IT HAPPENS ONLY IN INDIA,
GREAT JOB MR. PARMAR
it is good to eat as many as vegetables and fruits (totally vegetarian), but my aurvedic doctor asked me to stop eating every...
Happy Valley tea estate at an altitude of about 1,980 metres was once “sick and abandoned”. It now supplies organic tea to Harrods in London. For Anjan Medhi, manager of the estate, green manuring is no less of an art compared to tasting the brew. Cow pat pit, a fermented concoction of broken egg shells and basalt salt mixed with cow dung, is a bio-dynamic preparation that acts as a rich source of nutrients besides strengthening tea bushes against pest attacks.
Vermicompost is used, while a brew produced from locally grown herbs serves as natural pesticides. During winter months, as the tea bushes enter a dormant phase and plucking stops, meticulous bush sanitation is practised. This involves removing the field of weeds that would otherwise compete with tea bushes for precious nutrients. Organic fertilisers and pesticides are often a guarded secret for the tea estates, but many swear by Vrishkayurveda—an ancient treatise by Surapala.
Indranil Ghosh, principal officer for the Chamong Tea group, explained the certification process. Once a garden decides to go organic, it will approach a certifier who undertakes a thorough check for any use of chemical ingredients during cultivation and manufacturing. After laying down the standard guidelines, the certifier keeps a tab on the garden activities for three consecutive years—checks soil and tea samples—after which the certification is granted. The gardens are inspected every year.
IMO, Switzerland is the principal certifying agency for Darjeeling tea. The agency has been accredited by the National Programme for Organic Production for carrying out inspection and certification of organic agriculture in India. IMO certification is used for further certification from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). For a medium-sized garden (200 ha) the cost of certification is Rs 1.5 lakh per year.