Fruits of Kerala nutritious delicious, that you can grow easily in home gardens. It is quite common in Kerala to grow many of them in our backyards. We can grow native as well as exotic fruits, that adapt easily with the tropical climate of Kerala.
They can make our gardens really attractive, especially along with other ornamental plants. Preferably like flowering and non-flowering plants, those with fragrant flowers, trailing vines, low light plants etc.
Because of the fruit coconut, Kerala has got its name. Kera is the Malayalam word for coconut and alam is land. Further, there are a lot of tropical fruit bearing plants that we can grow easily in Kerala.
Benefits of growing our own fruit bearing plants
Of course, there are a lot of benefits for growing our own fruit bearing plants.
Gardening truly helps us maintaining a healthy mind in a healthy body.
Very often fruits make a major part of our diet. Therefore by growing our own, we can avoid spending extra money to buy this.
Most of the fruits available in markets contain pesticides and preservatives.
Chemicals like calcium carbide, ethylene gas etc. used for artificial ripening causes lots of health hazards. Consuming such fruits can definitely cause serious health issues, at least in the long run.
Fresh fruits from our garden can definitely prevent this to a certain extent.
Likewise, we can use most of the fruits of Kerala in the raw form for making dishes, mainly as side dishes for boiled rice, chapatis etc.
Also many of them are having medicinal properties, for which we can use it as home remedies.
Moreover, many fruits of Kerala are used as important ingredients for preparing ayurvedic medicines.
For a continuous supply of fruits throughout the year, we can try different varieties of plants. Because, there are seasonal variations of flowering for them.
Fruits of Kerala nutritious delicious that we can grow easily
A few examples:
Jack fruit is highly delicious and nutritious fruit found in abundance, which is also the official fruit of Kerala. Almost all houses in Kerala are having at least one jack tree in backyards.
In addition to fruits, the wood and even leaves are useful to us in one way or the other.
Definitely we can use the fruits in raw as well as ripe forms. Tender jack fruit is doubtlessly a wonderful substitute for meat.
Not only the dishes with tender jack fruit, but the sweets made of ripe fleshy parts are delicious. Seeds of the fruit are also good for making variety dishes.
Truly this fruit is having a lot of medicinal properties. Hence, we can use different parts of the plant for making traditional medicines.
People with diabetes, hypertension etc. can consume raw jackfruit which is more safer.
How to grow
Usually we use saplings that are produced through the germination of seeds, for propagation.
Different hybrid varieties are available with most of the nurseries. Ayur jack, muttam varikka, Srilankan jack, sindoor etc. are a few of them.
Producing fruits within a period of one or two years, is the main advantage of growing these.
Mango-one of the nutritious delicious fruits of Kerala
Kerala’s tropical climate is most suitable for growing mango trees. There is no wonder for considering mango as the king of fruits. Undoubtedly almost all mango varieties are extremely sweet and delicious.
Besides ripe fruits, raw mangoes are equally good for making tasty dishes. Pickle made with raw mango is really a mouth watering side dish. Particularly for sadya, which is the feast served on a cut banana leaf. Generally we prepare sadya on special occasions, like festivals and functions .
Having a chilled mango juice or smoothie during the hot summer days, is really refreshing.
Certainly we can use saplings for propagation of mango trees. Moovandan, Kerala’s own mango variety produces fruits on the third year of planting.
Besides, saplings of different types of mango trees are available with sellers or nurseries.
As an ornamental tree
Many of them are beautiful dwarf species, that we can grow as ornamental trees. Preferably like flowering as well as non flowering trees in our garden.
Mostly like, ficus benjamina, bougainvillea, hibiscus, palms, bamboo etc.
Above all, mango trees are suitable for making bonsai. Fukien tea tree, tamarind, ficus microcarpa, etc. are a few examples of fruit bearing bonsai.
Banana- nutritious delicious fruits of Kerala
Like other tropical places, there are a wide variety of banana plants in Kerala. Without much caring we can grow a lot of them in our backyards.
Nendran, njali poovan, kannan, kadali etc. are a few good varieties.
Besides fruits, we can use flower, inner stem etc. for making dishes. These are not only delicious, but nutritious and rich sources of fibre.
Crispy banana chips fried in pure coconut oil, is really a wonderful tea time snack.
Generally we use baby plants collected from mother plants after harvesting. Further, we can buy saplings directly from nurseries.
Vitamin rich papaya fruits are ideal for consuming as such in the ripe form. Also, we make different types of tasty dishes with the raw fruits.
Ripe papaya pulp made in to a pack with other ingredients, is one of the best home remedies for many beauty problems. Furthermore, it is one of the main ingredients for making cosmetics.
Jelly like sap collected from the plant, is used for making a lot of medicines.
Cooked raw papaya is an effective home remedy for kids who suffer from the attack of worms.
Papaya trees are propagated through the germination of mature seeds.
Saplings of trees with good yield, are available with sellers, that we can buy directly. Red lady, mahabindu, solo etc. are ideal for the tropical climate of Kerala.
Not only in our backyards, but we can grow papaya trees along with other plants in our garden. Golden papaya with yellow fruits, is really an attractive ornamental tree.
Dwarf varieties are also available, that are fine for pot planting. They always prefer places with direct bright sunlight.
Pine apple-nutritious delicious fruits of Kerala
Pine apple plants with fruits that are sweet and fragrant, are widely cultivated in Kerala. Especially in the districts of Kottayam and Ernakulam of central Kerala.
Delicious ripe pineapple fruits are used for making juice, jam, jellies etc.
Raw fruits are good for making dishes, preferably pachadi, pulissery etc. served as side dishes for sadya.
Certainly we can grow a few plants in our garden, either directly in soil or in pots. Always remember to provide a well drained medium and sunny place for the plant.
Normally we can use saplings known as suckers or pups collected from the mother plants for propagation. Queen, Mauritian, Kannara etc. are popular Kerala pineapple varieties.
Being rich sources of vitamins, fibre, minerals etc. it is always good to grow this vine in our garden. Mainly along with other flowering vines like sky vine, cypress vine, trumpet vine, ornamental passion vine etc.
Dragon fruit-delicious nutritious fruits of Kerala
Dragon fruit was really a stranger to South Indian markets, till the last few years. However, now it is largely cultivated in Kerala and other Southern parts of India. Ordinarily stem cuttings are used for propagation, which you can buy from nurseries.
Any well drained cactus medium is good, and you can grow the plant either directly in soil or in pots.
Given in the pic below, is my dragon fruit plant with its first fruit. I got the fruit in the second year of planting, and definitely you can try one.
Tropical fruit bearing trees, vines, small plants etc. with a few examples are given above.
Sapota, guava, custard apple, rose apple etc. are also examples of fruits that are fine for home gardens.
Definitely you can find even more, to grow easily in your garden.