I had been trying to get a supply of A2 milk since a year but was unsuccessful.Finally got my first bottle of A2 milk delivered by Organo farm store a few days ago.Soon after I got a message that a Santha (farmer’s market) is being organised at organo Naandi and that we can visit their farms too.Organo is starting a concept where a consumer can adopt a farmer and grow veggies which are delivered fresh every week at their doorstep.Wanted to checkout what they were up to and landed at Organo Naandi this morning with Mom.Stepped into a store selling Organic groceries.I was expecting to see lot of fresh veggies and found that there weren’t any. When I enquired , we were told that we will soon be taken to a farm. Saw a few more families arriving.Thought that the veggies would be available at the farms. We were then led to the farms a few km from the store.Saw a few people marking and placing papers (with names of veggies written) on a freshly tilled farmland. Also saw a few cows and calves nearby.Very soon a Farmer and his wife arrived. They began doing puja to the cows that were tied nearby.It was then that we realised that the farm was being inaugurated that day. They hadn’t revealed this event to us.Soon a bottle of cow urine and tricodomas were poured in two dishes. Out came a few packets of Vegetable seeds.The seeds were rinsed in each of the liquids and placed on a jute sack for drying.A few Questionss and Answers were exchanged between the visitors and the Farmer and the caretaker.It was time to sow the seeds and the farmers wife took a few seeds and started sowing. The visitors were told that they can volunteer to sow.Some of us took a few seeds and walked across the field and stuck a few seeds in the soil. Was a different kind of experience. Felt good.Sweets were distributed .We were told that lunch is being served at the Organo farm store. Reached the lunch venue . Had a simple lunch made with millets.Picked up a few groceries and started back . We were disappointed on not getting veggies but were happy that we had a good time at the farm.The weather was great…cloudy with cool breeze blowing..Overall a wonderful surprise for me and Mom.
My search for Organic veggies led me to the discovery of Farmizen.
A concept where one can rent a piece of land for growing veggies. All the hard work is done by the Farmer who is a partner of Farmizen. A Plots of 20×30 feet can be rented for Rs2500/-. A variety of veggies are grown and delivered to our home every week.
I rented one such plot and have been receiving veggies every week.
Received these veggies this week.
It’s been more than a month that I have subscribed to Farmizen. The veggies are grown using organic manure and pesticides.
The Farmizen app is very user friendly. Status of the plants in our plot is updated frequently. Updates on watering of the plants, application of pesticides , time for harvesting etc are posted . We can also request for photographs of the plants in our plot via the app.
A notification is sent via the app about the date of delivery of veggies . Facility to pin the location of our home address in a map is provided in the app.
We can also visit the farm 6 times a month. I have been to the farm thrice and it is nice to see the veggies growing . Love driving to the farm which is close to Himayatsagar lake.
Looking forward to visit again once the monsoons are here.
I love looking at various places all over the world on Google Maps. I enjoy going through the photographs that people post there. Gives a vicarious pleasure 🙂
Each time I look at Hyderabad , my home town , on Google Maps , the two prominent lakes namely Osmansagar and Himayatsagar always attract me.
Very often I zoom into the areas around these lakes and imagine driving around these places. Thankfully , construction activities are not permitted in the catchment areas of these two lakes . I see lots of Farms/Resorts around the lakes and the place looks beautiful from up above :)) . I always wanted to go there some day. That someday finally arrived . Went on Sunday .Mom too wanted to go for a long drive with the kids just before she gets her eye operated for cataract . Mom and I have this craze for exploring/visiting open farms and fields . Went there yesterday along with my Mom, niece and nephew . The area adjacent to the lake obviously has sufficient ground water and the whole area is cool , nice and green even during peak Summer which we are now experiencing.
Here are a few pics from the drive.
Spotted an Ibis, a black bird with a long curved beak.
These women were cutting Spinach and tying them into bunches which will be sold in the markets.
Got freshly picked Bhendi’s and Bottle Gourds from one of the owners.
Car Dikki 🙂
The kids had fun playing with the cool water flowing from a Borewell pipe.
Another farm had Chukka koora, also called Khatta Palak in Hindi.
The owner gave us some Chukka koora.
My Nephew was excited to see Chicken and Eggs in this Poultry farm. He came back screaming “I saw eggs !! ” 🙂
We should have picked up a few dozens of Eggs too 😉
We saw a few buffaloes which were being milked . Wanted to ask if they would sell some milk but we didn’t have any container either. Our Driver suggested we use the water bottles. We were on the fag end of our trip so we quickly gulped the leftover water and filled two bottles with fresh milk 🙂 .
We took the road less traveled. Lots of Narrow paths leading to these fields. Would have been risky if it was the rainy season. We did see a lot of fruit bearing trees Came across lots of farms with Mango, Lemon , Jack-fruit and Sapota/Cheeku trees.
Thanks to Google Maps and GPS , I was able to easily guide our driver around these narrow paths . Came back home with some fresh goodies and a great experience.
