Planter's Diary


December 27th, 2013 by Ganesh H. R.

Rubber Plantations at Coorg – a British Legacy

Rubber plantations existed at Orange County, Coorg since the time the British occupied the country. When the British began researching about soil conditions conducive to growing rubber, they found the plantations of Orange County, Coorg suitable for this purpose. They planted many rubber trees around the Orange County estate. Rubber trees provide shade for coffee plantations and also act as a bonus crop. These trees can be tapped everyday to obtain latex from them.

Rubber Plantations, Coorg

Sprawling Rubber Plantations

Early morning each day at 6:00 am, rubber tappers come to the estate and begin tapping. The process should take place early morning before sunrise. While they tap, they make incisions on the trees’ barks that are 1.5 inches deep. While doing so, they need to be cautious that the tree is not damaged.

Coorg rubber trees provide latex after six years as the weather is very cold. The latex obtained at Coorg is very thick. If the tapping is done later in the morning instead of earlier, sunlight falls on the bark. This makes the flow of latex dry and the flow of rubber will stop on account of this.

After collection of the latex, it is taken to the rubber processing area and mixed with Hydrochloric acid and placed in an aluminum tray. The latex takes 5-6 hours to get thick, following which it is taken from the tray, pressed by hand and placed in a machine to make raw rubber sheets.

Rubber sheets being made in Coorg

Rubber Sheets Being Made

These rubber sheets are dried in sunlight for 3-4 days. They are then taken to the smoke house where they are smoked. The tappers wait for the sheets to turn a golden hue. These are then collected and sold to rubber factories.

Looking for the right hue

Looking for the Right Hue?

Rubber Plantations at Coorg – a British Legacy
Ganesh H. R.
How often do you encounter someone who has a live birdsong for a mobile ring tone? How much rarer to meet someone who can imitate bird calls and insect sounds so convincingly that you are hard pressed to tell the difference between original and copy? Meet Ganesh, our resident Naturalist. Let him take you on a tour of our plantation animatedly explaining the hallmarks of Arabica and Robusta coffees, the subtle dynamics of pepper harvesting, the traces left by foraging wild elephants and boars, while, in between, calling out to a swallow in his own brand of bird language. "Enchantment unlimited", is how we would be prone to put it!

This entry was posted on Friday, December 27th, 2013 at 3:13 PM and is filed under Destination, Farming, Nature, Plantation. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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