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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 9 languages and is called the MUSHROOM BIBLE: https://mariettesbacktobasics.blogspot.com/2020/08/modern-mushroom-growing-2020-harvesting.html

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Consulting for Pond's (India) Limited Mushroom Project

So here we are...
On Monday, February 18, 1991 we both started our first day of consulting at Pond's (India) Limited Mushroom Project.
Even though our night rest was not good, due to my bronchitis, we were early for breakfast in our room at 8:00. Dr. Ram picked us up for riding to the farm.
Mr. Balu welcomed us again in the traditional Indian way and we started our rounds.
The sign at the entrance for Ponds (India) Limited
Looking down onto the compost preparation area, Pieter always loved to climb to high grounds for getting an overview.
From a different angle showing more the insulated growing sheds.
A lot of excavation work got done for building this plant at an altitude of 2,100 m or 6,890 ft.
Excavation here as well
Building high in the mountains where the ideal climate is, does come with construction problems...
A chute for the straw... Straw is being dumped by truck at the top level and it goes down the chute.
Overview of the compost slab with the pasteurization rooms in the back.
On the compost slab
The compost turning machine.
Men mainly bare footed!
Our work as International Consultants did open our eyes.
There are so many people far less off than we. Especially during the over-commercialized season of Christmas, which has evolved into a MASS CONSUMPTION PERIOD, we think about others!
Bagging machine for the spawned and pasteurized growing substrate.
Bagging area.
Insulated growing sheds.
Some damaged covers as they need to be sturdy and above all UV-resistent.
Inside the growing room with the air handling duct and air distribution tube.
No aluminum shelves as in my mushroom harvesting movie from 1980, but all locally grown bamboo.
Mushroom harvesting movie: 1980 Mushroom Harvest BLUES
In the back there is a harvester...
Me on the catwalk at the top... Nice first brake!
Ended up going to the local hospital for my severe bronchitis and the medication helped me.
A representative of the Pond's leather garments factory in Madras (Chennai) happened to stop by on Tuesday, February 25. That yielded for both of us a leather jacket. A black lambskin for Pieter and for me a suede leather jacket.
It is quite rewarding to receive something like this...
Given to me on our final day of the two week training period.
We thank our teacher for the training you gave us to do our job better.
See you soon. With love,
All their names written...
Makes one feel good!
Dated till the world ends 
1. A few friends in this world whose love is fond and true, when you count those Please count us among the few.
2. We are not rich, nor we have so much Power.
The only rare gift we can give you is our friendship towards you.
3. As the night follows the day our love with you will stay for as near you may be we will keep you in our heart.
Very touching and it made me emotional...
Some of their names, top 4 written by me and bottom written by them, except the word cannery that I added.
A very nice team to work with!
It always is hard to leave such a warm group...
We traveled to the planes again for our flight to Madras (Chennai) from Coimbatore.
On February 28, we did rise early at 3:45 in our Trident hotel, Madras for an early flight to Delhi.
The person from Pond's was there in time to pick us up and dropping us off at the nearby airport, only 5 minutes by car.
In Delhi we end up again at the Taj Palace Hotel where our Pond's contact person dropped us off and picked us up again around 14:15 for a little shopping tour. We visited the State Emporia Complex for a good range of fine products at good prices.
We also did shop at the shopping gallery of the Taj Palace Hotel.
On March 1, early rising at 4:15 and we went to the International Airport for our flight to Jakarta, Indonesia where we lived and worked at that time...
This is by far not a vacation or a sight seeing tour but we always loved doing it, helping so many people getting a better living.
Fond memories brought home, gifts and bought gifts and above all, those inside our hearts!

Thanks for your visit and comment!

Related links:
My 2nd trip to India - Consulting Together with Husband Pieter | previous post by me
Brindavan Gardens Mysore with Luxury Heritage Hotel | previous post by me


  1. Replies
    1. Dearest Krishna,
      It sure is and we both have India forever inside our hearts. Great food (we both love the spicy food from the South), warm people and great nature, stunning architecture etc.

  2. Hello Mariette, That is both the good and bad parts of consulting. The good part is that you always get to start on a new and challenging project. The bad part is that as soon as you have formed a bond with the team, it is time to leave.

    1. Dearest Jim,
      Yes, there are good and bad parts of consulting.
      Being there only temporarily does help you stay more focused on the job and for making decisions that need to be addressed, without being influenced by other aspects too much. More like a surgeon, he/she too is doing the job and often rescuing his/her patient, but without any bond. The nursing back to health is left to others.
      It always has been a high responsibility as you are dealing with multi-million dollars and things have to get better!
      But we loved the challenge and we also love people. It always has been a rather intense experience of both, in a short period of time - well used!

