Lakadong Turmeric - A Special Spice of Meghalaya [Infographic]
Lakadong turmeric grows in select areas of the Jaintia Hills district of the state of Meghalaya, one of the seven sister states that make the Northeast India. We walk you through how it is grown. What we present is here is as heard from farmers cultivating Lakadong turmeric. We are covering the basics to give you an idea. Did you know that Turmeric is a rhizome or a bunch of underground stems? It is propagated by planting the mother rhizome. Care is taken to plant healthy ones. You wonder what a rhizome is and what a mother rhizome is. Here is a quick primer: "Rhizome is a modified subterranean stem of a plant that is usually found underground, often sending out roots and shoots from its nodes. Rhizomes are also called creeping root-stocks."(Source)
First comes field preparation. Every year in March, the fields are cleared of all weeds, to make way for the planting of turmeric rhizomes. This ensures that the crop gets all the available nutrients without having to share it with weeds and the like! The weeds that are uprooted are burnt and the ash is mixed in the soil as additional nutrient.
Care is taken to plant healthy rhizomes that have been stored from the previous crop. Turmeric is harvested in December/January and mother rhizomes are saved for the next crop. It is to be noted that for generations Lakadong turmeric farmers have been depending on the mother rhizome of the previous years’ crop – which means the root stock can be traced back to what their great grandfathers and beyond had used.
As the plants grow, the field needs constant weeding. Lakadong turmeric is grown organically. The farmers use animal manure.
Lakadong Turmeric is harvested starting December by uprooting. The harvest is sorted into three categories – next season’s sowing, finger turmeric and ground turmeric. All in all, Lakadong takes ten months from sowing to harvesting. Purchase Lakadong Turmeric sourced from the organic farmers of Jaintia Hills of North East India’s Meghalaya.