Thiruvananthapuram: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy's Cliff House has got a bumper crop of two varieties of ash gourds which weighed 25 and 21 kilos respectively. The man behind this feat is S. Vijayan, gardener, who had previously been chosen as the best farmer by the Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council.
Normally, the smaller variety of ash gourd weighs between 1 kg and 1.5 kg, while the bigger one comes to 20 kilos. This is why Vijayan and his assistant S. Rajan are elated at the bumper crop.
“I got the seeds of the ash gourd from the Kerala Agricultural University office at Vellayani. This type of bumper crop was unexpected and so we are all the more happy. Next month, we will harvest a special type of plantain which has over 100 fruits in it,” Vijayan, 48, told DC.
The 4.2-acre Cliff House compound has an array of vegetable cultivation ranging from ivy gourd (kovakka), green chilly, ginger, yam, spinach, cauliflower and more.
Chandy’s wife Mariamma Oommen joined her staff in the harvesting and proudly showed various pets to DC - five guinea fowls, 10 chickens, five ornamental ducks, turkey, two dwarf goats and a new-born calf.
“For the next few days, the kitchen is going to be engulfed with different varieties of dishes made out of ash gourd like olan and kaalan. Its juice will be given to Kunju (Chandy),” Mariamma told DC....