Agriculture

A luxury hotelier goes full farm-to-fork

Novotel Hyderabad Airport’s on-site farm with the hotel in the background

Novotel Hyderabad Airport’s on-site farm with the hotel in the background  

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The spice garden at Novotel Hyderabad Airport is a delight to the eyes

This year when vendors weren't able to supply broccoli for commercial consumption, the breakfast menu at Novotel Hyderabad Airport (NHA) still featured stir-fried broccoli, and for lunch and dinner, the team could offer cream of broccoli soup on the buffet. All this was possible because the hotel management was harvesting broccoli from their own kitchen garden.

What started as an experiment gave them a rich yield of “250 kilograms of broccoli and 70 kilograms of tomatoes from the garden; all of it organic and chemical-free,” beams Executive chef Varun.

Seeing the yield and having experienced the joy of being able to pick and cook vegetables harvested from their own herb garden, the team of chefs and the hotel managementm in line with sustainability initiative of Accor 'Acting here Planet 21' policy, decided to extend the garden and increase the variety of vegetables grown in it. NHA's spice garden, now spread over more than one acre, ensures a steady supply of lemons, leafy vegetables, sugar cane, chillies and herbs.

“As a brand, we encourage the use and source of locally produced vegetables, fruit, herbs and edible flowers. These then feature in the restaurant menus, in the bar cocktails or in spas' in the form of aromatic oils and herbal teas,” explains Varun. who maintains the the Herb Garden at NHA along with executive housekeeper Kiran Kumar Reddy.

The papaya section of Novotel Hyderabad Airport’s on-site farm

The papaya section of Novotel Hyderabad Airport’s on-site farm  

A stroll in the herb garden gives a view of neat rows of various saplings. Beans were beginning to flower and the stiff chillies scream for attention as they shine in the afternoon sunlight. Bathed with a spell of rain the previous night, every leaf in the garden, including the curry leaves, seems like nature had put on the 'vivid warm' filter on this patch of the land.

“Apart from using them in our regular menus, we also use the fresh produce in our kitchens to dish out special ‘healthy’ dishes for those with dietary restrictions. To give guests an experience of what it feels like to pick fresh vegetables and cook them, we also do breakfast and cooking sessions on request, for guests. We have the option of organising unique lunche and dinner sessions that work around a ‘farm to fork’ concept,” says Harshvardhan Dengwekar, director digital marketing and communication at NHA.

The garden helps the hotel reuse the water used to wash vegetables and pulses. “We are also making our own manure with vegetable waste,” adds Kiran Kumar.

Planet Healers celebrates green initiatives. If you know an eco-warrior, email us at hydmetroplus@ thehindu.co.in

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 4:42:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/agriculture/novotel-hyderabad-airports-farm-to-fork-concepts-spice-garden/article29681282.ece

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