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iXiGOers May 01 2013

Which are the orchards and farms across India where I can go fruit picking?

Manavi Kapur May 01 2013
2 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Remember those long summer days back when we were kids? When summertime spelt out to endless hours of playing hide and seek, pretending to slay the ferocious dragon and catch the notorious dacoit and when all else failed, climb up trees in the hope of finding the juiciest fruit and then be chased out by fuming gardeners. Simple, pure fun, wasn’t it? 

Well, its time to come out of your nostalgic flashback, leave the chilling confines of your air conditioned room and enjoy summer the way it was always meant to be- out in the shining sun, climbing up trees and picking and eating your way through deliciously ripe and juicy fruits.

Now just to be clear we are not asking you to climb over the neighbour’s fence, lurk in the shadows and when it's all clear, climb up that mango tree that has been calling to you with its decidedly juicy mangoes. No, what we have in mind is less forbidding but equally, if not more, exciting, adventurous and, yes, simple pure fun.

Spread across India's countryside are orchards and farms where you can indulge in picking fruits off the boughs and in the name of helping out local farmers climb up fruit laden trees. Some of the more popular orchards and farms across India where you can go on a fruit-picking marathon are listed below:

Organic Farming in Dahanau

For those with a green thumb, and even those who want to grow one, head over to Dahanau, 130 km from Mumbai where Save Farm is situated. Created out of a once-barren piece of land, Save Farm today has a lush bounty of orchards and organic farms. Out here not only can you stay amidst fragrant orchards, but also pick a few pointers on vermiculture, techniques of composting, harvesting and cultivating kitchen gardens of your own- techniques that they impart to local farmers as well.

Their in-house Fruit Processing unit is where incredibly delicious products like squash, jams, pickles, etc are created out of Sapota, good, old chikoo for the uninitiated, Gunda (Cordia) and Mango. And if everything sounds like too much work, then you can simply explore the farms, enjoy their succulent bounty and yes, indulge in a spot of fruit picking at their orchards.

Save Farm

Address: Post Gholwad, Dahanau, Thane district, Maharashtra, India

Telephone: +91-93222-37324/98220-78153

Official websitehttp://www.savefarm.in

December to March is Chikoo season

Grape Crushing and Vineyards in Nashik

Whether you are a wine connoisseur and go all ‘there’s a hint of...’ at the first sip of wine or cannot tell one wine from the other no matter how many bottles you swig down, the lush tangle of vineyards by the countryside of Nashik, Satara, Beed, Latur and Sholapur is sure to be a fascinating, tempting sight, one that simply calls out for an exploration at the very least.

Sula winery regularly conducts a very engaging tour of its vineyards in addition to wine tasting among other things. Out here you can stay at their in-house luxurious resort situated a short distance from the vineyards. Even York and Zampa winery conduct guided tours of their vineyards where you can see the wine-making process in action, pick grapes off the vines and then indulge in some delicious food paired with wine at their in-house cafes. Feeling a little full and sluggish? How about a spot of grape stomping in massive wooden tubs?

If you sign up with Nashik Wine Tour they will take you on a tour through across all the 3 wineries.

Nashik Wine Tour

Address: Shop No 30, C-Wing, Westend Riverview, New DP Road, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Telephone: +91-20-32403447

Official website:http://www.blackgrapeholidays.com/nashik

Sula Vineyard

Address: Survey 36/2, Gangapur-Savargaon Rd, Nashik  Maharashtra, India

Telephone: +91-253-2231720

Official website: http://sulawines.com

January to mid-May is Grape season

Farming Retreat in Amritsar

What better way to spend balmy summer mornings than amidst lush flowing farm fields of Punjab and heading out on tractor rides through the countryside every morning. Make your way to Green Acres Haveli in Amritsar where an olden farm house welcomes you into its ancient folds, where you can rekindle your farm life image and spend the days picking fruits in their vast orchards or simply lazing around after heavy farm meals. June to July is when you can indulge in picking plums at their massive plum orchards. 

Apart from plums there are fragrant, lush groves of papaya, banana, pear and guava. They organize tractor rides past the countryside that take you to the surrounding villages- cultural immersion at its most fun-filled. While fruit picking and tractor rides are all very well, no farmstay can be complete without milking cows and yes, out at Green Acres you will get an opportunity to do just that. A short distance from Green Acres Haveli is Wagah Border, the only border road crossing between India and Pakistan and Punjab’s crowning glory- the Golden temple.

Green Acres Haveli

Address: Airport Road, Amritsar, Punjab, India

Telephone: +91-97819-83828

June to July is Plum season.

Squashing Oranges in Punjab

Time for some zest in life, the orange kind. The perfect antidote to cold winter mornings, wrap yourself in the tangy aroma of kinnows, sweet oranges and mandarins that floats through the lush tangle of Punjab’s tangerine orchards. Jyani Natural farms in Kathera village in particular is a delightful option for rekindling those farm life retirement dreams you have always harbored. 

Set amidst bounteous farms and orchards, out at Jyani Natural farm in addition to picking fruits from their huge orchards you can actually learn how to make squash out of kinnow that has been freshly pickled.

Jyani Natural Farms:

Address: Katehra, Fazilka, Punjab, India

Telephone: +91-163-8233021

Official websitehttp://jyaninaturalfarm.com/

October end to February is Citrus season.

Himalayan bounty

Slopes of mountain ranges carpeted with lush green trees that are speckled with juicy red apples- make your way to the apple orchards of Himachal Pradesh, yet another delightful fruit-picking retreat. Kinnaur, Shimla, Rohru and Kotgarh are replete with lush apple orchards and you can pick your way through them during apple season. 

One such place is in Thanedar- Banjara Orchard Retreat. Out here you can venture on exciting treks that are punctuated with picking apples off the boughs.

Banjara Orchard Retreat:

Address: Thanedar, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India

Telephone: +91-1782-222265/94180-77180

Official websitehttp://www.banjaracamps.com/

June to September is Apple season

Mango marathon in Maharashtra

Any fruit-picking venture will be incomplete without a mention of the king of fruits and India’s national fruit- Mango. A fruit whose mere aroma can get intoxicating, plucking ripe mangoes off branches was probably what got you initiated in the entire business of climbing up fruit laden trees back as a child. 

Rekindle your childhood days at the lush orchards of Majhya Mamacha Gaon project situated in Boisar, Thane. Out here you can spend the entire weekend helping out local farmers plucking mangoes during season. Then there is Ganesh Agro Tourism where too you can indulge in picking mangoes off of branches.

Majhya Mamacha Gaon Project

Address: Aptyache Khore, Munadhar, Guhagar, Ratnagiri, Maharashtra, India

Telephone: +91-99870-64070/94226-90530

Website: http://majhyamamachagaon.com/

May to July end is Mango season

Explore the vineyards of Maharashtra and see the divine magic of wine creation unfold right before your eyes or stroll through orchards replete with plums in Punjab and indulge in taking bites out of zesty tangerines- taking a bite into fruits will never be the same for you.

As you pick your way through the lush fruit-laden orchards and find some making their way down your stomach instead of your fruit basket, do remember to pay for them.

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