Aideobarie, our single-origin tea farm is located near Sonari which is a town in Charaideo District, of Assam.
Charaideo was the capital of the Tai-Ahom Kingdom (1228–1826 CE), which controlled much of the Brahmaputra Valley in modern Assam until 1826. The Tai-Ahoms are traced to either Mong Mao of South China or to the Hukawng Valley in Myanmar (Burma). They originated in the Chinese province of Yunnan and began migrating into Indochina and northern Myanmar (Burma) in the first centuries AD. Assam comes from the word Ahom.
Aideobarie is situated 25 kilometres east of Charaideo and is approximately 200 hectares. Our farmland doesn’t just have tea plants but is a dwelling place for many other flora and fauna.
The flora is myriad, ranging from indigenous herbal plants to bamboo plants and indigenous chilli plants, all adding to nature’s bounty. Herbal plants and trees like wild turmeric, Indian Gooseberry, Indian Almond, Basil, Ashoka Tree and Drumstick Tree grow in the wild. Regional varieties of bamboo trees and chilli plants are also found in this area.
Assam is one of the most fertile places in the world. It is often said, you just need to throw some seeds into the soil in Assam and it will take root and grow to bear fruit. The workers and their families grow vegetables in their plots of land as well as depend on this bounty of the indigenous flora and fauna for sustenance.
The River Teok flows by the side of Aideobarie. Local fish is plentiful in the section of the river, south of the tea farm. Catfish, Singhi fish, Panda Catfish, Banded Snakehead fish, Indian Climbing Perch fish, Borali fish are some of the fishes found in the waterbodies. People from the villages surrounding the tea farm are always found fishing during weekends and after work.
Thick-billed Green Pigeons roost in large numbers in our tea farm shade trees blending with the green foliage. Migratory birds like Ruddy Shelduck, Bar Headed Goose, Asian Openbill Stork also take refuge during the winter months. The stiff “military” gait scavenger bird - Greater Adjutant Stork, flock the farmland. Noisy corvids like Rufous Treepie create a cacophony at Aideobarie every morning.
Attractive small sparrow-like songbird Scaly Breasted Munia is also spotted across the farm. They are insectivorous birds that live in grasslands and move in pairs. Adorable Jungle Myna with yellow-orange bill and legs, and small tufted crest above the base of bill adorn the area. Common Myna and House Sparrows are people friendly and are found in abundance. Electric bluish-green tinged Kingfisher is found near the water bodies of the farm.
Aideobarie is not far from the Naga Hills which is south of the tea farm. The Naga Hills form the state of Nagaland where many tribes live in harmony with the animals of the area. Large tracts of land are reserved for elephants and we often have these beautiful animals visiting our tea farm. Our farm serves as an elephant corridor and is animal friendly.
Many other visitors from the animal kingdom use Aideobarie as their transit path to forest tracts on either side of the tea farm. These range from carnivores like leopards to omnivores like wild boars, Assam Macaque monkeys and Hoolock Gibbons as well as herbivores like elephants and rabbits.
Local squamates are plentiful in the garden. They include the imposing King Cobra, the beautiful Monocled Cobra with their O-shaped hood pattern, the enigmatic Common Krait and the beautiful patterned Reticulated Python. These slithering creatures tend to come out of hibernation during the monsoons and bask in the summer sun. The tea pluckers and workers use a homemade repellent made with mustard oil and ground tobacco to keep snakes and leeches at bay.
There are many other flora and faunas that deck up Aideobarie. Each creeper and crawler, lifters and leapers, movers and mixers, munchers and scrapers, singers, buzzers, chirpers, climbers, builders, buriers, and recyclers coexist peacefully with the people of the farm thereby enriching the biodiversity of the farm.
Aideobarie - one farm, home to many!