Guest Blog: Farm to Vitamins
Thanks so much everyone for the thoughtful notes and love!!
I am so thrilled to have Jeffrey share on his visit to one of the farms that we source a key ingredient from for our multi vitamins and vitamin C, Amla berry! If you have not tried our vitamin C, you must! The orange tangerine spray tastes like Tang! The cherry tangerine flavor is my new obsession, I carry it everywhere cause it’s like candy – only no sugar! It’s so delicious! We will be giving away our Vitamin C to 5 kind lifers. To enter this giveaway, leave a comment below on why you’re excited to try it! We will announce the winner on Friday 6/17/16.
Jeff’s story below helps demonstrate how our vitamins really are farm to bottle. How cool is that?
When we source our organic produce for mykind Organics, we look globally, but we think locally. How do our farms carry out their organic practices? What are their labor practices? How do they ensure that quality controls are maintained at the highest levels.
Yes, we use well-known third party agencies to conduct audits, inspections, and certifications. And we review documentation, standard operating procedures and even the family history of ownership for our suppliers. But in the end, there’s no substitute for seeing it all with your own eyes. That’s why I am making the journey near thirty hours away, to India.
My Indian hosts are a unique husband and wife. Both are scientists who have committed their lives to researching the fruit, vegetables and herbs used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine. They are award winning chemists who hold over thirty worldwide patents for their discoveries, particularly in the areas of botanical extraction. They became Organic farmers around fifteen years ago when they realized that the proliferation of genetically modified food crops was a real threat to the diversity and nutritional value of our food stream. They purchased a large tract of barren land, at the edge of a forest, far from the areas growing industrialization. There, they applied their unique combination of ancient farming techniques and modern science to develop one of the most productive farms I’ve ever seen.
Their farm, around an hour from the nearest city, is barely accessible by small vehicles. This building runs entirely on solar power and is also equipped with rain water reclamation and water purification facilities that feed to a modern bathroom with a modern two-flush system. Connected to the main house is a stable for free roaming cows who are treated with great reverence as honored farm-guests.
On the day I visit, they are harvesting Organic Amla fruit. Amla, sometimes called Indian Gooseberry, is a green fleshy and juicy fruit that has a sour taste that reminds me of a cross between a cantaloupe and a lime. The Amla berry is a staple of Ayurvedic tradition and is well known for its high vitamin C content.
The fruit are being harvested by hand. In fact, all of the crops on this farm are harvested that way. There’s no machinery – no diesel – ever used here. Unlike the normal Amla trees throughout the country, these organic trees have larger berries (roughly 30% larger), with greater nutritional density than the norm. Even more, they bear fruit three times annually while conventional trees fruit only once or twice.
What is your secret to success, I ask?
These are humble scientists and I am practically begging them to brag on their innovations. But they quickly get up and we hike to a far part of the farm where they show me a cement structure with a thatch roof. The structure has three troths, and here lays there secret. It’s an ancient farming technique used for generations, learned from studying Ayurvedic history. In the three troths is compost rich in earth worms. As I walk closer to the buckets my eyes start to water. Each bucket ferments a mixture of plant parts and cow dung for up to three months. When it is ready, the liquid turns an opaque yellow color.
This is truly a world of ancient and modern contradictions.
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