Diwali Gift Hampering…

Create individualized hampers of tisanes, brines, jams, chutneys…

To good health for you and your family!

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Handcrafted Jute gift bags (by artisan Abhijit of Kolkata) hold 3 jars of Vrindavan Farm tisanes, jams, brines

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Handcrafted and hand painted Warli Tea Boxes (by artisan Sunil of Vaknupada) hold 2 or 4 of Vrindavan Farm loose leaf tisanes

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Cane gift hampers hold 6-7 of Vrindavan Farm tisanes, brines, jams, chutney

Amazing Encounters in Food – II

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Farmers Market in a mountain village town

Can a simple relation of good food and man exist, even today?

A recent visit to a small community in the east of France proved it does! Made up of vibrant farmers Sandra, Blanchette and Yves, and bread-makers Nadine and Polo…

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Sandra, the radiant tomato farmer

Sandra nurtures over 150 varieties of tomatoes in her garden, as also herbs and flowers.

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Yves with his produce

Blanchette and Yves grow all sorts of seasonal vegetables, and when asked, What do you do with your left over produce (from a market)? Blanchette replied with full and sturdy eyes… Nothing is left over.

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Nadiene and Polo, bakers with ancient and natural grain

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Sandra in her tomato garden

Nadine and Polo offer bread from ancient grain that’s filled with love.

So why does it work? Small self-sufficient communities with a link between producer and consumer that’s complete. And, including the (super few) steps along the way – the farmers market, the local coop – all are dedicated to good food. The market hosts fruit farmers, vegetable producers, bread makers, cheese makers, forest foragers, and craftsmen that bring together their fabulous produce to share with the community for 4 hours, 2 days a week, year-round. And the produce is absolutely sought out by a community that wishes to eat well. It’s true… The only thing left post market are stories and an amazing sense of community.

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Farmers Market – you buy from the hands that grow

Thanks for sharing your lovely energy and so many seeds!

Amazing Encounters in Food – I

Delegates and Participants of the Slow Food International Movement - Terra Madre Giovani - We Feed the Planet, at the Milan Expo 2015

Delegates and Participants of the Slow Food International Movement – Terra Madre Giovani – We Feed the Planet, at the Milan Expo 2015

The experience commenced with 2500 folk hailing from across the globe, with a single common thread – food. The goal – bringing together to strengthen our food system and creating a global vision of good food.

It’s easy to forget when on land with one’s head in the earth that we’re not alone. This gathering put energy and passion back into our work. A reminder of the pure joy in what we do and why. The food system doesn’t need just growers and fishers; it needs educators, bankers, activists, distributors, chefs, consumers… it needs and touches us all.

Delegates and Participants of the Slow Food International Movement, Terra Madre Giovani - We Feed the Planet - walking toward the Slow Food podium at Milan Expo 2015 Photo Credit: Mimesilab, Source: Slow Food Youth Network

Delegates and Participants of the Slow Food International Movement, Terra Madre Giovani – We Feed the Planet – walking toward the Slow Food podium at Milan Expo 2015
Photo Credit: Mimesilab, Source: Slow Food Youth Network

The massive collective was hosted by the Slow Food Youth Network. Conceived by Joris Lohman, and given birth to with the work of innumerable hands including the amazing Kumud Dadlani (Slow Food India coordinator, steward of Vrindavan Farm, and Food Analyst with Impressario), Francesco Anastasi, Ilara Capria, Maham Rizvi, and many many dedicated and passionate individuals.

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Indian Delegates of The Slow Food International Movement – Terra Madre Giovani – We Feed the Planet at the Milan Expo 2015

The Indian delegate team included Ananda Teertha Pyati (founder of Sahaja Samrudha Organic), Kegitar Lyngkhoi (an Associate in North East Slow Food and Agrobiodiversity Society NESFAS), Rohit Jain (an Indigenous food activist and initiator of Banyan Roots Organic), Achintya Anand (an R&D Chef growing his own micro greens Krishi Cress), Shivani Unakar (student of Hotel Management and Food Studies at Christ University who is already changing the nature of food (returning traditional dishes to the plate, and dealing with food waste)), Gaurav Gurjar (a passionate Permaculture designer, and creator of urban food forests with Swechha India), Ankita Kapoor and Siddhant Mehra (the young and energetic couple of C Green that have initiated many organic farmers markets and are only at the beginning of their venture), Aravindan Neelamegam (organic producer of millets, pulses, traditional paddy and more), and Gaytri Bhatia (environmental analyst, grower and steward of Vrindavan Farm).