Lot more areas to be explored around these lakes. Will go back for more :).
A long drive:
Time for another loong drive a little away from the city.
This time we chose to drive towards Vikarabad.
So glad that our Driver agreed to come on a Sunday. A cool guy who almost always agrees to come even on a Sunday, whenever I am in the mood to go out. Went with Mom and dragged my brother too.
We drove via chevella , reached Vikarabad … continued to drive towards kotpally reservoir/dam. We didn’t go close to the dam but got a glimpse of the reservoir. Very beautiful serene place. It is unbelievable that such a beautiful lake exists on the outskirts of the city. A few folks from the city seem to get away from the hustle bustle of the city to spend a day here. Do take a lot of food and water when you plan to visit this place. Don’t expect to find any food or water anywhere near the reservoir. Came across groups of bikers who seemed to enjoy an early morning ride to the reservoir.
All through the route we noticed that it was mostly forest like area with hardly any cultivation. Came across very few villages and hardly saw people in these villages except for a few shepherds with their flock.
Not much greenery during this time of the year.
I liked the way the houses were built in some of the villages around this area. They were built in the shape of an L or U or a square with a central courtyard. All the houses were creamy/white in colour as they use the famous Tandur stones to build the walls and roofs of the houses. This place named Tandur is very close from Kotpally. Tandur tiles are very popular in constrcution of houses in Urban area s too. These stones are mined around this town.
Was tempted to go and knock on one of these houses but didn’t 🙂 . There is always another time.
We decided to drive back home via Mominpet and Sadashivpet.
One doesn’t have to go very far out of the city for taking a break once in a while , to breathe in some fresh air and to soothe the soul.
My Garden :
I was lucky this time with growing ‘Chukka koora’.
A green leafy veggie which is also called ‘khatta palak’ in Hindi. I harvested the leaves three times so far. This leaf is used for preparing dals , chutneys and other recipes.
I also got a few Petunias, Pansies and Dianthus for my Sunny balcony. Love these flowers . They bid farewell in the morning and welcome me back home in the evening.
I lost a few of the Petunia plants due to over watering. The roots of these plants rot due to water logging . Learnt my lesson 🙂
Fell sick :
Was down with runny nose , Sore throat, Bronchitis again. Had to take Antibiotics 🙁 . I have been avoiding supermarkets,Malls etc. This time the reason for the attack is a visit to one of the manufacturing shops in our factory. The meeting was in the Conference room inside the shop floor but there was no escape from the dust.
Time for my yearly sojourn to Granny’s village near Kavali. From 23 Dec 2017 to 27 Dec 2017.
Drove from Hyderabad to Kavali via Nalgonda-Narsaraopet-Chilakaluripet-Ongole.
Started at 7am and planned to have breakfast at Village Aharam , an organic restaurant which is around 20km after exiting the ORR. We saw huge crowds and so decided to go to NGrill resto which is 50km from the ORR. This was equally crowded and had to wait for a table.
This stretch is a busy one , with lots of people driving between Hyderabad and Vijayawada and prefer to have breakfast in one of these places.
Stopped for lunch after crossing Narasaraopet . Found a kachcha road on the left and parked under a tree.
A pleasant drive with all the greenery and great weather. This time of the year is beautiful for travelling by road. Excellent roads especially the stretch from Chilakaluripet to Kavali which is part of the National Quadrilateral. It is an 8 lane express highway , maintained beautifully and is as good as any interstate highway in the USA and other developed countries. Thanks to our erstwhile Prime Minister Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee , we are able to drive on such roads in India.
We drove through a variety of fields . It is the season for various crops like Chilli , Cotton , Tobacco and Paddy during this time of the year.
Reached Kavali by 4pm. A non-stop drive would take 7 hours.
Life in a village is like life on another planet . They have their own set of joys and challenges.
Here are a few sights along the drive :
A Marigold field.
The Krishna river near Miryalaguda. The left bank of the river is in Telangana and the right bank is in Andhra Pradesh.
There is a Restaurant above this Toll gate.
Following pics are from our village :
Spent a few days in our village which is 5km from the Bay of Bengal. The population in the village is around 500 . Each time I visit , I see a few developments in the village . One of the road leading to the village is being widened as a small harbour is being developed around this part of the ocean . Lots of Autos in the village now . The erstwhile Bus has been stopped due to increase in the number of Autos. A water tanker supplies water to every house in the village for washing/cleaning purposes. There are no water supply yet, though pipelines have been laid. Filtered drinking water is also supplied in 20 liter plastic drums from a water treatment plant for a decent price. The underground water in this area is salty and not fit for drinking. There is just one well on the outskirts of the village which has sweet water. One of them in the village has bought a Car and an Air Conditioner. The first signs of urbanisation in the village 🙂 Sign of prosperity .
Recently TTD has started construction of a Rama temple in the village.
