Lakadong turmeric is unique. It has the highest curcumin content, averaging 7.5% to 12% and is known for its vibrant color, rich aroma, and potent medicinal properties. The journey of this golden spice begins in the enchanting hills of Meghalaya, where local farmers have been cultivating it for generations. Are you curious to know more about this spice? Join us to learn the fascinating cultivation process, from seed planting to a bountiful harvest, and the secrets behind this valuable spice.
Different Stages of Growth and the Care They Require
Planting the Seeds: The journey of Lakadong Turmeric begins with planting seeds. Farmers carefully select rhizomes from the healthiest turmeric plants to ensure robust growth. These rhizomes are then planted in well-prepared seedbeds, usually at the start of the monsoon season. The moist soil and gentle rain showers create an ideal
Germination: As the monsoon rains cover the seedbeds, the turmeric rhizomes sprout and the first delicate shoots appear. During this stage, the young plants require plenty of water and protection from direct sunlight.
Transplantation: After a few weeks, the seedlings are carefully transplanted to the main field. To ensure optimal nutrition for the growing plants, farmers use organic manure. To protect turmeric plants, regular weeding and pest control measures are implemented.
Vegetative Growth: The turmeric plants undergo rapid vegetative growth during this stage, developing lush green foliage and thick rhizomes. Adequate water supply and proper drainage are essential for healthy development.
Flowering: Around the 7th to 8th month, the turmeric plants produce stunning inflorescences. Farmers, on the other hand, frequently remove the flowers to direct the plant’s energy towards rhizome development, as this is the most valuable part of the plant.
Maturation: The Lakadong Turmeric rhizomes are fully matured and ready for harvesting by the 9th to 10th month. The rhizomes are now densely packed with curcumin, the essential compound that gives the golden spice its distinct flavor and potency.
Harvesting: By December/January, the stems and leaves show signs of wilting. The drying of the aerial parts indicates that the crop is ready to harvest. The rhizome clusters are then carefully lifted from the ground by farmers using hoes, tapping them to remove dirt and mud. Each rhizome cluster contains 8-12 finger rhizomes.
Unique Traditional Farming Techniques Used by Lakadong Farmers
Lakadong Turmeric cultivation is deeply rooted in tradition. Local farmers have inherited unique farming techniques from their ancestors, which have been refined and perfected over time.
First of all, these farmers are choosy about selecting and storing the best seed material for future harvest. It is the mother rhizome which farmers prefer to preserve. Seeds must be free of blemishes and any sign of disease. They must be of a healthy size and appearance. The seed material chosen is placed in a special basket or container for planting the following season.
Another secret of its uniqueness is that the farmers do not use chemicals, fertilizers or pesticides. Instead, they use only natural pesticides and fully decomposed farmyard manure during land preparation and for seed pits.
Moreover, almost all farmers plant other crops as mixed crops alongside Lakdaong turmeric, such as maize, chilies, aubergines, or okra, to maintain soil fertility. Farmers cover the area with mulch, such as leaves or straw, to conserve moisture.
Weed is a common issue with Lakadong turmeric cultivation. As a result, depending on the rate of weed growth, farmers weed periodically over the course of the crop duration.
Importance of Rainy Season and Well-Draining Soil for Lakadong Turmeric Cultivation
The monsoon season is critical to the development and flavor profile of Lakadong Turmeric. The plentiful rainfall ensures a steady supply of water that promotes healthy growth and prevents water stress. Furthermore, the humid weather helps increase the curcumin content in the rhizomes, which contributes to the turmeric’s intense color and distinct flavor.
However, well-drained soil is equally essential for this precious spice. While monsoon rains provide the necessary moisture, excessive rainfall can cause waterlogging, endangering turmeric plants. Soil with excess water deprives the roots of oxygen, resulting in root rot and poor growth. Farmers frequently use raised bed farming techniques to address this issue and ensure proper drainage and aeration.
Optimizing the Harvest with Earthen Connect
Earthen Connect, a leading aggrotech company that works with local farmers, has been instrumental in optimizing the harvest of Lakadong Turmeric during the monsoon season. They use sustainable farming practices and equip farmers with modern tools and knowledge to increase productivity while preserving traditional knowledge. They ensure the harvest occurs at the optimal time when the rhizomes are at their peak potency by closely monitoring weather patterns and employing expert cultivation techniques.
The story of Lakadong Turmeric is one of dedication, tradition, and nature’s grace. From planting the seeds to careful nurturing and a bountiful harvest, each stage is critical in the production of this precious spice. As we marvel at the unique traditional farming techniques passed down through generations, the efforts of Earthen Connect in preserving this invaluable heritage and ensuring the world receives the highest quality turmeric are equally appreciable. Through traceability, we assure the authenticity of organic products to our consumers and through fair trade, we support and empower dedicated farmers.