Gaytri Bhatia, environmental analyst and producer at Vrindavan Farm presenting at the closing ceremony of the Slow Food International Movement - Terra Madre Giovani - We Feed the Planet at the Milan Expo 2015

Gaytri Bhatia, environmental analyst and producer at Vrindavan Farm presenting at the closing ceremony of the Slow Food International Movement – Terra Madre Giovani – We Feed the Planet at the Milan Expo 2015

The largest experience one walks away with from such a meeting is the network of dedicated individuals in food. Between conference sessions, over meals soaking in the sun, during lengthy bus journeys along the Alps, and over nuts and wine in the late night and early morning hours.. we shared of our experiences, learned from each other, created a vision, and simply spread the energy and love of our work… Encounters included, the lovely ladies of South Africa who exuded positivity and peace – slow food coordinator Zayaan Khan, seed banker Tania Jacobs, and activist Liliana; The passionate South African fisher, Christian Adams, driven to change the world for our children.. Staying abreast with government and policies Christian sees clearly that the people must work for their own interests; Lebanon fruit and vegetable farmer and bee keeper Raed, whose very being demonstrates the simplicity of our work; Ever-kind founder and educator of FACT Collective Gai Lai Mitwichan; Small scale producer Daniella Rodriguez Besosa, who in only 2 years has been growing, educating, and hosting youth on her farm in Puerto Rico, and supported by her sister’s CSA efforts feed the community local and good produce; Creator of delectable Yere chocolates Amona from the Ivory Coast; Indonesian farmers Afi and Emick; Food philosopher David Deijmann, and boy, so many more.

Carlos Petrini, visionary and founder of the Slow Food International Movement presenting at the Terra Madre Giovani - We Feed the Planet closing ceremony in Milan 2015

Carlos Petrini, visionary and founder of the Slow Food International Movement presenting at the Terra Madre Giovani – We Feed the Planet closing ceremony in Milan 2015

The International Slow Food Movement was envisioned by Carlo Petrini, of Bra, Italy. Driven to make a stance against fast food, he’s dedicated his life to bringing slow and well grown food to global status.

It’s a good reminder for me, this paradigm shift we are experiencing in food. Food had became wrought with marketing, brands, labels, certifications, packaging and moved far from the true nature and experience of it. But here we see the hands in food today don’t want to output fastforwarded wholesale junk. They come from passion, from earth stewardship, from pure love… wanting to produce and share food in its holistic and true form.

Some links:

https://www.facebook.com/VrindavanFarm/posts/1031563096901701
https://www.facebook.com/SlowFoodIndia
https://www.facebook.com/slowfoodyouthnetwork
https://www.facebook.com/slowfoodinternational

That’s All Folks…

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The Mango Chronicles

And that’s a wrap for our season! Thanks ALL for sharing in the sweetness.

Ending notes…
Monsieur king fruit sure has a way to whiplash its workers. Did you know, once mango is ripe, the entire tree ripens at once? That’s over 500 fruit from a single tree. So if you’re with more than 1 tree…

This year, while the Jan showers left many agriculturalists wondering about their mango crop, we were showered with almost double the crop from the year before. My guess is, our slow and sustainable natural farming methods are beginning to show.

We brought tons of fruit to Bombay, and you shared it not only with your family and friends locally, but sent it across seas – the UK, Hong Kong, Dubai, China, the US. Chefs explored with mangoes in their kitchens.

The stories you’ve shared kept us going… The school principal who planted herself on the floor, placed a neatly ironed napkin on herself, and proceeded to eat, dripping juice all over, fisherwoman-style. The young lady who remembered only one thing from the night before party, a dude talking about farm mangoes. The Chef that exclaimed, my entire kitchen smells of mango. The lady who shared that her kids chomped through the fruit, for the first time in their lives. The bent over old lady on the street who upon seeing mangoes come into her lap, slowly lifted her head, pulled my face toward her with her street-toughened and thick hands, and kissed my forehead. The guy that said, I don’t really eat mangoes, took one bite, and the statement reversed itself. The BMC street cleaners that stared incredulously at first at the hand from the mango van, followed moments later waving mango to each other, over brooms and across streets. The many who would order a box, and a day later, call, with a sheepish smile in their voice, for another box.

Bombay, thanks for being receptive to naturally nurtured fruit. This year, less folk cared about irregular shape, colour, size, and more folk cared for quality fruit, one that delivers wholesome flavours, but more importantly, one that filled their homes again, of the scents of amba, a memory they had held since childhood.

All this in the span of 5 weeks…

Mirza Ghalib, Urdu and Persian poet, re. the best qualities of mangoes…

“In my vie mangoes should have two qualities, they should be sweet and they should be available in large quantity.”

We couldn’t agree more!

 

Mangoes

Sea of mangoes ripening at Vrindavan Farm