Joseph Francis on his terrace

“This is from the tree that produced the first ‘Patricia,'” Joseph Francis explains as he locations a plate of sliced golden mango on the desk. “It doesn’t have any fibres, and the pit is small,” he says, pointing to the bare mango stone. Joseph created ‘Patricia’ 22 years in the past when he noticed a younger mango plant rising on the 5 cents of land on which he constructed his residence in Mundamveli, Kochi.

“The plant was a natural pollinated hybrid of two local types.” “I grafted this and made Patricia,” Joseph explains. Patricia is just accessible at his home, he explains with a smile, somewhat than available on the market.

Joseph’s rooftop mango orchard, which at present grows 50 varieties of mangoes and roughly 150 vegetation, is what units him aside. “I sell Patricia plants,” he explains, “but the fruits are just for guests, family, and friends.”

He started his profession as a refrigeration technician and has had a ardour for agriculture since childhood. He grafted a neighborhood selection named ‘kalluketti’ with a tree rising on his farm, utilizing conventional plant data. The tree bloomed after a number of years and produced great, aromatic, juicy medium-sized mangoes. Patricia was named after his spouse and “a Queen of the same name.” He was additionally awarded a certificates from Kerala Agriculture University, which acknowledged the fruit’s uncommon sweetness and purity.

During the summer time, Joseph’s mango grove is a riot of low-hanging mangoes. The household went to the Flower Show in 2010 and witnessed mangoes rising in sacks for the primary time. He explains, “It all started from there.”

Techniques of Cultivation

Trees develop in a mix of coco peat, cow manure, and pink earth in good blue, excessive density plastic oil drums. By routinely chopping the timber, Joseph retains them at a modest peak of 4 ft. “You choose your height,” he says. He trims the roots and tills the highest soil weekly, which is stored moist on the backside of the drum. A mix of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium is sprayed as soon as per week. “This encourages the plant to thrive and produce more fruit,” he explains. Wrapped in newspaper, the mangoes are left to ripen for eight to 10 days.

By “layering” mature vegetation, Joseph generates new ones. A course of that entails eradicating the bark and masking it with soil till roots develop. “These are then trimmed and planted,” he continues, including that inside a yr, the vegetation start to yield fruit.

The fibrous layered vegetation shouldn’t have a faucet root. As a end result, the tree is liable to falling throughout heavy gusts.

Alphonso, Imampasand, Malika, Dusseri, Kolambu, Kosseri, Sindhoor, and Sindhooram are solely a handful of the varieties within the orchard. A single tree is grafted with many types. “It’s preferable not to have more than two to three kinds grafted on a single tree since the yield will suffer,” Joseph says. He doesn’t promote the fruits, however he does promote the vegetation. A mango plant can value wherever between Rs1,500 and Rs5,000, relying on its age and measurement.

Before focusing solely on mangoes, Joseph experimented with orchids, roses, and even mushroom gardening. He additionally raised bees and pigeons.

“It’s something I’m quite passionate about.” I take care of the timber as in the event that they had been three-year-old. I’m conscious of their wants and am involved about them. “I’m overjoyed,” says the 65-year-old, who spends three hours a day caring for the mango vegetation.



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