This Goan homestay on a 50-acre plantation is an ode to the slow life
Meals are simple but sumptuous. Expect seasonal vegetables and recipes – we sampled a local green leafy vegetable with jackfruit seeds, a coconut bimbla curry and a delicious pineapple and jackfruit seed sabzi with rice and poie. For dessert, we tasted a banana flambé, which our host prepared outdoors. You can also sip sweet and spicy feni shots or try the local favourite: urak with lemon, ice, chilli, a pinch of lime and rock salt.
How to Spend 48 Hours at Dudhsagar Plantation
While soaking up the goodness of the surroundings may satisfy your soul, take a plantation tour or trail with the hosts.
Here we walked a trail of fruits, berries and leaves and tasted nutmeg, long pepper and tiny grape-like wild brinjals.
Goa’s famous monsoon mushrooms – Olmi, now banned from harvesting due to overexploitation, grow on the many termite mounds there – termites convert dead wood into good soil. Banana, papaya, chikoo, pineapple, breadfruit, squash, bimbla and even cinnamon grow here. Ashok pointed us to “organic lipstick,” the edible annatto seed, if we needed more color on our already flushed cheeks.
Nearby is the Dudhsagar River, a short jeep ride away. You can swim there or swim in the natural pool of the plantation. In any case, it will be followed by a healthy vegetarian lunch at the plantation. Guests can also sign up for a cashew picking and feni tasting trail, depending on the time of year. “During the harvest season, we offer cashew apple-centric meals to our customers – from chutneys to desserts and local preparations, and also participate in the making of feni,” says Ashok.
You can also choose to hike to Tamdi Surla or to the Dudhsagar waterfalls or simply stroll around the property: admire the sunset, stop at the rock structure revered by the locals or simply breathe in the air costs. Activities can be made easy, though this farm stay is about people connecting to the rural wilderness. “Many don’t know the essence of a farm stay. It’s not a resort, it’s our home, and eclectic nature lovers love it,” smiles Ashok as a philosophy professor in New York and his family joke about the pros and cons of urak before or after lunch!
Before guests depart, Ajit often shares a photo of his magnificent pet leopard (from the time of Baba Amte) with guests, as recent sightings of such beasts in Goa have heightened the urgent need for conservation of forest areas. Of course, they do their part.