Before the advent of modern day technologies like cold storage facilities and refrigeration, mankind wasn’t assured of fresh fruits and vegetables around the year and only locally grown fresh crops were available for consumption during the season and that too if the weather was kind. Prospects of starvation or food deprivation were a constant human companion. Historically all geographic regions of the world faced food scarcity during months having adverse weather conditions.
In the West nothing grew during the bitter winter months and preparations were made during the summer to survive the winters when meat was salted, vegetables like cucumbers were stored in vinegar and fruits were converted into Jams and Marmalades using sugar to create preserves for use in winter months.
Similarly in the East very little grew in the scorching summers and preparations were made in the winters to have wholesome and nutritional food available in those months. In India, fruits and vegetables were preserved using five types of ingredients like spices, oil, vinegar, sugar and salt
Both in the East as well as in the West, generations of mothers and grandmothers worked to preserve food of various types and in various forms to provide nourishment to their families during these hard times and thus the ART OF PICKLING WAS BORN
Today there are many companies producing pickles which are preserved using ingredients of modern technologies like food preservatives and additives, food stabilizers, permitted colours etc. Here balancing the process of sun drenching the raw product to produce the end product is not required.
Though this process produces Pickles with very long shelf life it reduces the nutritive content and also reduces the natural taste of the fruit or vegetable used in the process.
Even though many households still make pickles at home the traditional way, there are certain challenges that they are unable to overcome.
The spices often used are adulterated. Fruits and vegetables purchased from local mandis are grown using heavy doses of fertilizers and pesticides. Mustard oil available in the market is never pure and is blended with rice bran oil, palm oil etc. The vinegar available in the market is synthetic and not fruit based as was available earlier. Sugar is used instead of gur or sugar due to easy availability.
THE LITTLE FARM CO.
Every company claims that their products are The Best, Tasty, Healthy, Etc Etc. But we at The Little Farm Co. go the extra mile to justify our claims.
We own nearly 400 acres of lush farm lands in the interior of Madhya Pradesh, fed by unpolluted rivers, among some of the most pollution free areas which are all bordering government owned Forest Lands. Our farms are in very low population density areas where there is no industrial activity (backward area).
It is here that we grow our own fruits and vegetables along with most of the spices using organic farming practices. We also grow black and yellow sarson (mustard) and Til (sesame) to produce pure cooking oil.
As far as possible we use sugar and jaggery which is made without the use of gandhak (Sulphur) in place of sugar. Also instead of the normal table salt (high in sodium) we use siandha namak (rock salt).
For us, only one challenge remains which we are hoping to overcome by the end of 2017 itself. We are currently working to replace synthetic vinegar with vinegar made from sugarcane juice and have tied up with a local producer of sugarcane for the same. That is the only reason why we still do not claim to be organic, while most of our ingredients are.
You are all welcome to visit our farms at any time to see for yourselves the farming practices, handcrafted pickle making and enjoy the joy of being in the lap of nature (most convenient location is Khajuraho).
Now here’s to providing you the tastiest, healthiest, traditional pickles through Qtrove.