Prepare Vishukkani with organic, farm fresh ‘Kanivellari’
Vishu is always one of the most celebrated festivals in Kerala. The urban dwellers still keep nostalgic memories of the Vishu related festivities including Vishukkani, Vishu Sadya, crackers and games. In villages, the traditional rituals are still followed with all fervour.
Among them most important is the Vishukkani, which is the first thing people see in the morning on Vishu day. It is believed that Vishukkani would bring prosperity and wealth to the family for the rest of the year. Since Keralites were mainly farmers in the past, the farm fresh vegetables and fruits were the main items for Vishukkani.
Now our lifestyle has changed a lot and even an entire Vishukkani kit can be purchased from the market. But it spoils the concept of farm freshness and purity. Malayalis have long forgotten the agrarian life we lived once. We should stick to organic life and try regain the virtue of nature-friendliness.
The highlight of every Vishukkani bowl is the ‘Kanivellari’ (golden cucumber/golden melon) for sure. Most of us go straight to the Vishu markets and buy the best cucumber available to prepare Kani next day. But for a change, we can try growing Kanivellari at our home. This year, Vishu is round the corner already. So, we can plan for next Vishu and take up a ‘Vishukkani challenge’.
It is ideal to sow the seeds by February first week in order to reap cucumber for Vishukkani. Mudikkod local, Saubhagya and Arunima varieties of cucumber are the best choice. Among them, seeds of Mudikkod local are big whereas Arunima has small seeds. Seeds can be collected from Agriculture University and seed selling points of Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council Kerala (VFPCK).
Steps to grow Kanivellari
- Soak 5-6 seeds overnight and sow them in grow bags.
- To sow seeds in soil, dig holes with 60 cm diameter and 30 cm depth.
- Sow the seeds in 1-2 cm depth in soil. Seeds sprout within 4-5 days.
- When it is not raining, water the seeds every 3-4 days.
- When the plant begins to bloom, water it every 2-3 days.
- One week before replanting, add one coconut shell full of lime in the soil and mix thoroughly.
- Apply organic manures two days afterwards. Keep only healthy saplings among the sprouts.
- When the plant begins to bloom, apply a mixture of cow dung and groundnut cake.
- Applying fertilisers can be scheduled according to planting, vine growing and blooming.
- Cow dung powder and bone manure can be applied at the time of planting.
- Only limited amount of ash and cow dung powder can be added during vine growth and blooming.
Pests & diseases
- When the vines start spreading out, cover the roots to prevent the plant from decaying.
- Sprinkle pseudomonas solution (10 g in one l water) once in every 15 days to ensure steady growth.
- Normally, cucumber is not affected by many insects. Use neem-based pesticides, if necessary.
- Fly traps also can be installed to get rid of insects.
Kanivellari can be harvested within 55-60 days from the day of planting. Cucumber helps to keep our body cool and prevent any sort of digestion problems and jaundice. Let the festival of Vishu be pure and natural with the goodness of organic and farm fresh Kanivellari.