Nine-Year Journey of The Devgad Mango

Date: July 7, 2012Category: DevgadMango Updates

 

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You know it takes nine months for a human being to be born. Did you know it takes the same number of years for your Devgad Alphonso Mango to take birth? We are sure you didn’t, did you? You and patrons like you have loved the Devgad Alphonso Mango for years, but many of you were curious about how divine fruit grows. So we thought as we prepare for the mango season 2017, we should take you through the nine-year journey that your favorite Devgad Alphonso Mango goes through before it comes to you as a juicy fruit. Read on to know the Journey of The Devgad Mango.

Well, one fact to start with. Devgad Mango does not grow out of a seed. If you plant the seed after eating a Devgad Mango fruit, you will get a mango tree, but it will bear mango fruits of a different variety and taste. The journey of the Devgad Mango begins as a small twig cut out from the mother plant… like this…

Mango Seed Grafting

It is then grafted on to a stem that has grown out of a mango seed of a sturdy variety…. like this… Some times one twig is planted into a combination of two stems from two seeds…

Mango Grafting

The graft is then tied up and wrapped with plastic tape, neatly covering it from all sides, like below. It is similar to tying up a wound of a human being or an animal and needs similar care.

Mango Tree Grafting

It is planted into a plastic bag and put under intensive care for the next four years…

Mango Grafts

It is kept in the bag for some months and then planted into a tin-can until it grows to a height of about 5 feet till about the fourth year. Only three out of five survive till the fourth year. In the fourth year, the bags are cut out and the little tree is planted in the orchard. Only four out of five survive till the sixth year till they become like this…

Mango Tree

Over the next three-four years, the tree needs good care, with regular pruning so that it grows sideways, equally all around, like this

Watering Mango Tree

Around the end of the eight-year, the tree starts to blossom, like this…

Mango Tree Bloom

and this…

Mango Tree Bloom

A Devgad Mango tree in full bloom looks like this…

Mango Tree Bloom

It starts bearing good fruit since the ninth year. Since its a grafted tree and well maintained, you have fruits hanging between 0 to 25 feet from the ground, like this..

Devgad Alphonso Mango

and this…

Devgad Mango

and this…

Devgad Hapus

The maturity of a Devgad Mango is defined in India’s traditional ‘anna’ system of currency, where 16 annas make up a rupee. A ’16 anna Devgad Mango’ is a 100% mature mango. Devgad Alphonso fruits are harvested at 14 anna level of maturity, by expert harvesters, who have acquired, by experience, the skill of identifying mature fruits from distances that can go as long as 25 feet. The fruit is harvested using a tool called as ‘zela’ in the local language. It is a loose nylon-net basket held by a metal ring and attached to a bamboo pole. A sharp V-shaped cutting tool is at the front of the ring. The harvester, after identifying a mature fruit, holds the zela from one end and carefully raises its basket-end, till the fruit is lowered into the basket and its stem rests against the V-shaped cutting tool, at a point over 6-9 inches from the fruit. Then the harvester tugs at the zela in a specific and careful manner, which does not disturb other fruits held from the same branch, does not result in any pull for the branch and yet cuts the stem from which the fruit is held, ensuring that a significant part of the fruit stem is still intact with the fruit. The fruits are taken out, and laid into a crate and immediately moved into a cool, shady place so as to shield the fruits from sunlight and heat. The crates with harvested fruits look like this.

Harvested Mango Crates
Representation Pic (This picture is of mangoes collected from the ground after strong winds brought them down. Harvested mango crates also look like this)

Some farmers take the harvested fruit crates to their homes and do the sorting there. For sorting at home, the crates are emptied on a paper bed, like this

Mangoes

and this…

Fresh Alphonso Mangoes

And the good, marketable fruits are arranged in a neat line for observation over the next two days, like this…

Fresh Mangoes

Most farmers get the crates of harvested fruits directly to the co-operative society, where they are graded, sorted and the farmer is paid accordingly. When the farmers get their fruits to society, they are first sorted in front of the farmer like this. The one sitting on the chair is the farmer.

Devgad Mango Crates

In sorting, each fruit is manually checked for hit marks, bird fly stings, pest scrape marks, sap burns, and other anomalies. After sorting, the mangoes are graded according to their weights, like this.

Alphonso mango crates

Once graded, they are dipped into an anti-fungal solution and then arranged into crates and covered from all sides with hay, and kept for ripening, like this…

Mango Crates

If the weather is a bit bad, the crates are covered or if the weather is very bad, the crates are moved to a temperature-humidity controlled building, like this…

temperature-humidity controlled building

When the fruits show signs of yellowing over the next two to five days, they are taken out and packed in wooden crates like this…

Mangoes in Wooden Crates

this…

Packing Mangoes

and this…

Devgad Alphonso Mango Boxes

or into paper boxes like this…

Packing Mangoes

And the fruit is dispatched to customer’s homes, either by ST parcel, or through a truck or tempo, or through relatives’ cars or bus or courier. It’s ripening process continues during the journey and becomes ready to eat in the next two to five days. A fully ripened, ready-to-eat Devgad Mango looks like this.

Devgad Alphonso Mango

Next time you enjoy your Devgad Mango, do remember the nine years of delicate care it took to grow this divine fruit. If you liked our presentation, please leave your comments below and also forward it to your friends. If you have any more questions, please ask them in the comments.

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