Have you ever plucked a juicy, sun-warmed grape hanging from a vine and popped it in your mouth? No? Well, now’s your chance!
The Grape Research Station of Sri Konda Laxman Telangana State Horticultural University (SKLTSHU) at Rajendra Nagar is offering a great chance for city folks to experience the joy of handpicking organically grown grapes straight from the vine.
The public can choose from as many as 59 grape varieties grown in the sprawling 3.5-acre vineyard within the University premises.
The authorities start the process of auctioning the harvesting rights of the vineyard in an open tender in February, and the highest bidder is chosen. Coorana Mahipal, a contractor, bagged the rights for Rs 7 lakhs.
“Last year too we won the auction, and we wanted to give the people who live in this concrete jungle a first-hand experience of picking grapes at the farm,” explains 30-year-old Mahipal, adding, “there are only two varieties available in the market. But here the public can choose from many varieties and pick them from the vines.”
“Grapes are not usually grown in homes, so this is a great opportunity for kids to learn about the grape-growing process,” he pointed out.
G. Ram Reddy, Principal Scientist at the Horticultural University, says “We have tested several varieties, and the public will get to taste grapes that are suitable for table-top consumption, making juice, turning into raisins and making wine.”
“Medika Manjari, Gulabi Purple, Katta Kurgan, Kishmish Chorni, Flame Seedless, Fantasy Seedless and Anab-e-Shahi are some of the varieties available,” he added.
The festival also provides a great opportunity for farmers to try out a few varieties.
Sravanthi Buggirala, a software engineer who visited the ongoing grape festival, describes the experience as ‘beautiful’. “I came here to see the vineyards because we don’t get to see them in the city. My kids are excited too. I have brought around six kgs of five varieties of grapes. I shall spread the word among my friends and relatives too,” beams Sravanthi....