Due to the increasing market demand, bay leaf farming is proving to be a profitable deal. The cultivation of bay leaves is very simple as well as very cheap. By its cultivation, farmers can earn more profit at less cost. Bay leaf is useful for many purposes. Apart from its use in our food, it is also very beneficial for our health. Apart from this, bay leaf is also used for many spiritual works.
What Is A Bay Leaf?
Bay leaf is a small to medium-sized evergreen tree up to 7.5 metres high. The colour of the bark of its stem is dark brown or crimson, slightly rough, less aromatic and tasteless than cinnamon. The outer part is light pink or reddish brown with white stripes. Its leaves are simple, opposite or alternate, 10-12.5 cm long, of different widths, elliptical, shiny, pointed, with 3 veins, aromatic and spicy. Moreover, the new leaves are somewhat pink in colour. Its flowers are light yellow and the fruits are oval, fleshy, red, and 13 mm long. Its flowering and fruiting period is from August to February.
Bay Leaves Uses
Bay leaf is especially used in food in many countries, including America, Europe and India. They are used in stews, soups, meat, seafood and vegetable dishes. These leaves are often used in their full size and removed before serving. It is often used in biryani and other spicy dishes in India and Pakistan and is used daily in the kitchen as a garam masala.
Bay Leaf Health Benefits
Due to the nutrients found in bay leaves, it is used as a medicine for many diseases. Bay leaf is also very beneficial for skin and hair. The essential oil found in it is used in the cosmetic industry to make creams, perfumes and soaps. It can deeply cleanse the skin, as it has astringent properties. In another research, bay leaves have also been found to be effective in reducing the inflammation caused by acne. Bay leaves can be used for health and skin as well as hair.
It can keep the hair roots from fungal and bacterial infections, as it is rich in anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. Because of these properties, the essential oil extracted from bay leaves is used in anti-dandruff and psoriasis lotions. Apart from this, it is used as a medicine for diseases like diabetes, and cancer, reducing inflammation, dental diseases, kidney problems etc. Apart from this, it is also used to keep flies and cockroaches away from food items.
Bay Leaf Farming Regions
Most of its producing countries are India, Russia, Central America, Italy, France, North America, Belgium, etc. At the same time, most Bay leaf farming in India is done in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Kerala, and Karnataka, besides the hilly areas of North East India.
Bay Leaf Farming Steps
Bay leaves can be cultivated on all types of land or soil. But for this soil, having a pH value of 6 to 8 is most suitable. We should prepare the ground before its cultivation. For this, we should plough the soil two to three times with the Mahindra YUVO 275 DI tractor. At the same time, we should clean the weeds from the field. Then, we should use organic manure after use. We can also use another tractor which has different types of quality.
Transplanting In Bay Leaf Farming
New plants are propagated by layering, or cuttings, as growing from seed can be difficult. Bay trees are difficult to grow from seed, partly because of the low germination rate of the seed and the long germination period. Fresh seed with pods removed typically has a germination rate of 40 percent, while dry seed or seed with pods has an even lower germination rate. In addition, bay laurel seeds have a germination period of 50 days or more, which increases the risk of the seeds rotting before they germinate. Therefore, it is best to sow its plant in the field. Also, we can use the Eicher 485 tractor for transplanting needs.
While planting plants, we should keep the distance of 4 to 6 metres between each plant. Keep in mind that there should be a proper arrangement of water in the field. They also need to be protected from frost. We should spray neem oil every week to prevent insects.
Irrigation Requirements Of Bay Leaf
Bay leaf farming does not require special irrigation. Irrigation should be done once a week in the summer season. On the other hand, if the monsoon arrives late in the rainy season, irrigation can be done. Otherwise, only rainwater is sufficient for this. In winter, it needs to be protected from frost. For this, you can do light irrigation as per requirement.
Harvesting In Bay Leaf Farming
Its plant will be ready for harvesting in about 6 years. Its leaves should be cut and dried in the shade. If you cultivate it to extract oil, you can use distillation equipment.
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