Harvest Fresh is an Organic Fruit Farm and Farm stay nestled in the serene Cumbum Valley. A short 15 minute drive from Kumily, Thekkady, Kerala, the farm is strategically located at Lower Camp, very close to the famous Periyar Tiger Reserve. Harvest Fresh farm in full potential grows pomegranates as it chief harvest along with papaya and passion fruit. The farm is also home to cows, geese, turkey, ducks, and hens and also has a well laid out vegetable and medicinal herb garden. Having realised that people are in constant search of nature to make life peaceful and with the need for health consciousness of finding solace with nature, Harvest Fresh Farms have also opened up their farm for agri-tourism.
Harvest Fresh Farms propagates an eco-friendly approach to the natural environment and farming methods. It also works with the local people to promote sustainable approach to development. Accommodation on the farm is simple and comfortable with scenic views. The food is traditional and has been very highly rated by visitors. Guests are invited to join in activities like working in the fruit garden and tending to the animals.
It is an opportunity for people to learn about organic farming and rediscover themselves with hands on experience. At night after hard days’ work, guests can relax, watch the stars, or simply read in quite luxury.
Harvest Fresh Farm is a responsible initiative that has achieved the status of a certified organic farm and constantly works to live up to the accomplishment. Everything about the farm is purely organic. The farm has received the Organic certification from INDOCERT, which is a nationally and internationally operating, certification body established in India. It is accredited by National Accreditation Body (NAB), Government of India, as per National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP).
Certified Organic products are those which have been produced, stored, processed, handled and marketed in accordance with precise technical specifications and certified as “Organic” by the certification body. To qualify as certified organic, a holding would have to ensure a cultivation record which proves total non-contamination from any non-organic material; should be free of chemical fertilizers for three years; should be free of herbicides and pesticides for three years; the seed must not be from genetically modified sources and this should also include a buffer zone between organic and non-organic plants. Organic production is a system that combines tradition, innovation and science that sustains the health of soil, ecosystem and the people.
At Harvest Fresh Farms all produce is organically grown and the farm has gone to great lengths to ensure that it follows the best practices in the industry. There are Composting Yards, where the farm hands compost coir piths, organic waste, garden waste and other organic material to make theirorganic compost. Remnants of waste from the kitchen and farm are used to make farm yard compost.
The manure on the farm is a studied and a deliberate effort is ensured at maintaining the pristine nature of the farm and the surrounding valley. The waste material from the cattle shed, namely cow dung and urine is processed to derive jeevamritham, panchakavya types of manure, which are then used in the farm.
In our constant endeavour to adhere to high standards of organic farming the farm has received the Organic certification from INDOCERT, which is a nationally and internationally operating, certification body established in India. It is accredited by National Accreditation Body (NAB), Government of India, as per National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP).
Treating animals with respect and compassion is part of every agriculturalist's heritage. Farm owners recognize that good animal welfare practices lead to the production of high quality, safe and wholesome products and they're constantly seeking ways to improve the comfort of their animals. Simply put, without healthy and contented animals on the farm, a farm wouldn’t even stay in business.
Harvest Fresh Farms recognises the need for animal care and has a repertoire of farm livestock like cows, geese, turkey, ducks, hens etc. The animals and birds on the farm are looked after with great care since their contribution to the working of the farm is tremendous. A large paddock which is freely accessible for children and their parents offers contact with the livestock.
Farm owners have a vested interest in protecting their surroundings, eco-diversity and other natural resources. For centuries, they’ve used traditional methods such as crop rotation and mulching to preserve the fertility of the land. Today, various options are available to help reduce their environmental footprint.
Since every organization should work towards a zero environmental footprint by conserving, restoring, and replacing the natural resources used in its operations, Harvest Fresh Farms has built buildings that minimize resource consumption and waste generation.The environmentally sensitive features in their buildings include eco friendly and cost effective natural materials like stones, timber, clay, palm leaves and terracotta tiles that are in tune with the surrounding flora and fauna.
Water is a vital element of agricultural production. It is essential to maximise both yield and quality. Water has to be applied in the right amounts at the right time in order to achieve the right crop result. At the same time, the use of water should be to avoid waste of a valuable resource and understand the environment as a whole. Understanding, measuring and assessing how water flows around the farm, and recognising how farming practices affect flows, will help farm owners to manage water efficiently and reduce pollution risks. Since water plays a major role in any agricultural or farming based activity, Harvest Fresh Farms values its importance. Water is collected with the help of rainwater harvesting techniques that diverts and captures rainwater from roofs and gutters. Huge underground ponds have been built to collect this water. There is also a well-designed and controlled drip irrigation system to avoid water wastage and to keep crops healthy. The guests on the farm are given tips on rain water harvesting and are encouraged to do so in their homes. As they are taken around the farm, the concept of drip irrigation and various methods of water conservation are discussed.
