Best to be planted as a terrace farm orientation in a slopping terrain. A distance of 8 feet is maintained between each plants. It takes 2 years for a plant to fully grow under proper treatment and nutritions. Soil texture is expected to be porous and moist at all times. Thus irrigation during summer is mandatory. Microbial nourishments and biofertilizers must be provided in proper intervals to maintain the soil properties. Cardamom requires a medium level of sun shade during summer, thus large trees are planted at an average distance of 20 feet. This acts as a secondary fertiliser at all times as the falling leaves contribute to nutrients. pH of the soil is maintained in between 6 to 7 by adding powdered natural limestone or shellfish. Natural pollination is performed by bees, thus a parallel honey farm would be highly recommended. On a fully grown plant, harvests can be scheduled every 45 to 55 days. Harvested cardamom is then dried in specially designed driers in 60 to 70 degree Celsius. After drying, it is stored in optimum temperature for use.
A climber which takes about 3 years to grow into an adult plant. It is usually preferred with all mixed crop combinations. The host can be any strong large tree so that the climber can grow into heights. Harvesting process is manual, by using single stalk ladders of about 20 feet height. Can be harvested once in a year (annual crop). It is then dried in sunlight for two days and stored in optimum temperature for use.
Vanilla planifolia andrews
Vanilla is a climber with thick leaves and stem. Hosts can be either small shrubs or artificial support structures. It takes 2 years to grow into an adult plant. In the initial years, it is grown vertically upward for maximum growth. Then it is pulled down and arranged in a height of 6 feet. Flowering starts after 2 years of age and is green in color. Natural pollination for vanilla is generally performed by humming birds, but due to unavailability of this bird kind in the region, artificial pollination is performed. Pollinated flowers starts to develop into a bean which grows about 10 to 15cm in length. Harvest is scheduled once in a year and is dried in special driers of controlled temperature. Dried beans are stored in bundles in an optimum temperature for use.
Cloves are aromatic flower buds of the clove tree. It grows well in rich loamy soils of the humid tropics. A cooler climate with well distributed rainfall is ideal for flowering. It takes four years to flower from the year of planting. The unopened buds are harvested once in a year and they are less than 2cm at this stage. The flower buds harvested are separated from clusters and later on dried. The well dried cloves are stored and preserved in a cool dry condition.
Nutmeg is an evergreen perennial tree that reaches almost 10 meter height and produces two spices. Nutmeg and mace are the output of the tree. Nutmeg is the shelled, dried seed and the mace is the dried aril surrounding the seed. The tree grows well in humid and warm climatic conditions. The best suited soils for nutmeg cultivation are sandy loam, clay loam and red laterite. A female nutmeg tree starts fruiting from the th year and the peak harvesting period reaches after 20 years. The nutmeg fruits ripen and become ready for harvesting when their pericarp splits open. The outer fleshy portion should be removed and the mace should manually be separated from the nut. The nut and mace are dried separately for 3-5 days.
Allspice is also known as Jamaican pepper or Pimento. Its a shrub with strong stem. This spice has a combined flavour of Nutmeg, Clove and Cinnamon The leaves are also used in cooking and the flavour is infused into the food. Jamaica is the major producer of allspice. It is cultivated throughout Kerala in a limited scale.
Ginger is a herbaceous perennial and its rhizomes are used as a spice. It grows well in warm and humid climates and is cultivated from sea level to an altitude of 1500m above sea level. It thrives best in well drained soils like sandy loam, clay loam, red loam or laterite loam. A friable loam rich in humus is ideal. Ginger attains full maturity in 210-240 days after planting. The matured rhizomes are harvested at full maturity. Processing of ginger to produce dry ginger basically involves two stages - peeling of ginger rhizomes to remove the outer skin and sun drying to a safe moisture level. The safe moisture content for storage is 10% . The process of drying lasts from 8- 10 days under sun. Fully dried rhizomes are stored in air tight containers and this helps to maintain its aroma and flavour fresh.
A rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant belonging to the ginger family Zingiberaceae, which is native to tropical South Asia. The spice is also called 'Indian Saffron' due to its brilliant colour. It's a shade tolerant crop. The planting season is April/May with the arrival of pre-monsoon showers. Whole or split rhizomes are used for planting. After harvest, the peeled rhizomes are dried in sun for one week and then stored.
Indian turmeric has been known to the world since ancient times. Several unique properties of Indian turmeric make it the ideal choice as a flavour, an effective ingredient in medicines and cosmetics, and as a natural colourant. With its rich cur cumin content, which imparts the distinct yellow colour, and other inherent properties, Indian turmeric is considered the best in the world.