We started this year with 55 retail locations across Canada stocking our spices and a fabulous trip to go and meet the farmers who are growing our increasingly popular products! Apart from learning so much about how far organic farming has come along in India and of course seeing the spices in their sapling form to ready for harvest, the one thing we took away from our tours was just how much love, effort and skill these farmers dedicate to growing such beautiful spices. Their infectious smiles and warm hospitality was only a tiny glimpse into the love they pour into their farms and crops. No wonder we feel so much more connected to our products and more appreciative of their freshness and journey.
He owns a small farm near a windfarm in southern Indian growing organic ginger. The ginger is then washed, sliced, sun dried and then powdered. Did you know that the ginger crop takes up so many nutrients from the soil that, once harvested, ginger cannot be grown in that same plot of land for a few years? This means Farmer Dehra has to be so versatile in what he grows on this plot in future years and hope that the yields will be good.
Farmer Joy has a 2 acre farm growing ginger and turmeric. Both of these spices are from the ginger family so grow in similar soil conditions. Turmeric takes about 9 months to grow and when the leaves are dry, the roots are ready to harvest. Shortly after, it is boiled for many hours before being sun dried (what the daughter is holding) and powdered.
best Cardamom in the world is grown. Who knew that cardamom needed such skilled pickers for it to be the best quality - the difference between the inside of your cardamom pods being black seeds or gray or brown seeds is all down to the picker knowing which pods are ripe or not. The pods are then dried and graded by size and volatile oil content, bold grade being the best available.
Farmer Ganesh owns a beautiful farm with his family and brother. They, like many farmers, utilise intercropping. This means they learn to grow different crops among different trees and soil conditions to optimise yields. Here we saw organic nutmeg, bananas, vanilla, turmeric, tamarind, lemongrass, dragonfruit and more!