You must have heard a lot about planting flowers in the bucket, growing vegetables on the roof, but have ever heard that someone has grown mangoes by planting mango trees on the roof, that too 40 varieties of mangoes. 63-year-old Joseph Francis of Ernakulam has done this. Though he is a technician of air conditioners, his elderly father has been a farmer. This is the reason that he set up a garden of various mangoes on the roof of 1800 sq ft. Some types of mangoes are bearing fruits twice a year.
Plant 250 roses
Roses brought from every nook and corner of the country were grown in his care. The ‘Cut Rose’ variety was only in his collection. After the shift to the new house, Joseph planted 250 types of roses and mushrooms. He saw large mango plants in polythene. Then thought big plants can survive in polythene, so why not plant trees in drums? Joseph bought PVC drums, cut them and fastened them to the stand. Make an incision in the bottom to remove excess water. Plants planted in these have now become 5 to 9 feet trees.
His garden has more than 40 species of mangoes including popular varieties like Alphonso, Chandrakaran, Neelam, Malgova, Saffron. He has developed a new variety of mangoes with grafting techniques, named ‘Patricia’ after his wife. It is claimed that this variety is the sweetest.
Distribute all fruits free
Taking care of this mango orchard is the most challenging task. Periodically, composting, pruning, protection of fruits is very important. Joseph says that his motive was not to make profit. They distribute all their fruits to friends, relatives and visitors for free. On holiday, many people come to see the mango garden at their house and also take fruits for free.