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JAPAN : In chilly Hokkaido, farmer uses hot spring to grow premier mangoes

Mango farmer Mitsumune Murata shows off produce that his friends doubted he could grow. | KYODO



JAN 21, 2016

KUSHIRO, HOKKAIDO – In the cold, snowy town of Teshikaga, Hokkaido, Mitsumune Murata was contemplating how to make use of a plot of land with a hot spring when he came up with a unique idea: mangoes.

Murata is a big fan of onsen (spas), but did not feel like constructing a hot springs facility as there already were many in the neighborhood’s Mashu Onsen area. So he decided to use that thermal energy to heat greenhouses instead.

Perhaps because the tropical fruit was too far removed from the common image of wintry Hokkaido, friends he consulted were all skeptical of his plan and said the business would not work. The negative responses just made him more determined to give it a try.

“Since everyone is saying this is (unfeasible), I thought it would be rather interesting if I actually succeed in making it happen,” the 63-year-old president of Farm People, a local agricultural production corporation, recalled.

Heat from hot water running through underground pipes keeps the greenhouses at around 25 degrees during the day. Even at night when the outside temperature drops to minus 25, it remains a toasty 20 degrees inside. And thanks to the spa water, costs are much lower than using fuel-fed heaters, Murata said.

After establishing his company in September 2011, Murata consulted experienced mango farmers from Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures, two of Japan’s main producers of the fruit. Two years later, in 2013, the farm harvested its first batch of mangoes under the brand name Gokkan Kanjuku Mango — Mashuko no Yuhi (roughly translated as Fully Ripened Mango from the Severe Cold — Sunset at Lake Mashu).

The fruit has bright, dense orange flesh, and a fair sugar content.

In Japan, mangoes are usually harvested from spring through summer, with growers in the southwestern prefectures of Miyazaki, Kagoshima and Okinawa producing 95 percent of the domestic crop, the agriculture ministry said.

But Murata’s mangoes hit the market between November and March, making them a novel and popular purchase during the traditional oseibo gift-giving season in December.

The farm expects to ship about 20,000 mangoes this season. “We aim to increase the shipment to 80,000 in three years,” Murata said.

Murata also shared a little secret — he had actually never eaten a mango before he conceived the idea of growing the fruit himself. Now, all he tastes is sweet success.

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While "Flavor" is very subjective, and each country that grows mangoes is very nationalistic, these are the mango varieties that are the most sought after around the world because of sweetnesss (Brix) and demand.

The Chaunsa has a Brix rating in the 22 degree level which is unheard of!
Carabao claims to be the sweetest mango in the world and was able to register this in the Guiness book of world records.
Perhaps it is time for a GLOBAL taste test ???

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Alphonso (mango)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Alphonso (हापुस Haapoos in Marathi, હાફુસ in Gujarati, ಆಪೂಸ್ Aapoos in Kannada) is a mango cultivar that is considered by many[who?] to be one of the best in terms of sweetness, richness and flavor. 

It has considerable shelf life of a week after it is ripe making it exportable. 

It is also one of the most expensive kinds of mango and is grown mainly in Kokan region of western India.

 It is in season April through May and the fruit wei…

Mangoes date back 65 million years according to research ...

Experts at the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany (BSIP) here have traced the origin of mango to the hills of Meghalaya, India from a 65 million year-old fossil of a mango leaf. 

The earlier fossil records of mango (Mangifera indica) from the Northeast and elsewhere were 25 to 30 million years old. The 'carbonized leaf fossil' from Damalgiri area of Meghalaya hills, believed to be a mango tree from the peninsular India, was found by Dr R. C. Mehrotra, senior scientist, BSIP and his colleagues. 

After careful analysis of the fossil of the mango leaf and leaves of modern plants, the BISP scientist found many of the fossil leaf characters to be similar to mangifera.

An extensive study of the anatomy and morphology of several modern-day species of the genus mangifera with the fossil samples had reinforced the concept that its centre of origin is Northeast India, from where it spread into neighbouring areas, says Dr. Mehrotra. 

The genus is believed to have disseminated into neighb…

DHL (INDIA) makes gifting mangoes as easy as 1-2-3-....

Gifting mangoes is now easy with DHL
Announcement / Corporate

 May 19, 2011, 14:04 IST

Come this summer pamper your loved ones abroad with a box of delicious mangoes through DHL’s Express Easy Mango service, a unique one-stop-shop and hassle-free service for gifting mangoes all across the world.

This unique service by DHL Express, the world’s leading express company, allows customers to send mangoes from India across the world to the following countries Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Hong Kong, Italy, Luxemburg, Maldives, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Qatar Singapore, Switzerland and Sweden.

Mangoes can be availed of free of cost by merely paying for the Air Express service. In addition, DHL Express assists customers with the necessary paperwork along with procurement of quality-grade Alphonso mangoes.

Commenting on the new service, Mr. R.S Subramanian, Country Head, DHL Express India said: “With the advent of the mango season, it is no wonder that DHL Express Ea…