Local Superfoods

As awareness grows of the food we eat, we can inform our choices of what’s nutritionally meaningful with what’s available locally. Yes it’s true, we do have local alternatives to matcha, quinoa, and more – moringa, superfood, cntAND they’re superfoods. Read 10 Indian Alternatives to International Superfoods by Kumud Dadlani (published in Conde Nast Traveller) to learn about moringa, amaranth, and more of our local hidden treasures.

 

Image: Source CNT August 11, 2017

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That’s All Folks!

‘Nother fabulous season – thank you all! 7 weeks and nearly 6000 kgs of mango fed to the city! Close to another 1000 kg shared locally in our village, including the birds, critters, and bacteria claiming their share. Highlights of our season…
– The land fed us more mango and variety than ever before (oh the secrets the trees hold).
– We met some amazing people. You shared our mangoes with your friends (and gave us so much Insta love), that brought more mango to more people.
– We reached nearly every corner of the city (and several others), with the mango, despite our uber small team.
– Kitchens, Cafes, Restaurants served up some super fun mango dishes (often leaving us jonsing for a taste).
– A farm visit saw folks gather and feast on the mango at source.
– Hands continue to come out of nowhere to help us.
– Spreading the sweetness at the betterfoods farmers’ market.
– At distribution, one of the most fulfilling parts of the season, while his friends were asking for raincoats, one bright lad with a mango grin said, “Didi tution dilva do” (so a side shout out – anyone educating street kids in south Bombay?)
– And finally, while buying mango, you’ll even contributed to our fund raiser to kick start an organic farm for an Adivasi farmer in our village.
Thanks for making this so much more than just a mango season.
While that’s a wrap for our fresh mango, we’ve got mango thins, aamrass, herbal teas, preserves, and other awesome produce we grow year-round.
#mangodiaries #vrindavanfarmseason ends

We’ve been…

…growing heirloom tomatoes

…learning about roots

…making ghee (clarified butter)

vrindavan farm, local cows, clarified butter, ghee

…grazing and milking our growing family of cows

…making our own packaging from supari (betel) tree leaves

…fermenting edibles from the zen garden!

…expanding our heirloom tomato collection

 

…sourcing produce from other farmers to encourage their good practices and get them better value for their work

 

What’s on the horizon? … Bees! We hope to home the hardworking-pollinating-honey-making-compound-eyed ones soon.

Where we’ve been…

The torrential rains of the monsoon allow us a bit of a breather on the land. Mother nature waters, we sit back, eat cukes, harvest, and work minimally not letting the jungle overtake. Post monsoon, we get busy. A quick rendition…

Members – two new members have joined us on the land. In India, the cow is synonymous with the mother and considered a Goddess (Devi). Sure, the cow gives milk, but for a grower, she shits and pees all over the land. We’ve willed their presence for some years now and are stoked to be joined by these two gorgeous ladies, with their massive strength and gentle presence.

Sows – while the monsoons have stretched over  by a month, we can’t pass up a sow period. We kickstarted the year with heirloom tomatoes (adding 3 new varieties to the collection from last), cucumbers (1 heirloom variety and another indigenous one), gourds (several local varieties). In store next are chillis, brinjal, radish, microgreens, and a host of weirdly coloured heirloom veggie seeds we got our hands on!

toms

Ingredients – always foraging for food off the land. Sure, we grow, but what does the forest have for us?! This year, we were introduced to a whole list of indigenous monsoon vegs, also bamboo shoots, and we received some delightful mushroom harvests!

Ferments – our ferment continues to brew, feed for the soil, bubbling with life as we continually add new ingredients off the land

Harvests – harvests have included gourds, herbs, pumpkins, and flowers

Making Friends and Foes – as we ogle at the beauty and variety of nature’s creation, and delve into what role they play on the land… well, we make some friends and some foes. For the burrower, our til is kept to a mimimum. And the hornworm in all it’s beauty, does feed off our saplings and is now fed to the fish.

Spreading the knowledge – our goal is to see all growers evolve to clean practices. This year, we have begun work on PurnaMadhuVan, a plot of land around the bend from us, committed to growing clean and nutritious food. Here, starting from the blank slate, we sowed fruit trees for future generations, herbs for a couple years down, shared with them several of our saplings, and shared with you their bitter gourd and pumpkin.

And now, it’s back to the land.

Forest Foods

The monsoons, the earth births all seed that until now sat in potential, including a variety of edibles… kaodi sabzi, kadu kand, mahua, and more.  The forests leave no man hungry.  The knowledge too exists.  The lands we’re willing to leave wild though, these are the lands where one can find the most nutritious foods.