August 6, 2022 (IANSlife) More than 100 different species of natural and organic crops may be found at MharoKhet, a forty-acre experiential farm in Jodhpur that offers calming experiences in the midst of nature. The creators' own creations, The Farm Tour and The Culinary Trail, are thrilling ways to experience everything the farm has to offer, from producing and harvesting fruit to cooking and dining.
MharoKhet offers multi-course, pre-plated, plant-forward eating as well as interactive walking excursions. MharoKhet is a majority-female, inclusive of the community, ethical agricultural business that highlights the beauty of agriculture and sustainable life. Almost every exotic crop is available to tourists, including figs, oyster mushrooms, strawberries, moringa, and Brussel sprouts. From October through March, when exotic produce is at its best, the farm is open to visitors. A range of farm-based activities are available, and one can reserve solo or group experiences.
The various experiences offered by MharoKhet include–
Farm Tours: Thoroughly entertaining and educational, farm tours provide guests with exposure to sustainable farming, traditional methods of pest control and fertigation, the benefits and challenges of chemical-free agriculture, and best practices for growing native, exotic and indigenous produce. Additionally, guests can harvest some fruits or vegetables during the course of the tour.
Culinary trail: The culinary trail is a dining experience that consists of a seven-course, pre-plated, plant-forward meal, which is an amalgam of art, freshness and flavour; the open-to-sky dining has tables perched under the canopy of trees in a two-decade old guava orchard. The visitors can expect the super-local, seasonal approach taken to the next level with the produce harvested fresh from the farm.
Flagship Experience: The best of both worlds: the flagship experience at MharoKhet combines the distinct experiences of the farm tour followed by a multi-course culinary experience. Guests also have time to explore and relax at the farm, be one with nature, and soak in the surroundings. For example relaxing under the straw canopies on charpoys and observing cloud formations, fly kites etc.
Private Dining: Crafted specifically for those looking to celebrate a special occasion or wanting an exclusive, intimate setup, private dining experiences are arranged at select locations on the farm, away from where other guests are. Depending on the season one can choose to spend their time either in the chamomile fields, amongst the sunflowers, or under a blossoming Rohida tree.
The main objective of MharoKhet is to advance sustainable farming methods. MharoKhet uses regenerative techniques, such as trickle drip irrigation and rainwater collecting, to minimise the usage of plastics. The farm also aggressively promotes community involvement and women's emancipation. In actuality, the majority of the women on the MharoKhet field team are female residents of nearby villages within a five-kilometer range.
Rajnush Agarwal, a scientist and entrepreneur with an Oxford education, runs MharoKhet with the help of his wife Vedika, a psychologist with a Columbia education. The origins of MharoKhet can be traced back to 2013, when Rajnush noticed a lack of the variety of fresh food he used to be able to find while travelling and visiting foreign countries. He started experimenting with farming at the family property, but it wasn't until the Covid-19 pandemic that he had the opportunity to realise the farm's potential for profit.
Initially, MharoKhet was a direct-to-consumer business that shipped fresh produce (with a focus on exotics) to Jodhpur residents within four hours of harvest. The goal was to distribute the fresh product to consumers as quickly as possible, not to become an aggregator. Customers began to understand that the produce provided by MharoKhet was of a higher calibre.
The local community had a growing appetite for crops. This increased local interest in visiting the farm, particularly among city inhabitants who wanted to experience rural life and witness how such exotic products are grown in a formerly arid region of Western Rajasthan. This inspired the creators to start providing tourists with immersive experiences, such as farm tours and authentically farm-to-table dining.
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