Organic farming and dining at Cinnamon Lodge

Wednesday, 30 November 2011 01:30 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Cinnamon Lodge Habarana launched an ‘organic’ rice cultivation project yesterday in the hotel’s farm with the participation of the team at Cinnamon Lodge and some guests of the hotel. The treated water from the sewerage treatment plant was used to irrigate these paddy fields and the vegetable cultivation; previously the treated water was discharged to the lake in the compound.

General Manager of Cinnamon Lodge Ghazzali Mohideen, Executive Regional Chef and members of the management team at work

In order to make it a novel experience to the guests they too were invited to participate in the planting of the paddy saplings. The farm at Cinnamon Lodge Habarana also cultivates vegetables, rice and the resort also has its own honey production, all of which is being carried out in line with organic principles. The farm is in the line up to receive a European Union accredited organic certification, which has global acceptance.

General Manager of Cinnamon Lodge Ghazzali Mohideen personally led the group of guests and farmers in the initiative. He stated: “This is a novel way to involve the community to create awareness about green practices and to instil in our own way a practice of cultivating healthy greens and vegetables without any harmful agents.”

The resort also has its own dairy which meets the entire fresh milk requirement of the hotel and the range of innovative yoghurts produced by Cinnamon Lodge has received good reviews from guests.

The dairy farm too is run according to organic principles where the cows are not given antibiotics and the feed for the cows are free of harmful pesticides. In addition the farm also raises quail and turkey following organic principles.

As an extension to the hotel’s organic project, 11 identified low income local farmers are being supported and trained on organic cultivation and they too are to receive the EU accredited certification. Produce from the farmers will be purchased by the hotel. The local farmers are also being of assistance in raising free range poultry (for eggs and meat) for hotel consumption.

Hotel guests who enjoyed the experience

The elegant dining restaurant Lotus of Cinnamon Lodge Habarana will be Sri Lanka’s first certified organic restaurant; work on the certification has also commenced. An interactive form of dining has been introduced where guests visit the organic farm with baskets, pick vegetables of their choice, get involved with the cooking process with the chefs and dine in the kitchen.

On receiving certification organic vegetables will be available for sale at the Cinnamon Lodge Habarana and the option of guests picking their own vegetables would be introduced. Periodic training sessions are held for local associations, spouses of employees of the resort living in Habarana and schools on organic cultivation and its benefits.

A few of the stakeholders have already begun cultivation and contacted the resort for further advice.

Cinnamon Lodge Habarana stays true to the vision of the John Keells Hotels Group by becoming a trendsetter in the hospitality industry and launching the organic farming concept, which is a first in the Sri Lankan hotels and resorts sector.