Coimbatore Celebrates Heirloom Seeds and Horticulture

The Covai Seed Festival held at Kaumaram Sushila International Residential School at Chinnavedampatti over the weekend had a number of farmers from different parts of the country, including Odisha, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, taking part.

It was an occasion to celebrate organic farming and introduce many others to agro-diversity, heirloom seeds and horticulture. A walk through the venue gave visitors an insight into the nuances of farming and the importance of heirloom seeds over the hybrid ones.

Farmer had a number of heirloom (old varieties that are passed on to the next generations) seeds on display- be it different varieties of spinach or vegetables. Surprisingly people who did not know farming was showed interest in seeds, which is good news. Farmers had seeds of cucumber, beetroot, tomato, ash gourds, bitter gourds, ridge gourd, okra, green amaranth, watermelon, carrot, radish, chillies and brinjal to name a few.

A farmer from Odisha had on display different types of wild tubers, wild mushrooms, wild fruits and wild greens. From which some are food from the forests. They grow naturally and are filled with nutrients. Back in Odisha, they dry these mushrooms, bamboo shoot, tamarind and mangoes. They stay fresh for even two months. As for the tubers, they either boil them in water and consume them or include them in their curries. Once in six months, they head to the forests and get the produce.

Different varieties of wheat and rice gave a sneak peek into the diversity of the grains. a farmer from Hubballi hopes that, not many know that there are so many varieties in wheat and rice, so by seeing all these organic produce, they get interested in farming.

Visitors also got a glimpse of the different varieties of cattle, hen, goats, sheep and buffalo breeds of India.

While those interested in farming thronged the farmer’s stalls, the eco-friendly visitors explored products made out of areca leaf, banana fibre, coir pot making and handloom. Stalls selling clothes made out of organic dye also grabbed many eyeballs. Children had fun taking part in science experiments conducted by experts.


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