The Orchard

The Orchard

From its very beginning Annapurna has grown some fruits like limes, ramphal, sithaphal, coconuts, mangoes, bananas and papayas, but they were side crops and mostly consumed on the farm itself since amounts were small and not really planned. 

It is only since a few years that the farm has looked more seriously into cultivation of fruit as a crop. Since rain-fed field crops are not viable anymore for various reasons the farm is looking for another direction and possibilities.

Few years back we planted a small orchard of half acre of guava trees which we extended a year later to one acre. We also planted 1.5 acre under intensive bananas. 

Both these crops are doing ok and being able to process all undersize and damaged fruits into fruit compote make both these crops economically viable.

In the meantime, we have been planting the rain-fed areas with Gliricidea(a leguminous shrub) alleys so we can use these plants as mulch/compost materials to maintain the crops without having to purchase nutrients off the farm. Development (both in quality and quantity) of guava and banana plantations will continue slowly in the years to come since there is a high demand in Auroville for both fruits.

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