Winter is firmly entrenched in AAMRAI, Ratnagiri and the cold air is certainly aiding the fruit setting as well as the new flowering growth. Typically the weather starts turning after Holi in March and if that happens this year with a hot summer, we should have a good mango harvest this year.
Having said that there is still a lot of time in which several factors could spoil the show – unseasonal showers, cyclonic disturbances, gusty strong winds, extended winter or a cooler summer, but fingers crossed, so far everything seems to be on track. We might just have to wait a little longer this year, since the winter started a few weeks later and this might push the season ahead by the much. We expect to start harvesting in the second half of March with minor quantities and expect regular supplies to commence from March end or early April.
Praying for a good season this year to offset the 2020 lockdown chaos.
Snaking its way from the Sahyadri and into the Arabian sea,
Cutting through the hard basalt rock is the river Vashishti,
Home to flora, fauna and fish aplenty,
Birthing the town of Chiplun, second largest in Ratnagiri,
Providing fresh water and life to the people of the Konkan,
Black waters turning to turquoise blue in the rising sun.
Swaying coconut trees dancing in the salty breeze,
Deep golden sands turning the water into liquid gold,
A tranquil scene putting nature itself into a deep freeze,
Aamrai, Ratnagiri has to be experienced, cannot be told.
Ambya var padlaa Taan, Ambaa nigto khoop Chaan (Mango tree under stress produces the sweetest fruit)
December 12, 2020
Temperatures have been dropping in the first week of December, ushering in the 2020 winter. However the sudden unexpected rain showers in the last few days have cast grey clouds over the mango orchards across Devgad and Ratnagiri and also increased temperatures and humidity levels.
The flowering in Aamrai farms has so far been pretty good and with a cold winter setting in, it will help accelerate the fruit formation. However if the rains persist for a few days and are heavier, it could reverse the process. As the water availability in the ground increases and more moisture is available, it spurs the mango tree to increase vegetative growth, i.e. leaves rather than flowering and subsequent fruit formation. On the other hand, when the cold winter sets in and monsoons have receded, the mango tree has sparse moisture availability, resulting in abundant flowering. This odd phenomenon is locally called “ambya chya zhaadaa var taan padlaa” or loosely translated as “the mango tree is stressed out”.
Another reason why the Ratnagiri alphonso mango is truly unique and is produced only in adverse conditions, in fact it thrives in it. The flowering requires lack of moisture and a cold winter; while later in the months of April/May, a strong sun and a hot humid summer is necessary for speedy fruit formation and size. Perhaps this is what makes the hapus so sweet, aromatic, flavourful and unique.
Nestled in a sea of coconut, betelnut and mango tree,
Air heavy with the scent of pepper, jackfruit and the sea,
Jostling for space between the ocean and the mighty Sahyadri,
Blessed with the revered temple of Mahalaxmi,
Birthplace of the alphonso mango and Aamrai,
Is the quaint Ratnagiri village of Kelshi.
A cool November winter morning,
a serene and carefree day is dawning,
cows mooing, birds chirping and buzzing bees,
life starts in Aamrai, nice and easy,
lazy hay stacks and a gentle fragrant breeze,
nestled in quaint Varavade village, Kankavli,
adjacent to the districts of Devgad and Malwan,
filtering shyly through the coconut & mango trees,
is the early morning Konkan sun.
Konkan’s Petroglyphs – 1000 mysterious rock carvings in Ratnagiri
November 9, 2020
The red laterite porous soil of the Konkan seems to harbour a lot of mysteries other than of course the famed Alphonso Hapus mango. Over a 1000 mysterious rock carvings were discovered etched into the hard rock across the Ratnagiri and Sindhdurg districts reaching as far South as Goa. Our AAMRAI organic mango farms are located in Ratnagiri and Devgad (Sindhdurg) and some of these sites like the one in Kasheli and Ganpatipule are very close to our farms.
Archaeologists and Konkan lovers are working hard to unravel the secrets behind these carvings as well as people and civilizations that created these. A wide range of images are seen from basicdepictions to large intricate carvings of people, animal and aquatic forms. They are eerily reminiscent of scenes from the supernatural movie “Signs” or the series “Lost”.
There are plans to deploy drones to explore more such sites particularly in inaccessible and remote areas. Many of the villagers and locals in the area are keen on protecting and developing these sites and promoting them for increasing tourism in the region.
Alphonso Mango flowering may escape the brunt of unseasonal heavy rains
October 20, 2020
three districts of the Konkan – Ratnagiri, Sindhdurgh and Raigad have
been witnessing varying intensities of rainfall over the last week
and this is expected to continue till the end of this month. The late
unseasonal showers are not part of the regular monsoon but are due to
low pressure systems developed over the Bay of Bengal and the Deccan
plateau. Though the brunt of the rain has been borne by Telangana and
Eastern part of Maharashtra, the Konkan belt has also been hit.
conditions were overall quite conducive for a healthy mango flowering
and it looks like this will be largely unaffected by the unseasonal
rains. It remains to be seen what the actual impact of this will be
though some amount of loss of flowering is bound to happen.
expect first flowering to start from early November and the gradual
onset of winter and colder temperatures will further aid the flower
setting. Alphonso mango is an extremely sensitive fruit and is very
vulnerable to the vagaries of the weather – cold temperatures,
scorching heat or rains.
entire country has had more than its fair share of problems with
Covid in 2020 and hoping for a much healthier and abundant 2021.
one of the unique experiences that one faces in life due to
circumstances beyond our control and which we couldn’t have imagined
just a month or so ago.
current lockdown resulted in an unexpected problem – we ran out of
packaging boxes. Our orders for new boxes with updated designs and fresh
colors had been placed with our box manufacturer like every year. He
was going to start the manufacturing and had even bought the paper
required and cut it into the appropriate sizes. But before he could
begin printing, the Covid lockdown was announced on March 23rd due to
which he could not resume printing and production. We all thought this
would go away soon, perhaps a week or so………..or at the most a
fortnight. But it dragged on and finally we had used up all the stock
left over from the 2019 season.
were in a real dilemma since the mangoes were ready and needed to be
harvested but we could not pack them in the appropriate boxes for their
protection and safe handling. A similar situation exists across the
Konkan with paper and raw material being in short supply, lack of
reliable transportation due to shortage of drivers and frequent police
checking and a real struggle for getting basic things needed to run
operations in a farm or industry. We were really at our wit’s end as to
how to get over this obstacle since letting mangoes go to waste due to
lack of packaging boxes is like pouring good whiskey down the drains due
to lack of bottles.
bright young boy who does harvesting at our farms came up with a bright
idea. If the printing was the problem, perhaps we can get plain
corrugated boxes without any branding or printing. It would not have the
unique AAMRAI branding or colours but the mangoes inside would be safe
and would reach the eager customers. We quickly inquired with our
packaging guys and they confirmed that it could be done. They quickly
started production and within two days we have plain white boxes at our
farms. We also managed to get AAMRAI stickers printed to be pasted on
the top of the boxes so that the boxes would still bear the AAMRAI mark
and brand promise.
The final result was quite satisfactory considering the last moment execution and quick thinking.
a look at the two pictures and judge for yourself. One of them is the
traditional AAMRAI box and the other is the lockdown jugaad.
So dear customers, please remember that even if you get any of these boxes at your home, please bear with us since we are all struggling through unprecedented times and the mango inside is still AAMRAI
Aamrai Organic is certified by NPOP (EU), NOP (USDA) and JAS (Japan).
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