Twenty years ago, Rajendra Hindumane developed an interest in collecting exotic fruits. Today, he has grown 1,300 types of fruit plants, spices, and medicinal herbs on his farm.
The farm, located in Karnataka’s Dakshina Kannada region, hosts various species from Vietnam, Brazil, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Rajendra also collects seeds from West Bengal and Kerala. They are grown and observed in polyhouses before being planted in open fields.
“Many times, despite my best efforts the plants have died, but I persisted and learnt the agronomic practices to be followed,” he says.
His two daughters, Megha and Gagana, both software engineers, also encourage and participate in their father’s hobby.
They maintain a database of the plants growing on the farm with details like botanical names, local names, habitats, flowering and fruiting season, their medicinal properties, peculiarities, etc.
He grows an extensive collection of Appemidi, a mango pickle variety native to the Malnad region.
The farm has 60 varieties of Appemidi and the family makes around 150 kg of pickles.
In Rajendra’s fruit garden, one can find 65 varieties of mango, 40 varieties of bananas, 30 varieties of custard apples, 18 varieties of water apples, 4 varieties of coffee and a lot more.
Additionally, commercial crops like coffee, cacao, cinnamon, vanilla, pepper, ginger, clove, turmeric and nutmeg, etc, can also be found on his farms.
The 55-year-old farmer’s home is always full of rare and different fruits. He calls his farm and home a “fruit lover’s paradise”.