You could not have wished for anything better than going for a walk in a grape garden at the weekend. It was a unique experience to enjoy the pleasant February breeze and eat farm-fresh products. Konda Laxman Telangana State Horticultural University organized a week-long grape festival so that Hyderabadis could appreciate nature's yield and try the best products of the season. The annual grape festival is intended to enable visitors to pluck grapes at its grape research center first hand.
The 3.5 hectare university in Rajendranagar was full of people this Sunday. Children loved the wide open spaces and especially the idea of picking grapes. While visitors were given access to the grape garden, there were some advantages and disadvantages. Visitors were able to pick grapes from certain creepers to which they were taken and strict picking instructions were given so as not to damage / destroy the plants. Visitors were also advised to carry their own bags.
“It's much better than spending my Sunday watching my favorite comic shows at home. I used to see grapes only in supermarkets, this is the first time I've visited a grape garden. I went to a mango farm last year, ”recalls 11-year-old Anahita Mohan. Does Anahita like grapes? "Only if they're cute. Since we don't know much about varieties, we tried each variety and only selected the sweet ones. When we were ready to go after picking and buying grapes, my stomach was full of tastings, ”she laughs.
To make it easier for visitors to identify the grape varieties, each row was marked with names. Some of the names discovered include Kismis, Navrang, Red Globe, Rose and Sharat without seeds.
Every year the horticultural university auctions the wine farm and then the buyer opens the garden to sell the products to the public. Corani Mahesh, who bought the grape garden this season, says: “People in Hyderabad need to know what our state produces. The grape varieties grown here are very good and soon the highways will be full of grape vendors. At the end of the festival, the farm will be grape free. "
“It was extremely hot yesterday, but the kids were happy to see a real farm. Children live in a concrete jungle and can hardly see and enjoy nature. This university festival is a great way to bring children closer to nature, ”says Bharati Raja, a visitor.
Will visitors return to a festival again? "If a farm is ready to sell pesticide-free fruit like they did at Konda Laxman Telangana Horticultural University, why not," says another visitor.
Ram Reddy, a research associate at the State Horticultural University, explains: “The best grapes in these parts are known as Anab-e-Shahi, patronized by the Nizams. Viticulture has never been as good as in 2019-20. A crop of over 60 varieties can be picked on the farms of the Grape Research Station near Rajendranagar. The Thomson seedless Variety is the choice of the season. Viticulture in Telangana shows an upward trend, although large parts of the grape garden country are lost to real estate. "
Grape prices on the Grape Research Station farm range from £ 150 to £ 300 per kilogram. The festival ends on February 20.
Old newspapers and grapes
In the 70s and 80s, only sown grape varieties were sold on carts in Hyderabad. The grapes would be wrapped in a newspaper and not in plastic bags like now. During the grape season, demand was so great that newspapers sold higher prices Raddi Wallahs (Breaker)