Organic Apples and Mount Kinnaur Kailash
Our search of organic apples made us travel 900 kms for 3 days non-stop through tough terrain of Shivalik mountains right up to the Kinnaur Kailash Glaciar in himalayas and after passing through 100's of apple orchards.. Result: found only couple of groups of organic apple growers.
Every produce of ours has a farmers connect. The only fruit that was devoid of it was apple and the reason was distance and quantity. So when this year, our supplier who was in exports of organic apples exited the business we had to find the organic apple growers ourselves and hence we undertook the journey in Himachal Pradesh.
To our surprise, even at the place like this which is approximately 8500 ft above sea level, there is a rampant use of chemicals, the farmers use 9-10 sprays in a year. All farmers had one question, even if we grow who is going to buy. They asked me my quantity, my answer was 300 kgs a week and when I told this quantity I became a laughing stock.
I had three things going for me : 1. My resolve. 2. Our car driver ( who almost rebelled with his owner, because he understood our purpose ) 3. My Friend Hemant Chabbra, Founder of Hideout ( a farm in Vikramgad ) he spent his own money to accompany me and give me the moral support.
Every other car rental agency told us not to venture into areas like kalpa and Rohru but we were determined to find at least one farmer, there were times when we ourselves felt disillusioned when we were not able to find even one farmer growing apples organically. But our resolve to keep marching until we succeed helped us to find group of farmers in Rohru.
Young Farmers Named, Jitendra & Jogindar Chauhan ( brothers ) are new addition to our collective of farmers. It was their father who realised that after doing the farming using chemicals for over 2 decades, the soil was turning non responsive, the young brothers had a early realisation, they took the charge and converted the whole practice to organic way. The father too supported it. The result is they have converted exiting farm in to organic and have planted another 2000 apple trees. While doing so they are training many other farmers from their region to convert their practices to organic practices.
So finally after a long arduous journey, braving landslides, missed and cancelled flights, we will be able to introduce organic apples right from the farms and will make it available to you. But we have to still cross couple of hurdles, and we need your support in three ways 1. generous orders. 2. Acceptance of the fruit the way it is and lastly promote our initiative to many people as you can.
As soon as we introduce apples in to our supply system, we will notify you.
Vishal – Naturesgram