Even as the pandemic and heavy rains delayed the planting season, a report vacationer inflow to the area has made strawberry growers pleased.
Shrouded in the misty haze of winter, the small city of Lambasingi in Visakhapatnam’s jap Ghats, Andhra Pradesh is attracting vacationers and locals in numbers by no means seen earlier than. And it isn’t simply the chilly climate and scenic spots that draw the crowds; Strawberry picking has change into a nice vacationer attraction for the area. Located 1,000 meters above sea stage, Lambasingi in Chintapalli, tasted its first strawberry product about 4 years in the past. Encouraged by good yields and earnings, farmers have elevated strawberry cultivation in the area since then.
This time, nevertheless, the pandemic virtually stopped farmers’ dream product. In September, Prasanna Kumar Dasari, who would have in any other case been dealing with the busiest month of the 12 months, discovered herself caught in a tough state of affairs. Due to restrictions induced by the blockade, plant exports from nations such as Spain, Italy and the US had been delayed. As a outcome, Prasanna, like different farmers in Lambasingi, needed to delay planting for 2 months. Erratic monsoons did not assist both. But, Prasanna took a leap of religion and planted 50,000 crops on her three-acre farm. “I was quite skeptical about the produce and whether farm tours will pick up between December and January, which is the peak season,” says Prasanna. But in the previous three weeks, he has seen a report variety of guests come in to select strawberries. “The numbers have almost doubled. Last weekend, we saw about 25,000 people visiting our farm in a single day, ”he exclaims.
Hima Rao Garimella, who collectively together with her household visited the strawberry fields just lately, describes the expertise as “enormously rewarding.” “Picking ruby red strawberries on a farm cradled in the misty valley is definitely worth a bucket list,” she says. Her six-year-old son who accompanied her on the journey was significantly excited concerning the train.
For many vacationers who got here from neighboring Odisha and Chhattisgarh, the go to was a studying expertise. “You learn a lot about agriculture and how it really happens in the field. I was particularly fascinated by the simple and ingenious tricks that farmers use to combat pests. There were garlic chives in the strawberry patches to deter pests; I came across so many interesting finds, ”says Sudhir Behara, who drove from Odisha along with his household.
These strawberries are offered at a premium of ₹ 400 per kilogram (from the farm-harvested batch) or ₹ 500 per kilo if you wish to choose them your self.
Tips for rising strawberries at residence
- Plant seedlings in pots in the course of the winter months. The very best time is from November to January.
- Strawberries will be grown in a pot or hanging basket in your balcony, deck, or planter. Make positive you get the correct amount of daylight in the morning and will not be in a windy location that will deter pollinating brokers.
- They thrive in moist however well-drained soils with temperatures beneath 20 levels.
- To encourage blooming, feed with home made fertilizers.
- Put some straw across the crops. This helps maintain the berries clear, dry, and pest free.
- Wait till the berries are utterly pink earlier than harvesting. Make positive the stem is unbroken when you choose the fruit.
- To encourage robust development for the following season, after harvest, reduce the foliage about two inches above floor stage and fertilize the soil.
Prasanna says: “Baby strawberry crops want particular care to save lots of them from frost throughout winters. Once the fruit is ripe, it should be offered instantly as a result of storage is a downside. Pests are one other factor to be very cautious with. You should determine it and handle it at an early stage. ”