Fruits, Nuts, Coffee, TeaJanuary 31, 2022
Fruits are a vital part of the human diet and the easiest food for humans to digest.
Many fruits have a purifying and cleansing effect on the body, and most fruits are high in vitamins and very nutritious.
Some fruits have medicinal value as well.
In an emergency planting programme, cereals may be omitted from the human diet, but fruits should not be neglected. This shows their importance.
The following system can be used for planting big, medium and small categories of fruit trees:
- big trees should be planted in an area of 15 square feet.
- medium trees should be planted between 2 big trees, in the middle. One medium tree should be planted at a distance of · 1/² feet from the 2 big trees.
- small trees should be planted in between 2 big trees at a distance of every 5 feet. That is, 2 small trees may be planted between 2 big trees.
Ginger, tumeric and sweet potato should be planted in the shade of fruit trees in the prescribed rotation.
Some examples of fruit trees include:
- sweet lime (mussambi)
- non-Indian black plum (jámun, Java plum)
- custard apple
- kábáb cini
- mulberry (tute)
- pomegranate (bedáná)
- mango (ám)
- melon (thuja)
- grapes (angur)
- Indian plum (kool)
- chámal, etc.
When preparing the land for horticulture, the land should first be divided into blocks so that 25 big fruit trees can be planted in each block.
- Then, as many medium and small fruit trees as possible should be planted in the remaining area.
The planting method should be as follows.
First, plant a sequence of 1 big tree then 1 medium tree, then another 1 big tree and 1 medium tree, and so on.
After the medium trees have been planted, start planting small trees in between the big trees: 1 big tree then 2 small trees, 1 big tree then 2 small trees, and so on.
The small trees can also be planted in association with medium trees.
Before the trees are planted, deep pits should be dug in the ground and a good amount of compost and some calcium should be put into them.
Calcium should be used when planting fruit trees, and especially with sour fruits because it makes the fruit sweet.
Research should be done on the following trees:
- Indian olive and its by-products
Fruit trees conserve a lot of water in their fibrous root systems and fruits.
They can be planted as riverside trees and beside paddy fields to help conserve water.
However, only tall and non-shady fruit trees should be planted beside a paddy field, because they will not block the sunlight from the crop.
There are 2 kinds of citrus fruits according to their skin type:
- the orange group: its outer skin can be easily peeled
- This group should not be taken by diabetics.
- the lemon group: its outer skin cannot be easily peeled off
- This group should be cut to extract the juice.
- This includes:
- sweet lime (mussambi)
- batabi (pomelo)
- These are recommended for diabetes.
Lemon is hardly ever eaten in the form that it comes from the tree. But the sour fruit is widely used for its juice and peel.
It has medicinal qualities and is generally used to:
- cleanse the body
- help purify the blood
- alleviate acidity
To grow oranges, no special soil conditions or rainfall is required, except that sufficient quantity of calcium must be present in the soil.
- The calcium will make the fruit sweet.
53 orange trees can be planted to one bigha (approximately 1/3 acre).
Medicine can be prepared from the juice and skin of the orange.
For example, a good medicine to reduce fever is 50% orange juice and 50% warm water.
If this is taken several times a day, it will be very beneficial for the patient. This preparation is also good for treating influenza.
Non-Indian Black Plum (Jámun, Java Plum)
Black plum is also known as “jambolana” or “Java plum”.
It is used in homoeopathy and allopathy to treat diabetes. The juice tastes very good.
Custard Apple (Star Apple)
The custard apple has a creamy, sweet fruit which is popular in tropical countries.
The variety from the Philippines should be imported into India because it has a larger and better quality fruit than the local varieties.
Custard apple helps to prevent erosion and can grow in places where the soil is a bit rocky.
Kábáb cini is a bush which is often used as a boundary plant. The fruit has a spicy taste.
The fruit of chalpa is usually made into chutney. It can be grown as a roadside plant as well as a boundary plant.
Mulberry is widely used as a host for silk worms. The worms eat the leaves of the plant and produce garad silk.
The coconut palm is very common in most tropical countries.
Spiritual aspirants should emulate the coconut – they should be hard and resilient on the outside, but soft and sweet on the inside.
