Fresh off the plane, the IARD 6020 group made our way to the farms and fields at Kolenchery. There, we met Adji, a second-generation farmer who leads 5 plots of 20 acre land for production of pineapple, rubber, nutmeg, and more.
We discussed the crop cycle and harvesting methods of pineapple, and remarked upon how weeds from the field were hand-weeded and used to cover the fruit to protect it from the sun.
Each pineapple crop takes approximately 11 months to harvest, and each plant produces 4-5 fruits. The farmer gets 24 rupees per kilo. The farm grows two varieties, Rahnee and Queen varieties, and employs 30 laborers.
Although the group was fatigued from travel and very jet-lagged, we were revived by an impromptu pineapple tasting. The fruit was sweet, juicy, and refreshing.
After, we continued our walk through the land and got to see some cows and some spices.
Many of us had never seen these spices outside of our spice racks at home, and appreciated the opportunity to see how they are grown.
Lastly, we got to see how latex is harvested.
Overall, although the American students were very fatigued from travel and jet lag, the day was filled with new knowledge and the group seemed very excited and grateful to be in India with our Indian student peers and professors.