However sumptuous it may be, a Thiruvonam lunch can never be savoured if it is not served on a banana leaf.
While the courtyards of many houses still have banana plants, there are also many houses that do not have these plants. Some of those who have the plants, cut the leaves half heartedly because they care for the plant.
Very often banana leaves are an eleventh hour ingredient for the Onam lunch and at that hour the price tag on banana leaves is not a problem. That is the reason why huge quantities of banana leaves reach the State from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh during Onam.
But for this Onam lunch, the Kollam district panchayat is planning to give four banana leaves as a gift along with the 10,000 plus kits of organically grown vegetable the panchayat plans to sell at fair prices.
The kits will contain 10 varieties of vegetables grown in the farms of the panchayat.
District panchayat president, S. Jayamohan, after inspecting the banana crops of these farms recently, said that over 5,000 ‘Njaalipoovan’ variety banana bunches were ready for harvest at the Anchal government farm alone. Each vegetable kit would contain a pack of ‘Njaalipoovan’ banana.
This was a much sought-after banana variety which was very sweet. The leaves of the harvested plants would be cut and distributed as Onam complement along with the kits.
To check plastic use
Mr. Jayamohan said that it was part of an effort from the district panchayat to reduce the use of plastics as many had started using plastic-coated banana leaves to serve Onam lunch. And these were leaves from organically grown plants, he added.