There are numerous products which can be produced from the young or fully ripe coconut. Coconut milk is a standard base for cooked dishes in Southeast Asia and South India.
Shredded coconut, sweetened or plain, is a popular ingredient in biscuits, cakes and all types of baked goods.
Coconut is good for digestion and helps to alleviate constipation. It has other medicinal uses as well.
Green coconut water (d́áb) is rich in potassium, so it has a sweet taste; but it should be taken only from the authentic source.
- Vendors sometimes replace the coconut water with ordinary water through a syringe.
A particularly good variety of coconut is the Paraguaya coconut.
Research should be done on this variety and it should be grown in India.
Ámlá has a sour fruit which is usually boiled or made into pickle. The oil helps digestion and can be used for hair oil.
Pomegranate has 2 varieties:
- red pomegranate (dalim)
- white pomegranate
Some people call red pomegranate “red corn.” The fruit is comprised of many small flesh covered seeds, somewhat resembling corn, which are packed in undulating rows inside the skin.
The fruit of both varieties can be preserved and used in the preparation of medicines.
Mango is a very popular fruit wherever it is grown.
It is eaten as a green or fully ripe fruit, dried, candied, pickled, and made into various jams, jellies, dehydrated products, juices and other items.
It is very delicious. However, ripe mangoes should not be overeaten because they:
- generate heat in the body
- cause dysentery and boils on the skin.
Only 2-3 ripe mangoes should be eaten in a day.
The inner portion of the mango seed contains harmful acids and alkaloids. Poor people use flour ground from mango seeds without removing these substances.
Ways should be devised to remove them, so that the seeds can be used to make flour without any harmful effects.
As much as 30% of the maize flour sold in the marketplace in India is adulterated.
The adulteration is done with mango stone, tamarind seed and soap stones. Soap stones are soft earthy stones which are very injurious to health because they can cause kidney stones. To test the purity of maize flour, knead the maize in a copper vessel (or kausa) and keep it in the vessel for some time.
If the flour is adulterated, it will leave a blackened mark in the vessel.
Mango and litchi grow successfully in the Nadia district of Bengal.
Mango, like all fruit trees, has fibrous roots which help to conserve water and protect the soil. It also makes a good roadside plant.
Mangosteen is a tropical fruit with a thick purplish skin and white flesh which contains much juice, but it is not well known around the world.
Flour can also be made from mangosteen.
Papaya is another very popular tropical fruit, used to make many edible, medicinal and other products.
When it is still green, papaya can be cooked as a vegetable.
When it is ripe, it becomes a bright yellow or orange-red fruit.
The medicinal qualities of papaya are well-known, and in particular, it is used to make pepsin to treat jaundice.
Pepsin is prepared from the leaves of papaya.
Latex can also be prepared from papaya, but it should not be extracted from the fruit.
To make papaya latex, wait until the green papaya is about to mature, then pluck it from the tree.
The latex is obtained from the tree itself after the papaya has been removed.
Papaya latex is used medically to cure ulcers, as a liver tonic and to help loosen stiff, rheumatic joints.
There are many types of melons, but here the word melon refers to the five plants of the melon group. These plants are:
- watermelon (tarbuj)
- bottle melon (khedi)
- musk melon (kharbuj)
- bottle musk melon (kakur)
- serpentine melon (kakri) – from Bihar
These plants should be sown from December to March.
The completion period is just before the rainy season starts. Melons grow best in sandy soil (bele mati). Only one rainfall is sufficient for their cultivation.
While sowing the seeds of this plant group, khosta, an oil seed of the sesame group found in the Birbhum district of Bengal, should also be sown. Khosta is an oil plant that grows with a meagre amount of water. Research should be done on the khosta plant.
Melons grow during the first one and a half months after planting, and bear fruit during the following one and half months, hence the season lasts 3 months. Melon varieties from India and all over the world should be planted at Ánanda Nagar. Cucumber (sosa), water melon and serpentine melon should be planted from December to March.
Watermelon flowers at 4 p.m. Maximum production occurs in Baruipur. The water melon fruit is of medium size, so research should be done on how to increase its size. Satpatia water melon is also small in size and the fruit grows in clusters. Latex from water melon is good for the liver.
