‘Fruit paradise’ could be the best name to call an orchard that is filled with about 460 fruit bearing plants. Kottarakkara native Dr. Hari Muraleedharan has nurtured such a foreign fruit paradise and has named it ‘Green Grama’ which has now become almost a brand-like identity. The plants in this orchard are mostly foreign varieties.
Dr. Hari Muraleedharan was a scientist in Murugappa Chettiar Research Centre in Chennai until 6 years ago. Later, he switched his career to agriculture in order to take care of his aged mother. Also, he was passionate about farming since childhood.
He planned to start farming in a one-acre plot close to his house compound in Kottarakkara. However, he was confused about the crop to be cultivated. One day, he happened to see his children’s study chart containing a list fruits most which were unfamiliar to him. Thus, he decided to cultivate fruits from different countries.
Many people had tried to discourage Hari pointing out that the climate of Kerala is not suitable for the fruits from America and Brazil. But Hari was determined and proceeded with the project.
He brought the fruit varieties from Brazil and Thailand for huge price. To the surprise of the pessimists who discouraged Hari, the plants flourished in the soil of Kottarakkara. Thus, he named the orchard as ‘Green Grama’.
Brazil nut, avocado, kiwi, jaboticaba, inca peanut, white jamun fruit, burflower tree, jungle soap nut tree and almost all rare fruit varieties are available here. The white jamun tree costs about Rs 18 lakh.
The wild mango tree Mangifera pajang which is listed in the IUCN red list of threatened species, inca nut grown by Amazon tribal people and cola nut used for making Coca Cola also are found here.
Hari opened the fruit orchard for the public to share the knowledge with them. Now hundreds of people including farmers and students arrive to visit Green Grama every day. Hari also shares agriculture related knowledge through a Facebook page named ‘Mannum Manassum’ which has more than 37,000 members.
Hari finds good earnings through the sale of fruit trees. He is a unique presence among the new entrepreneurs. His wife Dr. Vrinda, who is the medical officer in Pathanapuram Taluk Hospital and their children also support Hari in the venture. The fruit lovers and farmers should visit Green Grama at least once in a lifetime.