On the drive back home from the Trikaya farm in Talegaon, I felt deprived. Of fruit and vegetables. Not that I live in a desert. Like most people living in the city, I buy my vegetables from the local supermarkets and vegetable markets. Most times, I come home happy, thinking I have bought fresh produce. Other times, I know I am making a compromise; especially on exotics like herbs and fruits, knowing fully well that they’ve been sitting in commercial refrigerators for several hours before landing up in my shopping cart. It’s a price I am usually willing to pay.
On Samar Gupta’s idyllic farm in Talegaon, I realized what a bloody illusion I’m living in. I have been buying near-dehydrated, brown-stalked, thyme and inhaling its aromas as it roasts with my tomatoes, convincing myself that life is at its best. I have been buying brown-edged iceberg lettuce and dunking it in iced water to crisp it up. And I have been looking at those large packets of cellophane-wrapped dragon fruit with one eyebrow up, just happy that I now have access to exotic fruit from countries I have never seen. Hmph.
Minutes after our group of foodies reached the farm, Samar tore us away from admiring the tablefuls of freshly harvested produce to touring the farm. Whatever I say in order to describe the farm is going to be insufficient to convey to you, dear reader, what a treat it was. I hope my pictures do some justice in showing you a glimpse of the wonderful produce that one of India’s best exotic produce suppliers has on offer.
Great respect going out to Samar Gupta, who’s evidently so passionate about what he does, that his eyes sparkle as he talks about it. He educates you and makes you fall in love with his vegetables and fruits. He has a team of committed gentlemen who do the rounds of the 25-acre property several times a day and experiment with dehydration and preservation techniques. He’ll sit you down to a good meal, allow you to fiddle in his kitchen with his gorgeous vegetable gold, and offer you a nice pot of freshly brewed coffee at the end of it all. He’ll pack you off with goodies, and if you’re like me, you’ll wonder why you don’t live on the farm. And for several days after the trip, you’ll look at your supermarket’s veggie section with utter disdain, absolutely uninspired to cook.
Having said that, I shall return to my dreamy sighs and leave you with pictures to drool over. Thank you, Rushina, for inviting me to this trip.