Fruits

Fruity tales, nostalgia sweeten up Konkan Fruit Festival |Gomantak Times

RAIN OR SHINE: The three-day festival attracted a good number of people and plant enthusiasts.

RAIN OR SHINE: The three-day festival attracted a good number of people and plant enthusiasts.  Photo: Kristion Colaco

“The show must go on,” declared Daniel D’Souza, President of the Botanical Society of Goa, as the 18th edition of the Konkan Fruit Festival kicked off in Navelim without its star attraction – the legendary mancurad mango.

And the show did go on, with the sweet aroma of mangoes mixed with stories of the storeroom in the good old days when the tempting scent of the king fruit tickled the nostrils and delighted the taste buds.

The event and its setting brought back a feeling of nostalgia to 62-year-old Francisca Fernandes, as she recalled her childhood days climbing trees behind her house in Velim to pluck mangoes and even jackfruits during her summer vacations.

FRUIT FUN: Over 15 different types and varieties of local fruits were on display.

As she narrated these tales of her younger days, another senior citizen, Urbano Silva from Navelim, said he was a naughty child in school and was known to bring all kinds of berries to class.

“I used to love to take borams and raw mangoes to school and the smell of the former still make me salivate. But now my kids don’t let me eat it much because they are worried I might fall ill,” said Marcus at the ongoing festival.

ECO-FRIENDLY CHOICE: Terracotta pots and their aesthetic appeal offered visitors great options.

With over 15 varieties of local fruits on display, and around 111 fruit products enrolled in the competitions, the Konkan Fruit Festival is a hit in South Goa, said Liza Pinheiro, Secretary of Agricos Alumni Association.

BEYOND FRUITS: Attendees were delighted to see fruit saplings and potted plants.

“In the last two days, the festival has received over 3,000 footfalls and the numbers are increasing. The vendors, who are mostly local, have earned well on the sale of plants, fresh farm items and other products,” Pinheiro said.

MORE PLANTS: A visitor evinces keen interest in plants which were up for sale at the festival.

Daniel D’Souza said, “When it came to the display of honey and wines, the number of entries for participation was mind-blowing. For the first time, I tried some pomegranate wine. The festival attracted a lot of people and such festivals are important.”

A total of around 40 vendors were selling fruit saplings of mangoes, love apples, cloves, while some sold flowering saplings like abolim and roses. There were also locals selling home produce like jams, wines, freshly plucked bimblis and roseavdes.

LOCAL DELIGHT: Visitors got to sample ‘roseavde’, a local fruit which was on display alongside Konkan delights.

Among them was Antonio Mascarenhas, a resident of Navelim, whose house is adjacent to the venue. “I’m 86 years old and I’m very fond of planting. All the plants on sale are from my garden. So is the other farm produce like the bimblis,” says the grandfather, whose grandkids are helping him at the stall.

Despite the unpredicted heavy showers on second day of the festival, the evening was pleasant and had many visitors. Jennifer Mendonça from Velim, who was visiting her sister in Navelim, had filled her car boot with many flowering and fruit saplings.

“I have some space in my home garden, and we are planning to grow some more plants. I have picked up a clove and a miracle fruit sapling, along with a few abolims. Once abolims were seen in every house garden, now they are so rare,” she said, as she made room in her boot for the abolims.

The Konkan Fruit Festival lived up to its name with a successful three-day run bridging the past ad present. The festival’s success, despite the sudden rain, spoke of its enduring spirit and deep connection to the rich fruit heritage of the State and the Konkan region.

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