Papaya (Carica papaya) was called the 'angel fruit' by Columbus and it is deemed by many as a wonder fruit for its delicious taste, flavour, nutritional benefits and medicinal properties. At NaturePinks Gardens, we have about 360 plants of organically grown Papaya which are now under fruiting. We harvest the fruit once or twice a week and distribute them in select localities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad.
We planted our Red Lady papaya seed in early-mid 2013 and tended the seedlings in our nursery until we transplanted them in the rainy season of 2013. Right now in Feb 2015, our plants are about 10 feet tall and produce fruit each week. Papaya is a delicate plant and needs close care. It is prone to a number of plant diseases that can easily devastate years of hard work in a matter of days. Red Lady is one hybrid that is relatively tolerant to some of the diseases and its fruit has decent keeping quality when transported carefully. Papaya also requires regular irrigation while at the same time being highly sensitive to even a short period of water logging.
Our organic papayas get a good dose of vermicompost and panchagavya regularly. We mulch our plants and use drip irrigation to keep the water requirements of the plants satisfied. Our plants receive a regular spray of organic concoctions comprising neem oil, panchagavya and a variety of safe bioagents to keep pests and diseases at bay. If you see traces of white talc on the fruits or around the plants, it is from a recent spray and is completely safe. An occasional dash of foliar trace elements keeps our plants healthy and balanced. As with all of our crops, we do not use synthetic chemical pesticides and fertilizers as detailed under our farm philosophy.
Fruit flies are a big problem in Papaya and we use pheromone traps to reduce fruit fly populations. We harvest fruits before they are fully ripe, and when absolutely necessary even wrap the fruits in paper right on the plants for physical protection from the insects. We had a period of leaf shedding by all the plants Sep-Oct last year that we believe was an effect of the unseasonal rains together with the coldness. The sweetness and yield of the fruits took a short dip after this period only to get restored to normal soon after.
We harvest, transport and distribute our organic papaya fruit ourselves. A part of our produce is also distributed through our distribution partners; so if you have had organic papaya in Hyderabad recently, odds are that you have tasted some from our farm! Customer feedback on our organic papayas has been 'delectable'. The flavour and sweetness come from the care and attention we pay to our papayas.
If you are interested in having a bite of our organic papaya, please read how on the contact page.
Papaya Nutritional information
Papayas are very low in calories (39 calories per 100g) and are a good source of vitamins C, E, A; essential nutrients, minerals and antioxidants. Papaya makes a healthy breakfast and is a common part of salads and juices. Papaya is said to have medicinal value in treatment of dengue fever, intestinal worms, constipation, premature ageing, lowering of cholesterol and menstrual problems. The fruit is also used as a component of face packs for cleansing of the skin.