A Month of Beginnings in Jadan Organic Gardens - November 2018
Hari Om dear Bhaktas and welcome to the post-Deewali New Year, which was celebrated here in Jadan Ashram on the Dark Moon of the evening of the 7th November. As usual, we sat with Vishwaguruji under the stars with a drone camera buzzing over our heads, as we listened to His Divine Words of Wisdom.
The calendar year is coming to an end and so has our monsoon season, which meant that pumpkin and lauki vines needed to be pulled up and the areas ploughed and roots removed, as now the Shiv Bagh will become a winter and spring flower paradise of colour and texture.
In the Madhuvaani garden opposite, the focus is also on colour and beauty, as the fig trees were removed and new beds made for some pretty ornamentals that we collected from a nursery in Sumerpur, about two hours from here.
We had many many seeds to plant this month and needed to find places in all of the gardens for them. Herbs such as parsley, dill, coriander, fennel and basil do really well during the Indian winter and many leafy greens such as mangold, pak choy, fenugreek, mustard, roquette and all lettuce varieties thrive. In addition to these, root vegetables can also be grown, thus turnips and beetroots, daikon radishes and European radishes, and carrots, as well as spring onions and garlic, were planted at the end of last month and the beginning of this one.
By the end of the month we were putting together the season's first salad mixes replete with moringa flowers and rose petals and a few tender drumstick vegetables (the vegetable which comes from Moringa oleifera which is well known for its highly nutritious leaves).
The cooling off of the mornings also began towards the end of the month and the feeling of needing another layer of clothing around sunset. The days shortened and so did the lunch breaks!
This month was also the beginning of our wheat cultivation and a new area for the lucerne grass in the Big Garden, which is planted annually and used as a fodder for our 4 mares (Mahima, Ganga, Mehendi and Sangam).
We harvested more than 60kg of lemons this month and the same of papaya. The canteen orchard trees were fertilised with well manured and powdery cow dung and after the season is finished, they will get a good pruning, and new gamlas will be dug around the base.
It is always a race to get our winter seeds in because there are so many things that work well during this wonderful season. Tomatoes are also in, as well as some peas and many many marigolds. In fact, different varieties of marigold flowers for all seasons is likely to be a major theme for 2019 in our gardens.
Sunflowers and hollyhocks, zinnias and calendulas were also planted and some of these will have started to bloom by the end of the year.
As usual, I would like to thank the small group that visited us for Deewali and the rest of the month, as they worked hard on a painting project of our sant kurtiyas (small residence jupas for sadhus and other guests) and also showed a lot of interest in our Organic Store, which stocks some medicinal herbs that are produced from our gardens.
The monsoon grasses in the Big Garden were cut after Deewali this year and had already become quite dry – but there is something stored now for our horses for the coming summer months.
Special mention should be made of Jayadeviji from Slovakia, who has returned to Kailash Ashram this month. Before resuming her post there as expert grower of vegetables and fruit trees, she spent some days with us, and during this time worked all day like a Trojan, pruning the extremely overgrown ornamental flowering yellow trumpet vines and rose bushes on the south side of the Shiv Bagh upon observing, which gave me inspiration to tackle the entire garden and to clear it once and for all of all piles of rotting mulch and areas heavy with weeds. At almost 70 years of age she is unstoppable and firing on all eight cylinders!
Also many thanks to our dear Poornimaji from Hungary, who has just completed her third year of Ayurvedic Studies in Jamnagar University in Gujarat. She always brings an amazingly diverse collection of seeds with her and in addition to bringing white sandalwood seeds and ashwagandha seeds this month, she brought an exotic seedling of mint or perhaps spearmint, which has a leaf that freshens the mouth instantly. I hope that it thrives and spreads in the bed where it now resides.
And a final thanks to all those who collected seeds from their gardens in Europe and sent them out to India. It is not always possible to grow everything – chives, Brussel sprouts and celery are very challenging – and some common European flower varieties do not even germinate in our soil – but we must keep on experimenting and going forward. Every year we get some pleasant surprises.
The monsoon pumpkin and gourd garden behind the cool room was also cleared this month, with the help of our JCB. This area will get a few months rest until it becomes a 2019 corn field and later a 2019 salad plantation!
So – we do our best (start and begin) and God does the rest, though there is not much time to rest, but somehow we get angel wings for our work and fly through the days. It is part of the charm and magic of Jadan Ashram. Noble undertakings are supported and made possible by Gurudev.
If you are coming out for Christmas, then of course please bring warm clothes and lots of chocolate – I mean – you need to insulate for the chilly mornings. Of course – karma yogis never eat such a delicacy!
Happy Festive Season and enjoy the European snow. If you are in the mood to visit us for karma yoga then this is the ideal period. Welcome (to do something useful!)
30th November 2018