  3. Liebe Mariette,

    das ist ein wunderschöner Post.
    Frohe Adventsgrüße

    1. Liebe Elisabeth,
      Danke! Es ist schwierig für diejenige die nie im fremden Land gearbeitet haben und in eine fremde Sprache.
      Wir liebten es.
      Liebe Grüße,

  4. That certainly is quite an endeavor to create such a facility. Do you know if it is still there? The handwritten notes are so lovely. Don't find that much anymore. It's nice to be appreciated for sharing your knowledge and expertise.

    1. Dearest Tammy,
      Yes it is quite an endeavor. The location was great for the perfect climate but construction is more complicated in the mountains and also the transport of ingredients and canned products. Pond's has sold it and we have no contact anymore with the staff. Several have moved on so we don't know about the present day production, if at all.
      We at least enjoyed the years that we were involved, in helping the local people to make a better living.

  5. How interesting! It's great to see how mushrooms grow. Thank you very much Mariette!

    1. Dearest Anne,
      Well, it is quite a complex business for trying to economically 'mimic' nature's fall weather and condensing the growing cycle into several weeks instead of one year! Controlling the climate and also for making the substrate selective, so no competitor molds start growing, is all high tech and complex.
      Glad you enjoyed it.

  6. It was interesting to see all these photos. Bamboo shelves look great :-) It’s so sweet they gave you a hand written thank you note. It must be really rewarding to help them for better lives.
    And I’m glad medication helped you with bronchitis :-)

    Thank you for sharing, Mariette. Have a great new week!

    1. Dearest Tamago,
      Yes, regardless of not feeling my best, I felt grateful for getting great medical attention and help.
      We both have given all our heart for sharing our knowledge with those that needed it the most!
      Those written notes meant so much...

  7. Hello dear Mariette!
    Wonderful pictures and very interesting to see how mushrooms grow.
    Thank you for sharing all those beautiful memories and informations!
    Wishing you a lovely day and a happy week! Hugs!

    1. Dearest Dimi,
      Thank you and yes, it is interesting to see how we manage to mimic Mother Nature in triggering the growth of mushrooms after preparing the suitable substrate and growing them in the optimal climatic conditions.
      High tech but rewarding to see the final crops that will get harvested.
      To both of us those are special memories.

  8. It is amazing for me to see such detailed process to grow mushroom and great workers.
    No aluminum shelves...locally grown bamboo....very impressive,Mariette.
    Lovely new header again!
    Have a good new week.

    1. Dearest Tomoko,
      This is just a fraction of the very detailed process for growing mushrooms commercially.
      In fact it is all about how to best 'mimic' Mother Nature as we all see mushrooms grow in the woods in the fall when climatic conditions and humidity are at their optimum. In Japan it is all about commercially growing the, in our opinion, most delicious one of all mushrooms, the Shii-take. They also have more medicinal value. We LOVE their taste!

    2. I like shi-take too!So delicious.

  9. Dearest Mariette, I have not been around lately to comment on your posts as I was very busy caring with my brother's health issues.
    Now, we are very excited waiting the arrival of our first grand daughter any day now!!!
    She will obviously be our grandest Christmas gift from our daughter!!!!
    I send you and Pieter my best wishes for a very merry Christmas !!!
    With many hugs and my love,

    1. Dearest Marie-Anne,
      Thank you very much for your visit.
      We too lived through some very hectic months, not that much time for blog reading etc.
      Hope your brother's health issues are under control and that he is on the mend!
      How exciting for having your first grand daughter on her way! So very special; wishing you all the very best and hoping things go well.
      Wishing you all also a Merry Christmas, from Pieter as well!

  10. Never had any idea that so much went into growing mushrooms. The planning and work that went into growing mushrooms. Such an interesting read.
    I like your header picture. Unique basket designed candle.
    Happy Christmas holidays

    1. Dearest Betsy,
      Oh, this is just a very simplified way as the climatic conditions high in the mountains were already more favorable. But in general it is a very high tech state of the art enterprise! Husband Pieter's book did cover all the details in over 400 pages: 1978 - P.J.C. Vedder's Modern Mushroom Growing Book Published in English
      Thank you for your comment on my header. That highly fragrant candle is one that I've found at Last Call Neiman Marcus outlet.
      Hugs to you and a Merry Christmas for you and yours!


Thanks for your visit and comment.



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