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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international mushroom consultants. MEMOIRS about husband Pieter Vedder, who was a SCIENTIFIC PIONEER in Mushroom Cultivation Education. His practical handbook is in 8 languages and is called the MUSHROOM BIBLE: https://mariettesbacktobasics.blogspot.com/2020/08/modern-mushroom-growing-2020-harvesting.html

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Pond's (India) Limited Mushroom Project

You now know from the previous post where we are staying for the 11 nights that we will be working here in India.
Now let's look at the actual mushroom plant location in south India in the Nilgiri mountains at an altitude of 2,000 meters (or 6562 feet).
The reason that you find most mushroom plants high in the mountains is for the more favorable climate of cooler nights and often cooler days as well. No need for using expensive air-conditioning for maintaining the optimum climate for mushroom growing but instead using the Lord's natural air-conditioning!
You could see how the area looks like, from watching that remarkable video from the Nilgiri Mountain Railway, winding though tea estates and through Eucalyptus woods... from my previous post.
Also here you see how we traveled daily from the Savoy hotel to the location Needle Industries where the mushroom plant was located.
On Monday, March 5 of 1990 when I came first to the mushroom plant to work with the harvest crew, my blond braid went through numerous hands... my arms and hands got caressed and they liked my skin. They only wanted to know what those freckles on my arms were... I replied that it was my 1% of India genes. My blue eyes got approved and that was it.
Yes, complete with Bindi on my forehead.
We did a LOT of walking and climbing, remember this is at an altitude of 2,000 meters or 6562 feet!
Both of us never owned a FitBit...
At the entrance with the security people.
You can see that we are high up in the mountains at 2,000 meters or 6562 feet.
They are still constructing lots of new growing sheds.
ALL excavation is done by hand!
Women are even aiding in the construction, making mortar and carrying it in a basket on their head up on the scaffolding.
Man-height boulders are being chiseled into small pieces and carried in baskets on their head.
Even the soil for filling in the tens of meters difference in height; everything is hand labor!
Same spot as the photo above but a bit more from a distance.
Compost is made of straw + chicken litter, water and mixed with a pickaxe.
Women were distributing the dry chicken litter!
Working in those countries makes you SHUT UP FOREVER about magnified so-called problems we encounter here in the Western World! Good grief...
It is such a lovely area...
In the back you see the compost pasteurization tunnels being constructed.
Here you see a concrete ring where they catch the runoff water on the compost slab.
You can see those men working with the pickaxe.
Here you clearly see  the excavation of different soil layers in progress.
In addition some airco units for adjusting certain growing conditions.
This is the inside of a growing room with mushrooms ready for harvest.
They grow in bags of 12 kg or 26.5 lbs of pasteurized compost on racks of bamboo instead of nice aluminum.
Addressing the saree problem with the manager.
 Those long saree dresses can cause contamination as they sweep over surfaces.

Stay tuned for my next post where I do tackle the saree issue.

Thanks for your visit and comment!



18 comments:

  1. Hello Mariette, You do make a good point here about how much we rely on heavy machinery to do tasks that used to be done by hand, and often still need to be in other parts of the world. While it might seem surprising to see the bamboo racks on a large-scale farm, in Taiwan I often still see bamboo scaffolding and wooden forms such as for making tofu.
    --Jim

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    Replies
    1. Dearest Jim,
      Indeed those are the parts of the world where heavy manual labor is still being done! They can modernize but that would put a lot of people out of work; a tricky and difficult decision all the time.
      Also in Indonesia, they always have put bamboo to good use for many functions and there is nothing wrong with that as it is a natural resource.
      Here at home we even enjoy the soft mats, made from bamboo fiber!
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  2. Dearest Mariette,
    thank you for this interesting post and memories!
    I guess, the Saree Dress was really not good for work inside these tunnels!
    Have a happy week,
    sending Love and hugs, Claudia xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Claudia,
      Those saree dresses are perfect for work, as they are being worn by millions of women daily, but my point here is the contamination problem. For work in a mushroom harvesting area, clothes should be tight fitting, no baggy sleeves and certainly no long skirts that sweep and touch surfaces.
      This is not inside a tunnel, that is only used for pasteurization of the compost. You really meant to say sheds, that's what those mushroom growing rooms are.
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  3. Dear Mariette - love that first photo of you, and the description of how the ladies wanted to touch you and found the freckles on your arms. What a lovely response from you to their question, which I am sure they must have enjoyed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Rosemary,
      Thank you for your comment and my response came only natural.
      Isn't it a strange thing that in the West, woman go to tanning salons and use all kinds of products to create a 'nice' tan and those women that are a bit more tanned, they want to look like we!
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  4. India is a country I may never get to see. But I have friends who have gone. A fascinating country. As more Indian women enter the workforce, I hope they can improve their equality too. Mariette, you are indeed a world 🌍 traveler. Indian food was a wonderful discovery for me here in Manhattan, which likely is not exactly the same as in the mother country, yet delicious all the same.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Debbie,
      We have been to India over many years and Pieter has seen even far more, before I ever got there.
      It certainly is a very fascinating and beautiful country. Its architecture is fabulous and all relates to a very rich culture and history; not all very peaceful as is the case all over the world.
      Nowadays a lot of Indian women have reached high level jobs but the problem still remains for the lower caste system. Before that ever will go away, we all are probably very old...
      The saddest part is the child and/or baby trafficking! http://www.brandeis.edu/investigate/adoption/index.html
      Our United States is not clean on that... human dramas that no one can imagine!
      So many have been kidnapped from their parents!
      Meanwhile, let us indeed enjoy their delicious food as you have also discovered.
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  5. Dearest Mariette! I have many Indian friends and I have been there but not to stay. Pakistan, yes, But not India. Long time ago. Before all the danger. I have some beautiful sari's still...finest silk, gorgeous embroidery. I love their complexions...and they vary so widely.

