Teaching farm-to-table concepts and
more at Ankuram
year, we signed a partnership with Karma Lakelands to create an experiential
farm on their property. Here students learn to grow seasonal ingredients and
study beekeeping, sustainable sourcing and other environmentally conscious
practices. “We’ve already started cultivating new plants like tomatoes, lettuce
and cabbage,” says chef Babu Nagarajan, our Director for Culinary Studies. “Teaching
each part of farming helps us develop a holistic approach to culinary
education! From preparing the earth to sowing the seeds, nurturing and
harvesting the crops and finally using it in the best ways possible.”
practices allow students to understand where ingredients come from. They learn
how to treat and respect their produce and become better chefs in the future.
We also started vermicomposting the waste from our kitchens this month. In the
process, we used worms bred in Africa called “night crawlers,” which work great
for decomposing and fertilizing poor soil.
“But organic farming
in this climate or land is not easy,” says the chef. “The process requires
careful attention and a keen understanding of plants and the soil they grow in.
The end of March also saw unusual bursts of rain, a phenomenon uncommon in
North India. While farmers across the country struggled to cope with the
downpour, we found a way to protect and nourish our produce. Each was planted
on inclined land to avoid water clogging and ensure that excess water flows
towards a rain harvesting reservoir where it collects for other purposes.”