These gentlemen in Kerala, India, are clearly happy about the productive and ancient jackfruit tree in the background. Our friend Shree Padre, who runs a blog dedicated to the crop calls it the “kalpavriksha”, which is a mythical wish-fulfilling divine tree in ancient Sanskrit literature. Jackfruit trees clearly live up to that reputation. A frequent sight in Indian homestead gardens, they give shade and shed plenty of dry leaves to use as garden mulch. Green leaves and roots are occasionally used as medicine. Goats relish these leaves. And the tree remains for centuries and eventually provides valuable timber used in making furniture and musical instruments. And above all there are the delicious fruits, a nearly effortless food source for cooking and direct use.
[Photo courtesy: Shree Padre, 2011]