Did you know that “India had nearly 1,10,000 varieties of rice till 1970 and that this diversity has been lost to posterity as a result of the green revolution with its emphasis on mono culture and hybrid crops. Now, only 6,000 species or varieties of rice survive.” Shocking isn’t it? If you didn’t know that like me, you must check out the Spirit of the earth store at Mylapore, #Chennai. I bet you can’t name all the varities in there!
Spirit of the earth is an initiative by AIM for Seva to give back to earth; their carefully crafted products leave a positive impact and create a sustainable future. The focus of the store is on all the indigenous varieties of rice in India, that’s grown in their own farm, where they hand select the purest line of heirloom seeds from farmer networks across the country.
Take a look at the beautiful store, which houses more than 30 varieties currently, and each grain comes with such beautiful stories and have immense nutritional benefit.
I was at their Mylapore store in August for a wonderful workshop by Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal on ‘Rediscovering Indian dals. It’s incredible to note how MUCH diversity India has, and especially with food so humble as rice & lentils. It sure did provoke me to make more of this and even go vegetarian as much as possible. And to hunt for lentils and heritage food recipes to try them out.
The workshop was set in the Spirit of earth store & here’s a little about their farm which is their supple source:
Spirit of the earth has over a 50-acre organic farm in Manjakkudi, Kumbakonam, where they cultivate heritage, artisanal rice using purely organic practices. Rich in nutrients, heritage grains protect our soil; At their farm, farmers hand-select only the best quality seeds and harvest twice a year during the traditional harvesting season. They use sustainable practices combined with age-old experience and minimal technology. Because of responsible use of resources and letting the soil rest and replenish between harvests, they are able to produce artisanal heritage rice varieties. The rice produced at the farm is in short supply – these semi-milled grains have beautiful colour, flavor and are loaded with immense nutritional benefits.
Visit them and get your hands on some amazing rice and rice stories, courtesy the friendly & passionate staff.
They also have really cute gifting options for corporate and festive gifting, for the earth-conscious– you can see this in the picture above. What a great idea! I’d love a useful gift like that anytime.
PS: Here’s what we were served – some yummy poha channa salad and black rice halwa, which I LOVED!
Check out the website http://spiritoftheearth.in/ for some offbeat as well as heritage recipes.
Do you have a rice you’d love to try from this heritage store?
Let me know in comments below.