Our Raw Material
- We grow our own fruits and vegetables for making pickles.
- We also grow Sarson (Mustard) and Til (Sesame) to produce our own oil
- We grow most of the spices that we use like, Meethi Dana, Saunf, Ajwain, Sabut Dhaniya, Sabut Lal Mirch, Lal Mirch Powder, Amchoor, Haldi etc. What we do not produce (Garam Masala Spices) that we buy from sources well known to us.
- We use Sendha Namak (Rock Salt). We buy it in rock form and have it powdered (No adulteration possible)
- We use Sirra (Liquid Gur ), this is Sirra is made to our specification without adding any Gandhak(Sulfur) which makes it chemically free but then the Sirra is dark green in colour which gives our pickles a darker look. Then again we do not use any artificial colours to make it look good.
- We have recently replaced sugar with Khaand , which is unprocessed sugar and is still in fructose form without any chemicals
- Even the oil we use is produced at our own farm.
- And lastly our vinegar, we have finally found a producer who is manufacturing natural vinegar from sugarcane juice and has started supplying to us.
- We do not use any preservatives, additives, stabilizers or artificial colours. We also do not use any fruits or vegetables from cold storages.
- Our products are made using old/forgotten/traditional recipes and in the same way they were made when the recipes were written - BY HAND.
- The changes we have made are that the HANDS are covered with gloves and the HEADS with caps. The modern production machine that we have recently introduced is one domestic Mixie (The only electronic gadget in our unit)
- Our farms are completely free from flies, mosquitoes and insects throughout the day (We have them during the monsoons when no pickles are made).
- The fruits and vegetables that we use for pickling are plucked RIPE 2 hours before they are processed. We need the 2 hours lead time to wash and dry them in the Sun. (No artificial ripening is done to the fruits/vegetables or the end product).
- Then our pickles are Sun drenched in wide open spaces with ample space between the containers to allow each container to get Sun rays from all sides in the day (The containers are kept in an East to West direction)
- WHY do we go to these lengths to produce our pickles - simple our friends and families eat them too.
A Historical Necessity
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 nutritious food available in those months. In India fruits and vegetables were preserved using five type 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 even 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 of the product 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 mandi's 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 shakkar due to easy availability.
Every company claims that there products are THE BEST, TASTY, HEALTHY ETC ETC. But we at the Little Farm Co. go the extra length 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 Land. 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 & 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 Shakar and gur which is made without the use of gandhak(Sulfur) 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 why we still do not claim to be organic.
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. CHEERS & HAPPY BINGING
- Super foods : No added colors, handpicked from the farm, raw and natural.