Grow allspice, the spice with unique combination of aroma
Allspice has a unique combination of aroma and taste of nutmeg, clove and cinnamon. It is known as 'Sarvasugandhi' in Malayalam. The allspice tree grows to a height of 8-10 metres and normally grows well in all types of places. However, it bears more fruits when planted in highlands.
Allspice has male and female trees and they look alike. So, the difference can be known only after it starts blooming. The seeds are collected from ripe berries and the saplings produced from them are replanted after one year.
Organic fertilizers can be applied aplenty to ensure growth. 25 kilogram cow dung or compost can be added annually. Allspice starts bearing fruit within 5-6 years of planting, if maintained properly.
However, the yield improves only after 8-9 years. This may vary according to weather and other conditions. Berries are normally harvested during May. Berries are harvested as they turn brown in colour.
Allspice is used to add flavour to food items. The berries are used to make cake and soup and leaves are added in curries. Allspice is known for its medicinal properties. Some farmers in Wayanad successfully cultivate allspice.
(Prepared by Suresh Muthukulam)