Wayanad: A ride through the NH 766 connecting Kozhikode with Bengaluru through Mysore after the jungle region is a feast for the eyes.
After Muthanga and Bandipur jungle stretch, it is harvest season in the flower gardens of Gundelpett cultivated with an eye on Onam market of the state.
Rain or drought in Kerala, flower farmers of Gundelpett are very much worried as any slowdown in the market during the harvest season would affect their sales.
Subbanna, a farmer of Madhur near Gundlepett, told DC that last year the farmers were very much affected as the entire state of Kerala was hit by floods.
This year he hopes the business would be better going by the queries he is getting from flower traders from Wayanad and Kozhikode.
The popular items grown for Onam are the ubiquitous marigold (Chendumalli) of orange and yellow, Amaranth and also the sunflower.
"Though we have a steady demand for flowers from the paint industry and temples, during Onam season we produce more eyeing on demand from Kerala market," he said.
"The common marigold is priced at Rs 10 to Rs 20 for a kg whereas the yellow flowers cost higher at Rs 30."
In front of aesthetically perfect flower gardens, one can see a long line of vehicles with groups posing for photographs paying Rs 10 per person.
"Riding along the road, it is a usual scene of women plucking flowers and small flower-laden vehicles speed past on the direction of Wayanad with flowers for floral carpets," said N.K. Shaji, a farmer at Madhur.
"The farming of marigold is in a larger area this year, and harvest also is excellent due to copious rains."...