The seeds can be used as a kind of nut and mixed in cháná chura (a popular Indian savoury snack). Oil may be produced from the seeds, but this process is not yet commercially viable and should be developed.
Musk melon and watermelon should be sown in pits in sandy soil. A pit should be dug about one and a half feet deep and filled with a mixture of compost and soil in equal proportions.
The melon seed should be planted in this pit. Soon the roots of the seedlings will reach water and then their rate of growth will accelerate. Musk melon should be planted in the summer. Safed musk melon is a small, sweet scented variety and it is grown on the banks of the Gomati river in Lucknow.
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The fruit-bearing portion of the plant is called a vine – a grapevine.
The fruit is called grape.
Fermented grape juice is called wine.
The Latin name for wine is “vinum glacia.”
Some medicinal alcoholic beverages can be made from grapes. A wine called “asoke risaja” used in the treatment of female diseases can be prepared from overripe grapes and sold to medicine factories.
Medicines can also be prepared from dried and dehydrated grapes.
Grape sugar (drakshasarkara) can be made from grapes, but it is not presently commercially viable.
Seedless grapes are generally grafted, but seeded grapes may or may not be grafted.
Raisins (kishmish) can be made from seedless grapes after they have been dehydrated.
Seeded raisins (munacca) can be made from seeded grapes after they have been dehydrated.
In Bihar, people use seeded raisins as a nutritious sweet (meoyá) during festivals.
For a long time grapes have been eaten as fresh, dried or candied fruit; taken in the form of wine or vinegar; enjoyed in sweets, cakes, etc.
Research will improve the preparation of grape products and discover more uses for grapes.
Some varieties of grapes that are suitable for research include:
round, big round, small long, big long, small blue, big Chinese, small German Iberian French Italian
Sandy, reddish soil is good for growing grapes.
Grapes can be successfully grown in Ráŕh, but bone dust should be added to the soil to make the fruit sweet.
Grapes should be grown on a slanting trellis or platform (machan). Good varieties of grapes can be found in Andhra and Maharashtra.
On the border of the vineyard the following plants should be grown – large cardamon (bara ellaichi), ipekak (a medicinal plant), cinkona (the source of quinine and other anti-malarial preparations), and hing (asefoetida).
According to leaf type, there are 2 varieties:
- West Indies
- East Indies
The West Indies variety was brought to Europe by the Portuguese from its original home in the West Indies. The Portuguese also brought tuberoses, kena flower and some varieties of banana from the West Indies.
The West Indies variety of pineapple has thorns on both the fruit and the plant.
The East Indies variety comes from Singapore, Malaysia and Oceania, and the fruit is big with less thorns.
The Baruipur varieties also come from the same region. These varieties are golden in colour. The Tripura and Assam pineapple varieties are from the East Indies.
Some good sources of pineapple outside India include:
- northern part of South America
- all of South East Asia
Some good sources of pineapple inside India include:
Pineapple tops are also available from the Calcutta markets. The Tripura, Siliguri and Baruipur varieties all grow well in India. At Ánanda Nagar, however, pineapples will not bear fruit, due to the low amount of rainfall, which is below 60 inches per annum.
However, if the plants are showered with water, they will be fooled into believing that it is raining and induced to bear fruit. If the same quantity of water is given to the plants through irrigation, they will still not bear fruit.
There are 3 seasonal varieties of pineapples:
- rainy season
- winter season
Sloping land and alkaline soil are best for maximum production.
Normally, pineapple starts bearing fruit after growing for 1.5 to 2 years.
If the mature pineapple plants are kept in a glass house and smoke is added, they can be induced to bear fruit within 1 week.
The banana tree grows as both a wild and domesticated plant. It has sweet, tasty and easily digestible fruit, and the fruit and plant can be eaten in many different ways.
For example, the fruit can be eaten raw, boiled in sugar syrup or fried, and the flowers and stem can be eaten as vegetables. It is also very useful, and products like banana chips, banana powder, sodium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate, clothes, plates, etc. can be manufactured from various parts of the plant.
Clothes can be made from fibres in the trunk, and plates can be made from the leaves.