Smartphones are being used to check weather conditions , levels of water in the surrounding lakes as the irrigiation is through canals . They also check information about government schemes.
Enjoyed fresh unpolluted air and fresh food. Started back on the 5th day at 9am and reached Hyderabad at 5pm. Had our packed lunch under a huge tamarind tree . Had Tea at Vivera restaurant near Narketpally. One can buy some fresh veggies too at this place.
Back to the hustle bustle of the city…as we enter the Financial district in Hyderabad …
Till my next visit…..
A wish of mine, which is about travelling to the ‘Kerala of the East’ materialized quite soon. My cousin planned his Son’s wedding in Annavaram. This little town close to the Indian East coast is popular for its Satyanarayana Swamy temple. The temple is on a little hill which is part of the Eastern ghats in South India.
We drove from Hyderabad to Annavaram , via Vijayawada and Rajahmundry. Started at 7am and had breakfast at N Grill Resto on NH65 . This place is 50km after you exit the Outer Ring Road . It is a new restaurant, spic and span with good food and well maintained rest rooms.
We didn’t stop anywhere else till we reached Vijayawada. Had lunch at my Cousin’s place in Vijayawada where the ‘Pellikoduku’ event took place. After lunch we started off to Annavaram via Rajahmundry at around 4pm. The road from Vijayawada up to Eluru was very bad ,in-spite of toll being collected on this stretch. Supposed to be one of the busiest stretches in the country.
Took almost 5 hours to reach Annavaram , checked into Hotel Abhay . Not up to my expectations, but we were too tired to crib about the upkeep of the place and crashed for the day. Woke up to a beautiful view of the Pampa Reservoir and the Eastern Ghats , adjacent to the hotel . The reservoir was full owing to the recent bountiful rains.
This was the best part of our journey.
Went for the early morning darshan. Annavaram Temple is very popular for performing mass ‘Satyanarayana Swamy Vratam’ by couples and also for performing Mass weddings. Saw lots of newly weds all over the place. There are small temporary Mandaps in a few places where the wedding vows are made. Reminded me of an Assembly line production factory where married couples are churned out 🙂 .
Got back to our room after darshan of Sri Satyanarayana Swamy and got dressed for the wedding , to be held at one of the A/C halls adjacent to the temple.
Met lots of Cousins and their families. Started back to Hyderabad immediately after the wedding via Rajamundry and Vijayawada.
On my way back I noticed stubble burning in the recently harvested fields. All the while I assumed that stubble burning is restricted to Punjab and other states around Delhi , but to my surprise I saw lots of fields being burnt in Andhra Pradesh too.
Mechanical Harvesters are being used all over the country . This is clearly a side effect of using Mechanical Harvesters which leave a stubble one feet in height while harvesting.
The farmers have no time to let the stubble rot in the soil as they have to immediately sow the next crop. Hence burning is the easiest way out with no cost involved. High time to solve this menace and stop all the pollution.
As we got closer to Rajahmundry , we came across lots of plant nurseries stretching for several kilometers on either side of the road . Did not have the time to stop by as we would get late. All the plant nurseries in Hyderbad are maintained by folks coming from this place.
Had dinner at Hotel Vivera near Narketpally , which is around 55km from Outer Ring Road. One of the best places , closer to Hyderabad , where once can stop for a quick snack or even have lunch/dinner.
This trip almost fulfilled another wish of mine where I wanted to stay by a riverside for a few days. However, I got the opportunity to spend a beautiful morning by a reservoir flanked by hills and sipping coffee 🙂
This time we drove South towards Shadnagar .The town is on the right side of NH7 while going towards Bangalore from Hyderabad. We took a left turn as soon as we reached the town. After driving straight for a couple of kilometers we took a detour just after a village named Buchigudem.
Very soon we came across a tomato farm. Several men and women were busy harvesting ripe tomatoes in the farm.
As usual I was excited and hoped to get hold of some tomatoes.
Despite the hot summer there were a few fields here and there.
We moved closer to the labourers and asked if they would sell the produce to us. They told us to ask the owner who was sitting close by.
The owner agreed and we managed to dump 10kilos in the rear of our car.
He agreed to give 10kilos for just Rs 100. Whereas these were being sold for three times the price in the city.
I spotted goru chikkudu kaayalu or Cluster beans stored in plastic bags near the heap of tomatoes and we picked a few kilos .
Felt good that we got some farm fresh veggies :))
The fresh air and gentle breeze was invigorating.
Love spending time away from the city once in a while. I have this wish and always dream of having a small house at the edge of a village adjacent to a farm 🙂
It was teatime . On our way back we stopped at a roadside restaurant named ‘Aashiana’ , adjacent to the highway , in Shadnagar. We ordered Mirchi bajjis. They were some of the best Mirchi bajjis I ever had . A waiter served the items while we waited in the car.
NH7 is a busy highway which connects Hyderabad and Bangalore.
Wish to go there again just to eat those Mirchi bajjis 🙂 and also pick up fresh veggies.