    I am so happy Dido is out of his sweater and I hope charging about the house like a man freed from jail! Smoochies to him and you look beautiful here.

    Have you seen Marie -Thérèse blog today?
    X❤️

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Katie Isabella,
      Glad you too have many Indian friends and that you got acquainted with a similar culture in Pakistan.
      No, I do not have saris myself but I did purchase some silk brocade in Madras (now Chennai) and as you said, it is gorgeous!
      Yes, Dido is charging about a lot and is happy. He is a rather svelte feline and I love to spoil him a bit to get him a bit build up.
      Thank you for your love and sending you hugs and smoothies back,
      Mariette

      Delete
  6. What great memories you have dear friend from your travels. I love the story on how the women wanted to touch your freckles in your arm and your answer to their curiosity was great, very much you, my smart friend. You look so pretty in those pics too. The saris are such beautiful dress, I sort of always wanted to try one.
    It must be the most fascinating country around, I don't know if will ever go visit, but I'd love to. My SIL and her daughter have gone to stay in Ashrams.
    Thank you for sharing this memory with us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Fabby,
      We sure have and it has taught us more than anything in life. It widens your horizon and opens up your mind and makes you a lot more appreciative of what we have.
      India for sure is a very fascinating country and who knows you one day will make it to this vast country!
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  7. Piękne wspomnienia z Indii.Nigdy tam nie będę . Śliczne zdjęcia .Pozdrawiam serdecznie .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Małgorzata P.,
      dziękuję za komentarz, a nawet jeśli nie zrobić to tam osobiście, mogę spróbować przejść Ci tam, pisząc o moich doświadczeniach podczas pracy tam. Kochamy go tak bardzo, a zwłaszcza ludzi!
      Uściski,
      Mariette

      Delete
  8. I love your photos with bindi on your forehead, Mariette! Very interesting to get to know a different part of the world, how things are done, and people there. It may not be always fun, but you did have such precious experiences!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Tamago,
      Thank you for your comment!
      The way we visited other countries by doing work with the people and dining at their homes, makes you get to know the real culture. Sometimes it was exhausting for arriving there but oh so rewarding once being there and now we can hold on forever to fond memories!
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  9. Ganz schön hoch! Und ein Fitbit braucht man auch nicht, um fit zu sein oder zu werden. ;-)Aber ich dachte, verheiratete Frauen tragen ein rotes Bindi?
    Ja, solche Länder sollte man sich stets vor Augen halten und wie gut wir es eigentlich haben!
    Aber es stimmt schon, hier in Deutschland ist es besonders schwierig, wenn jemand zwar als "arm" gilt und Hartz IV bezieht, allerdings kein vollwertiges Mitglied der Gesellschaft ist, keine Teilhabe hat. Das kann einen Menschen mental zerstören, insbesondere, wenn er nicht in der Lage ist, zu arbeiten, sich aus seinem Dilemma zu befreien. Dies sind meist Kranke, ob körperlich oder psychisch, die nichts für ihre Lage können oder z.B. Alkoholiker und ältere Menschen. Da der Mensch ein soziales Wesen ist, ist es schon sehr schwer, wenn er von anderen wegen seines Status abgelehnt wird und das Geld so wenig, dass er keine Teilhabe hat. Aber es ist natürlich kein Vergleich mit der Armut, wie z.B. in Indien.

    Liebe Grüße auch hier
    Sara

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Liebe Sara.
      Ja, meiste Pilzfarme sind ganz hoch gelagert und es ist schon etwas anderes um dort viel laufen zu müßen aber auch sehr gesund! Nein ich habe noch nie im so ein Fitbit gehabt und ich glaube werde auch nie eins haben.
      Das Wort "bindi" leitet sich vom Sanskrit-Wort "Bindu" ab und wird mit dem mystischen dritten Auge einer Person in Verbindung gebracht. Obwohl Sie in der hinduistischen Tradition verwurzelt sind, haben sich Bindis im Laufe der Zeit verändert und sind für einige Menschen zu populären Accessoires und Modeaussagen geworden. So wurden mehrere westliche prominente wegen des Tragens eines bindi der kulturellen Aneignung beschuldigt.
      Mit solchen kulturellen Dingen soll man nie umgehen als sei es eine Modeaussage!
      Ja Armut ist in jeder Kultur schwierig da es so leicht Menschen ausschließt.
      Liebe Grüße,
      Mariette

      Delete

Thanks for your visit and comment.

Mariette...

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