Annapurna started to grow rice in 1987 in a few small plots to gaze at crop development in a heavy clay cotton soil, with years of learning; mainly increasing the rain water harvest capacity [we harvest about 50,000 cubic meters of rain water each year to sustain the farm irrigation needs, that includes: Rice, dairy and orchards]. We increased the acreage, machine park, rice milling capacity and storage/drying space. Today we are growing around 20 acres(8 Ha) of paddy (rice) which is cultivated from end August to March starting just before the monsoon and harvesting after the rains are over. We sow in small batches to be able to spread the workload of field preparation, planting and weeding. Our rice is processed in small batches. Processing of a crop of paddy into rice happens from a few months to 1-2 years after harvest, depending on demand.
COMPLETE RICE BROWN (Annapurna, The farmer’s select)
During the early years of paddy variety selection on the farm, Tomas (manager) found an interesting featured rice plant within the paddy fields. This plant was selected to grow in consecutive years, and those few seeds now make one of our main varieties of rice that spreads over 7 acres each season.
The Annapurna variety is grown from the end of August and harvested in February. The rice is stored in the granary for a minimum of 6 months in the paddy form and is dehusked as per demand in small batches. Our complete brown rice is rich in dietary fiber with less carb content.
COMPLETE RICE RED (Poovan Samba)
Poovan Samba is a traditional variety of Tamil Nadu, grown on the farm from September end and is harvested by early March. About 5 feet tall and drought resistant; this deep red variety of rice offers a unique nutty taste. The rice is stored in the granary for a minimum of 6 months in the paddy form and is dehusked as per demand in small batches.
COMPLETE RICE BROWN (Basmati)
Farm grown long grain, aromatic and processed as healthy brown basmati.
Note: Brown rice is a whole grain rice with the inedible outer hull removed. This kind of rice sheds its outer hull or husk but the bran and germ layer remain on, constituting the brown or tan color of rice.
Annapurna grows a white rice – CO43, which is an improved variety developed by Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in early 80s. This variety is not season bound and is saline-alkaline soil tolerant thus suits better with our current growing conditions and cultivation techniques. However to preserve the nutritional values of the rice we process this variety into “parboiled”, unpolished rice.
Parboiled rice is rice that has been partially boiled in the husk. The three basic steps of parboiling are soaking, steaming and drying. These steps make the rice easier to process at the granary while also boosting its nutritional profile, changing its texture, and making it more resistant to weevils during the storage.
Parboiling drives nutrients, especially thiamin, from the bran to the endosperm, hence parboiled white rice is mostly nutritionally similar to brown rice. Parboiled rice takes less time to cook and is firmer and less sticky. Compared to brown rice, parboiling of rice incurs losses of thiamin, niacin, biotin, and pantothenic acid by approximately 70%, 28%, 49% and 25%, respectively. Compared to normal milling, which causes a near 65% loss of all these micronutrients, parboiling preserves more of them. At Annapurna, we parboil rice in small batches as per demand to supply it fresh.
SESAME & MUSTARD
Sesame and Mustard are grown at Annapurna, irrigated on the fields or as a non-irrigated dryland intercrop in Gliricidia (Fodder for the dairy) plantations. They are sown late winter monsoon months – November to January and harvest by March. While the Sesame is processed on the farm into Gomasio, mustard is sold as a whole product.
Rosella at Annapurna is grown as a rainfed crop from August and harvest from November. The plants come to flowering after about 45-60 days of sowing and it is extended over a period of 4 months. The calyxes grow rapidly and are ready for picking within 15-20 days after blooming. The whole fruits are plucked when they are tender, plump, fleshy, crisp and deep red in color. The calyx lobes are separated and used fresh to process into Jams and syrups, while seeds are collected for the next season plantation and seeds are also milled in with the dairy animal’s grain concentrate due to high protein content.
Annapurna Granary Product List
|Product||Produced at |
| Foodlink Grain|
Processed in Annapurna
|Available in Auroville|
|complete rice brown||yes||yes||yes|
|complete rice red||yes||yes||yes|
|complete rice basmati||yes||yes|
|green gram||yes||yes||not available|
|rosella||yes||yes / dried|