meet the farmers
The cooperative we work with in Kidichi is located in what once was the private property of the first Sultan of Zanzibar and Oman.
The site is famous for its Persian bathing houses and lush forests.
It was here that the first clove trees in Zanzibar were introduced in the early 1800s.
The Sultanate is long gone now and the area has been carved up amongst different smallhold farmers, all occupying relatively small pieces of land, but bigger than perhaps in some other areas. This allows us to be able to source spices from single smallhold farms, although they do work within an organic cooperative founded by the experienced agriculturist Mr. Foum Ali Gari, where they receive training in cultivation and processing methods.
The forest in many of these farms is thick and dense, with lush green vegetation. Most of the farmers here practise true agroforestry and you won’t find any neat rows of crops or trees in this area. Most people won’t even realise they are walking in a spice farm, as it feels like walking through a tropical forest. Pepper vines sprawl and climb up any tree they can, and the forests are interspersed with jackfruit, choki choki, durian and cinnamon trees as well as other fruits.
We currently source our black pepper, cinnamon and clove from these farmers and soon we hope to be able to source some beautiful vanilla from Aviwe’s farm, who is expecting her first vanilla harvest next year after meticulously tending to her vanilla plants for 3 years.
Most of the spices are dried in the sun on woven mats, but in the future it is our goal to get a solar drier for them so the spices can dry more quickly, evenly and protected from outside conditions which should lead to an improvement in quality.