On first sight it seems tea is the only crop at Munnar. But there are several other crops including cardamom, strawberry and several rare fruits. There are also several locations in Munnar that are not actively promoted as tourist spots. Having an insider friend at places like Munnar Hill Station helps, because we were able to see places that will otherwise be shut before us and enjoy doing things about which we are completely ignorant.
On this trip we were taken to a cardamom plantation, right at the harvesting days. The women who were at work at the cardamom plantation told us how to identify ripe and unripe fruits and methods of collecting them. The inflorescence appears towards the base of the plants and one has to sit down to collect the fruits.
Though not a highly skilled of challenging task, being able to actually collect 'queen of spices' is a real experience that a visitor like me would never like to forget.
Drying plucked cardamom in special chamber is another technology. Firewood is burned outside a chamber and heat transmitted to inside the chamber with the help of big perforated iron pipes.
Just one instance, there are also several fruits like 'seemakathiri', which has seeds like that of passion fruit and tastes great, but not like any other fruit I have eaten till date. When plucked from tree, it feels like straight out of refrigerator. I think people here hardly require fridge or other items, except maybe to prepare ice-cream.
This is also place to find great strawberry. Strawberry juice, they say is ideal combination for booze.