Ashel’s record-winning Cambodian grapes hang low for a reason

Ashel says the Cambodian grape is well-suited for Kerala’s climate. Photo: Special arrangement

Ashel of Aluva shot to fame on a bunch of exotic grapes, literally. Ashel managed to grow a 4-kg bunch of Cambodian grapes at his compound in Thaikkattukara in Aluva. The achievement was registered in the record book of the Universal Records Forum (URF) based in Kolkata. URF chief editor Sunil Joseph and photographer Anish Sebastian directly inspected it before acknowledging the record. Ernakulam MP Hibi Eden handed over the certificate.

In a single bunch, there are 600–800 grapes. Ashel, an IT professional, developed an interest in exotic fruits and purchased a sapling from the nursery called 'Veliyath Gardens.’ The sapling grew into a grapevine that is now a sight to behold with its abundant grape clusters.

The news of Ashel’s prized grapes was featured on 'Manorama Online Karshakasree' along with a video. He planted the sapling in the yard by preparing a pit filled with red soil, bone meal, cow dung, and organic fertilizer.

The vines blossomed in six months. Small flower clusters sprouted and the fruit cluster grew over time. The size of the stem also grew commensurate with the number of grape bulbs.

Ashel says the Cambodian grape is well-suited for Kerala’s climate. Even if it rains heavily, there is no loss of flowers. The grapes are ideal for juice extraction. The fact that flowers reappear in the space available on the bunch and subsequently develop into fruits is also a unique feature of this variety, he says.

Ashel with Hibi Eden MP

Ashel’s farm has ten types of fruit trees brought from abroad. Besides the Cambodian grape, there is Terengganu Cherry, Sun Drop, Eugenia florida, Dragon fruit, Abiu, Purple forest guava, Baraba, Medusa pineapple, Jabuticaba, Red Surinam Cherry, and Jicama that Ashel cultivates even in the limited space available.

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