The driver we hired during our stay in Goa did an outstanding job of meeting my requirements. We gave him a list of some of the things we wanted to see and he set out a plan to see as much as we could in a day and we headed to the Sahakara Spice Farm in Curti, east of Ponda.
This is a Goan spice farm tour that is intended for tourists who don’t know much about spices. My purposes for visiting were to see various spices grow in their native environment, expand my knowledge and get some pictures. I knew something about all of the spices but learned a few new bits of information on how they are grown. For example, did you know vanilla beans grow on the vanilla orchid which is a vine that grows up trees? Or, that the pepper plant is a creeper that grows black, green and white peppercorns that vary depending on how they are dried, matured or cooked?
Upon arrival at the farm, we were given a glass of lemongrass tea with a little cardamom and ginger that was light and refreshing. Soon a group of us headed out into the farm where our guide told us how each of the spices are grown and their medicinal properties: cloves, curry leaves, cinnamon, nutmeg, beetlenut, cashews, etc. The guide really knew her spices. We saw a demonstration by a very talented young man who climbed to the top of a beetlenut palm tree to harvest beetlenuts. Without climbing up and down successive trees, he just swings from tree to tree to harvest beetlenuts.
Just before the end of the tour, our guide came to an abrupt halt. She quickly turned around and told the group there was a snake ahead on our path. Many of the people became very jumpy; others walked a wide circle around the snake. Me? I calmly walked right by it. It was just a tiny little thing, only 18 inches or so. I’m a Texan now and I was not scared by a tiny green snake. Later I was informed it was poisonous. Ugh.
After the tour, we were served a traditional Indian lunch before a sip of cashew feni which is fermented from the fruit of the cashew tree. Apparently it is 40 percent alcohol (90 proof) so it has a kick. Yum!
I had a fun time at the spice farm even though the tour is meant for tourists.
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