. Hence we can use it as home remedies for ailments.
In addition to the seasonal fruits, a lot of others are available throughout the year.
First let us see jackfruit, one of the most nutritious as well as delicious fruits.
Jackfruit the nutritious fruits of Kerala
Really it is the state fruit of Kerala. Surprisingly most of the houses are having at least one jack tree in the backyards.
Jackfruit the nutritious fruit of Kerala-A short description
Western ghats of India hosts lots of this evergreen tree with a life span of about hundred years.
Usually the tree with leathery and shiny leaves, grow up to a height of about thirty metres. Likewise it is one of the best shade trees with a fine distribution of branches and leaves.
Normally fruits develop directly from the woody stem, that weighs about an average of ten kilograms.
There are different varieties of jack trees, mostly according to the texture and colour of the fleshy part.
Royal red jack is an example for the above, with reddish inner fleshy parts.
Generally the tree needs about three to five years for producing fruits. Average yield from an ordinary tree is about hundred fruits per year.
Normally jackfruits ripen during the summer season.
Hybrid jackfruit varieties
However most of the hybrid varieties produce fruits within very short periods after planting. Besides certain dwarf varieties bloom twice a year.
Ayur jack, muttom varikka, sindoor etc. are a few examples of hybrid varieties in Kerala. In the same way Vietnam early is another one, that produces fruits within one and a half years.
Indeed we can buy saplings of these plants from nurseries and sellers.
Significantly gum less jackfruit is the most popular variety, which is highly in demand.
Truly we can consume the inner fleshy parts of ripe Jackfruit as such. In a like manner, the delicious dishes we prepare with jackfruit, are very popular.
For example kumbilappam, ada, etc. are kerala’s most delicious sweets with jackfruit.
Similarly, we can make healthy thoran with tender jackfruit.
Cooked raw jackfruit, is the most common dish that go well with fish curry. Likewise the nutritious jackfruit seeds fry is a wonderful combination with boiled rice.
Above all, the crispy jackfruit chips that we make by frying in pure coconut oil, is a very tasty snack.
Jackfruit medicinal properties
Medicinal properties of fruits as well as other parts of the plant are really important.
The higher dietary fibre content in jackfruits helps to maintain a healthy digestive system.
Consuming raw jackfruit regularly leads to control blood pressure as well as diabetes.
Furthermore dried form of the fruit is equally effective, which is available in most of the grocery stores.
Even the leaves of the tree are having medicinal properties.
Definitely it might be the reason why people in olden days used spoons made of jack tree leaves. Especially for consuming soup, porridge etc.
Other uses of Jackfruit the nutritious fruit of Kerala
In addition to the above, almost all parts of the plant are useful to us in one way or the other.
Chiefly heart wood of jack trees not less than fifty to sixty years, is used for making furniture. Surely we can identify this wood by the bright yellow colour, that resembles that of turmeric.
How to grow
Evidently through the germination of seeds we can propagate the jack trees. Always remember to collect good quality seeds from mature ripe fruits.
Additionally soaking the seeds overnight can make the outer coating softer, that helps a speedy germination. Generally it takes about twenty to thirty days for the seeds to sprout.
Of course, we can replant the sapling after a minimum of four to six leafs are developed .
Never forget to provide a well drained loamy medium enriched with fertiliser. In a like manner, find a sunny location that is not over crowded with other trees.
Maintaining moisture in the medium is essential for the proper growth. Moreover yearly fertilizing can keep the plant healthy.
Jackfruit the nutritious fruit of Kerala
Jack tree as an ornamental tree
Surely we can buy grafted saplings from nurseries, that are ideal for small space gardens. Certain varieties suitable for growing in containers are also available with sellers.
Owing to its beautiful appearance, we can use hybrid jack trees as ornamental trees. Furthermore dark green lustrous leaves well arranged on the branches look really awesome.
Doubtlessly Ficus benjamina, Bougainville, Hibiscus etc. are a few examples of tropical ornamental trees.
Keeping the above points in mind, try the delicious jackfruit or its dishes. Above all, make your garden really awesome with a few jack trees, according to the availability of space.
To be continued with another fruit next time.