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Origin visit: March 2022, Sri Lanka

Origin visit: March 2022, Sri Lanka

I recall my last day in Sri Lanka before flying back to Accra. I was staying in Galle for the night, which is about 3 hours down south from the farm. It was raining the entire night and I had woken up to the sounds of tempestuous thunderstorms. It was 5 am and I felt the urge to visit the farm one last time before leaving. Doubtful if I was making the right decision, as I had to reach Colombo for my flight that was scheduled for 6 pm that same evening. I called up Mr Kumara to ask him if it was raining in his village too & if I could visit him, my call went unanswered. I had to leave immediately if I were to make it to the farm and then on time to the airport which was another 3 hours away from Medagalathura. If I were to wait for him to return my call or wait for the rains to subside, I wouldn’t have made it to the farm before my departure. I left the hotel in Galle at 6:30 am with prayers in my mind and with a very hazy Plan B. A few kilometres after, I saw a rainbow, with some hope I carried on with the journey. Another few kilometres after, there was only sunshine and more hope. The driver too eased out a little bit and switched on the radio. The risk paid off. I made it to the farm on time ~ Mr Kumara came to pick me up at 9:30 am from the junction up to which my car can reach, I spent 3 hours at the farm before leaving for the airport at 1 pm, EXACTLY AS PLANNED guys! I mean what in life goes as per plan?

As you enter Mr Kumara’s farm, you will see True Cinnamon trees shining bright along the slopes of the mountain which then merges with government-owned forest land till as far as the eyes can see.

He was confused to see me, as I had already said my goodbye a day before. He asked me how much time do I have and if we could go for a quick hike, so we could see more cinnamon trees ~ I am always up for it - to see and learn more & I that also meant I get to pick his brain even more as we walk up to the mountain.

What I saw along the route and as we reached the spot that he wanted me to see, was magical! I touched wood, yet again, for making the right choice of partnering with Mr Kumara. We crossed streams running across the surrounds of his land that gushed though the rocks, we stopped by the stream to drink the most purest form of water with the help of a leaf that had fallen on the ground, we hiked up the mountainous slopes that were filled with cinnamon leaves from the morning’s harvest & met a few workers along the way who were clearing up the land for planting some new cinnamon babies.

As with the norm with natural farming practices, the yield is much lower than those in conventional farms.

When I ask Mr Kumara, he tells me this:

“I am able to export all the cinnamon that I currently grow, I have a family of 3, I own 2 cars and I have the most loyal & hard working skilled artisans for peeling the cinnamon. I am happy with what I have. Chasing yields & profits at the cost of destroying the Mother Earth is not worth the time. I am a 4th generation farmer & if I were to feed the soil with chemicals, I am afraid that my children will not be able to carry forward our family legacy.”


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