Gathering Place Organic Spices come direct from family farms in India. These fairly traded spices are from the most recent harvest, ensuring freshness and exceptional flavour. All of our spices are non-irridated, and have no additives, and are certified organic. We support a non profit organization who has created an organic farmers cooperative. They train and educate farmers in organic agriculture and assist them in converting their farms to certified organic status. They market, process and quality control the products from these farms and ensure the farmers get a fair price for their high quality, hand harvested spices.
This non profit also orchestrates; rain water harvesting projects, gardens and renovations at schools, funding for a residential school for orphans and funding of a major renovation of an ancient temple, in the heart of "God's Forest", a newly appointed national forests reserve, they helped to create.
Lovena journeyed to India in order to meet the organic farmers. While touring many farms in the cooperative, she was amazed at the level of sustainability each farm exhibited. Every farm had a biogas digester, fueled by cow dung, with the resultant gas piped into the kitchen.
Farmers use multi cropping techniques, growing 6 to 10 crops in 5 ha plots. They vine black pepper and vanilla plants up coconut and banana trees. In addition, they grow crops such as cardamom in the under story and cinnamon around the periphery of each plot. These multi cropped plots become many level food forests, buzzing with life and diversity.
|Children at Vanashree Residential School for orphans and marginalized children|
1% of Gathering Place spice sales are donated to Vanashree Residential School in Sagar, Karnataka State, India. Vanashree provideseducation, accommodation and nourishment for orphans and marginalized children. The feeling at the school is one of a large family with very happy children. The school is “alternative”, using round classrooms, encouraging students to ask questions, and teaching advanced yoga as well as daily art and dance. Click to view Vanashree Photo Gallery. This school has very limited funding from the government and requires outside funding to maintain its programs. We are happy to provide the school with funds, channeling profit back to those in need.
Lovena with farmers in front of
|Lovena stands with farmer and his parents, multi generation farming|
Lovena with chili farmer in a remote growing region
|Ganesha family who grow Gathering Place organic vanilla
|Boy with the biggest smile sits with his classmates during a school assembly
||Lovena gets a ride on chili farmers cooperative tractor, their pride and joy!|