Jangi is a village in the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh. It is situated on the right bank of the river Satluj. It is located approximately 20 km toward the east of district headquarters Reckong Peo. This village is famous for its beautiful temples, breathtaking picnic spots, and Pine nut forest. With a population of approximately 2000, most of the residents are dependent on agriculture.
Mr. Jaipal Negi is one such farmer who grows Almonds (Kattha Badam) organically. He lives with his family. His parents continue to work in their fields. His brother visits them often who lives in Shimla. His grandma is over the age of 80. She still assists with household tasks.
The family does Apple farming nowadays, but his grandmother told us how they used to have Badam trees all over the farm. Apple is new to this region. Because of its high demand, farmers have shifted towards growing this highly commercialized product. Jaipal still owns a few Almond trees. The produce is too low to take it to the market and sell. He is happy to join hands with our venture. He believes Pahadi Zaika is a positive step toward the organic revolution in Himachal Pradesh.
Pahadi Zaika buys farmers’ produce straight from their farms. Farmers save money on transportation. They do not need to transport their goods somewhere in order to sell it. We also purchase at a price that the farmer considers fair, generating extra cash for them.
According to some journals, commercial cultivation of wild nuts and fruits began in 1961-1962 and gradually extended throughout the district. Kinnaur’s rich, fertile, and well-drained soil, along with its dry and cold climate, creates an ideal environment for Almond. Before a farmer can harvest the fruit from an almond tree, it goes through several steps each year. It all begins in the winter when the tree becomes dormant (deep sleep). As soon as winter ends, the farmer plows the ground and waters the tree regularly. Around March, the stunning bloom is observed. With the assistance, the crop grows throughout spring and is ready to be harvested in the summer.
The farmer then climbs the tree while holding a stick. The farmer then strikes the branches, causing the almonds to fall. The almonds are then picked one by one and deposited in a container. Almonds are then carried to a roof and spread out in the sun on a sheet. The green outer shells of the fruit are, detached from the fruit after a few days. The almond is now ready for sale.
Pahadi Zaika sells two types of almonds. Kagzi (soft-shelled) and Kattha (hard-shelled). Because removing the shell of Katha Almond is difficult, we do it for our customers. You can enjoy this delicious and healthy dry fruit at go.
As for Kagzi Almond, which comes with the shell. There is another story to tell another time.