Acai berry, baraba, military sapota… Mubarak’s orchard in Edappal is home to rare fruits
The orchard of Mubarak Ibrahim at Kololamba in Edappal in Malappuram district is home to rare varieties of fruits. Mubarak and his wife Roufina, a teacher, take care of the plants like their children. They have even cultivated acai berry, the Brazilian fruit, in their orchard.
Acai berry is not available in markets as the fruit perishes within hours after getting plucked from plant. One of the highest calorie fruits in the world, acai berry is dried and ground with coffee beans to make acai coffee, which is a popular beverage in Latin American countries. Bottled juice of acai berry also is available in markets in America and Europe.
Acai palm resembles areca palm and its flowers also are similar. Normally acai palm blooms only after eight years. But the one in Mubarak’s orchard bloomed and yielded within four years due to the extreme care provided.
Apart from acai berry, Mubarak’s orchard also has Jamaican baraba fruit, Bangkok rose apple, rambutan varieties from Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, Vietnam peanut, military sapota (it is named because the colour resembles Indian military uniform), Indonesian lime, Italian orange which can be eaten without peeling.
Mubarak had been working abroad for about eight years and later returned and worked with an agriculture-based company Macson Tillers in Palakkad. It was then he started dreaming of a fruit orchard. He collected seeds and saplings from different sources and took them home to make the garden. Mubarak’s wife and children also help in maintaining the orchard.