|Aarti, Vermillion on forehead & flowers|
From Bom Jesus the Mech'71 ers and their charming wives boarded the coach once again and proceeded to the lush green Sahakari Spice farms located in Curti,Ponda for an incredible once in a lifetime tour lasting around two hours & a half. Occupying an enormous area of 130 acres, 60 acres of this area is exclusively devoted to the cultivation of Spices, Fruits, Medicinal trees and Herbs. This Organic Spice Farm is reputed for the various types of Spices grown in a systematic and scientific manner. Some of these spices include: Vanila,nutmeg,cinnamon,cardamom,pepper,cloves,chilli,curry leaves,turmeric & ginger.
We were welcomed into the spice farm by traditional Aarti,Kumkum & a shower of flower petals by dainty young Goan damsels with dazzling smiles.We were then taken to a thatched restaurant, seated in round formation and served refreshing aromatic herbal drinks.
A young attractive girl was appointed to take us on a guided tour of the plantation.She explained the importance and provenance of the spices, their growing procedures and climatic requirements. The spice garden was truly enchanting place and the young energetic guide had everyone transfixed by her deep knowledge and incisive and impressive presentation. After the truly enlightening tour we were back to the starting point.Each one of us had a unique experience of having chilled herbal water being poured down the nape of our neck for a spine tingling sensation - pure ecstasy.Next we were served a largely vegetarian lunch all cooked in typical Konkani style, fish & chicken for the non vegetarians, and seasonal fruits. After lunch visitors are allowed to go on a shopping spree - variety of spices, ointments and oils & handicrafts.
We witnessed a superb tree climbing demo by a young dare devil local and the video clip (courtesy Bhav Dutt) is posted here.