Using the latest scientific research, farmers boost efficiency and take care of their animals and surroundings. Technologies like manure recyclingto protect soil and water resources play an important part in making farms sustainable for the future. Harvest Fresh Farms aware of the importance of biogas as a biofuel with a high energy value and a renewable energy source as a substitute for natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas uses it for cooking. The farm has enoughdesi cows in their shed and cow dung that is generated is collected in large quantities and is used in the biogas plant. The biogas that is produced at the biogas plant on the farm is used for cooking purpose in the kitchen. The sludge that comes from the biogas plant is further exploited at the farm as a soil fertilizer.
Good waste management on farms is essential to ensure a healthy, safe and productive farming enterprise. Green wastes that are composted and reused as a fertiliser and soil conditioner helps in destroying weed seeds. All produce at Harvest Fresh Farms are organically grown and the farm has gone to great lengths to ensure it follows the best practices in the industry. Since the reuse of animal waste increases the organic matter content of soils, and good waste management reduces the instances of water contamination and minimizes surface water pollution; the farm makes its own organic compost with waste. Waste from coir pith, organic waste, garden waste and other organic material are largely used for compost manufacturing. Farm cows play an important role at the farm. Biogas is produced using cow dung for cooking purposes and the slurry is used as manure. Farm waste and kitchen waste is used to make farm yard compost. The waste material from the cattle shed, namely cow dung and urine is used to derive jeevamritham, panchakavya types of manure, which are then used in the farm. In this way all waste are reused and recycled to help the environment.In other words, what comes from nature in one form goes back to its proper place in nature in a different form after being processed and used.
A common philosophy among sustainable agriculture practitioners is that, a healthy soil will produce healthy crop plants that have optimum vigor and are less susceptible to pests. Proper soil, water and nutrient management can help prevent some pest problems brought on by crop stress or nutrient imbalance. At Harvest Fresh Farms, the soil is protected and nurtured to ensure its long-term productivity and stability. The farm uses various methods to protect and enhance the productivity of the soil that includes using cover crops, making their own compost and manures and using them, reducing tillage, avoiding traffic on wet soils, and maintaining soil cover with mulches made from coir waste.
Local knowledge is based on the experience, often tested over years of use, adapted to culture and environment. Empowering locals who have this knowledge and using their expertise can provide livelihood for the local communities.
With this idea in place Harvest Fresh Farms has worked hard to create a good relationship between with the local community by providing good working conditions, fair wages, and empowering them with training opportunities. The farm has all its working hands from the local community who are trained in organic farming and are as dedicated as the farm is in enriching the environment. The farm also sustains jobs by supporting other local units who are similar in their values and ideals. The farm aims to support purchasing locally grown food to help guests enjoy the fresh produce.
Harvest Fresh Farm’s farm stay and organic farmsituated at the foot of the rolling hills of the Cumbum Valley, offers a perfect location for a range of facilities for a quick weekend stress buster break, educational trips for school children, family gatherings, corporate outings; all based around life on the farm.
As the farm is located close to the famous and richly bio-diverse Periyar Tiger Reserve, India’s largest wildlife sanctuary, the farm makes arrangements for day visits so that guests can go on boat rides, safari adventures or visit nearby attractions for cultural activities and get the feel of the place. Visitors are encouraged to take the local guides to see the place and enjoy various activities like trekking, cycling etc. The farm provides bicycles and bullock cart ride for local travel as it delivers an exhilarating experience. Guests are also encouraged to visit other organic farms and also enjoy the atmosphere and experience of the daily farmers’ market, where one can join the locals as they shop for their daily necessities; have tea in the local stalls and enjoy a story or two with the farmers and their families.
Herbs have been the "green medicines" of the Earth since a long time. They nourish and are easy to absorb into our body, mind, and spirit. They provide many nutrients that are easily absorbed such as vitamins, minerals, and proteins. They help the body do the work of healing from the inside out leaving the body stronger.
Harvest Fresh Farm’s Herbal Garden will help you learn the botanical names of various herbs and alsoaid in experiencing the taste, smell, and growing habits; its function and how it can be used in gentle and holistic healing.
Nursery is a place where plants are grown, nurtured and sold out to crop growers who require good quality saplings or grafts of genuine type.
Spread over a large area,Harvest Fresh Farms boasts ofstate of the art organic nurserythat uses organic techniques to grow plants that are pure and chemical free. The nursery has a wide range of flora comprising of ornamental plants, flower plants, fruit bearing plants, forest plants and a medicinal plants. The nursery is situated within the farm and has good suitable climate and sufficient sunlight with good irrigation facilities and good soil conditions.
Organic agriculture includes all agricultural systems that promote production through environment friendly, social and economic methods. With a view to integrate a whole range of eco-friendly sustainable lifestyle solutions, Harvest Fresh Farms is constantly trying to improvise organic farming, waste management, animal care, traditional pest control techniques, composting and usage of organic fertilizers and pesticides through research, training and development.