Usually, the banana tree is called “plantain” and the ripe fruit is called “banana.”
In the case of the kaca kalá variety, both the plant and the fruit are called “plantain.”
Banana originated in South Africa.
There are many varieties of banana:
- cáṋpá kalá, which bears fruit twice a year,
- kátáli kalá, which bears fruit twice in 1¸ months,
- martamán kalá, which bears fruit once a year.
- Bhusawal and martamán are good quality varieties, but kátáli is not as good.
There are also many good varieties grown outside India.
Banana plants should not grown too close together.
- It is best to plant them 10-12 feet apart.
If they propagate on their own and grow densely, they will quickly become undomesticated.
Wild bananas have large, hard seeds, but domesticated bananas have very small, inconspicuous seeds.
Indian Plum (Kool)
The fruit of the Indian plum is tasty, but the plant also has other uses. It is used as a host for both silkworms and lac insects. Lac should not be planted in all the trees in an orchard at the same time, otherwise the production of fruit will decline.
Litchi is a sweet tropical fruit which looks like a strawberry, except that the outside of the fruit has a thin shell which must be removed in order to eat the flesh. Litchi can be preserved and grown successfully in the Nadia district of Bengal.
Jackfruit is a large tropical fruit which is very nutritious.
It can be eaten ripe as a fruit or unripe as a protein rich vegetable. Inside the yellow flesh are large starchy seeds. 300 ago there were no potatoes in India.
In those days, the seeds of the jackfruit were eaten.
These seeds are 2.5 times more nutritious than potatoes.
From the dried flesh of jackfruit a kind of vegemeat can be made.
Chámal is a wild cousin of the jackfruit. Although it is similar, it is not as tasty. Vegemeat can also be made from the dried flesh.
Most nuts are rich in protein and very beneficial for vegetarians. There are quite a few nuts which should be grown on our farm projects.
They can be eaten or sold as a cash crop. Some of the nuts which should be grown at Ánanda Nagar are pistachio, almond, walnut, chestnut and cashew. Cashew is more a South Indian tree, but it can also grow in Purulia district.
The cashew nuts grown in India are usually sent to Madras for processing. Some nuts like walnut and chestnut should be the subject of further research.
TEA, COFFEE AND COCOA
In olden times, Buddhist Tantrics used to take a drink which was made from the green leaves of a bush boiled in water.
The beverage kept them warm and gave them instant energy. These Tantrics generally lived in the area of Assam. Modern tea originated in Assam from this beverage.
In Chinese tea the green leaves are generally boiled and taken with butter, but in India the boiled leaves are taken with sugar and milk. The Saḿskrta name for tea is “kamal” and the Chinese name is “cinyá.” In India various black teas are grown and are commonly called “chá.”
The British took tea from India and popularized it throughout the world. Tea is more popular than coffee in England, but not as popular as coffee in South America. Tea requires more water than coffee to grow properly, but it cannot tolerate waterlogging. It grows well on the slopes of Assam. Tea does not require special soil or a lot of rainfall, but the rainwater should not be allowed to accumulate around the plant.
There are three main varieties of tea grown in India:
Assam tea is the most tasty.
Darjeeling tea has the most flavour but the least taste.
The tea from Ghana is less tasty than Indian tea, but is more popular in the world market. The main reason for this is that some Indian businessmen adulterate the tea with tannin. Consequently, it has lost its popularity. In French tea is called “te.” Once upon a time, a shepherd in an Arab country observed some thieves frequently going to a certain place at a fixed time. On their return, he noticed that the thieves always looked sleepy. The next time they came he decided to follow them. Undetected, he watched them eat the leaves of a particular plant. Later he also ate the leaves, but they did not taste very good. So he took some of the leaves, fried and boiled them, after which they became tasty. This is how coffee developed.
Black coffee is coffee which has been fried a lot.
This type of coffee is intoxicating and injurious to health.
If you take it you will feel sleepy, but you will not be able to sleep. Sometimes students take black coffee during their examinations to enable them to study better. But because the coffee makes them feel sleepy, they cannot assimilate what they have read.
Cocoa is less intoxicating than coffee and tea, but if it is taken daily it will become addictive.