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April News in Organic Jadan Gardens

What’s new in the Jadan Gardens in April 2014

Well to begin with it became really really hot – up to 43 degrees celsius in the shade in fact, by the end of the month. Rain came for some glorious hours on the 20th and apart from that it was not only hot and dry but also dry and hot.

We harvested 156kg this month most of which was tomatoes – the quality of which was not the best owing to aphid dramas but okay they were sweet and red and by the end of the month hardly worth bothering with and so our mares were happy to have their summer night stable back and made short work of the remaining plants and by the 30th their hooves had nicely kicked over the soil so that it looked as though the plough had gone through.

The bhindi and guar phali were in modest production by the end of the month and chandaliya was cut from the first week. There were even a few toru gourds on the horizon and so at least we shall have some sabji for the month of May. Though most of the Phoot Kakri did not survive – some plants are flowering – the tarkakri produced 2 pieces and is looking not too bad given the intense attack from the red pumpkin beetles this month.

The workshop area is in fact looking abundant with lots of mint, papayas on the trees and small trees green and happy. Fat gundas were hanging from the Cordia Myxa trees by the end of the month and we shall harvest these in May as well. There are however a lot of weeds in the area and so my work is cut out for me next month. Though beautiful and colourful, the blanket flowers are host to a small flying bug that lives inside the leaves in thousands and so these will need to be removed. There is an option for some replanting in May.

In the big kheti the bhindi plants are small and barely producing but the fodder is excellent and the Napier grass is getting taller by the day.

Chandaliya may be cut twice a week for a delicious green leafy vegetable dish. The eggplants are still going strong so all in all we had enough green vegetables to provide us with produce through until May.

22kg of garlic was harvested from the winter garden this month and dried and then cleaned with the help of the karma yogis and the oats were removed and the area ploughed and sorghum wheat planted in their place so now we have 3 fodders for our horses - lucerne grass, jowar or sorghum wheat and Napier grass – in between the okra and amaranth.

It is a critical time as usual for water in the ashram especially since the talab measured at 1 metre by the end of the month. We decided at the end of the month to no longer use sweet water from the talaab for our lemon and banyan trees but to take the risk of using our main tube well water for all sweet tree irrigation and to only use talaab water for the Shiv Bagh twice a month and for the workshop area twice a week. Even then some plants will die of heat exhaustion due to these restrictions but given the dire situation with water we are lucky to have any plants at all.

The loo – the hot afternoon westerly wind of the Rajasthani summer – started on the 30th and its presence also helps to heat things up and dry things out – including Yours Truly and the rest of the karma yogi team here.
Please send us all your prayers for rain and more rain. We are in the fire and the temperatures promise to be off the charts in May.

Yours sunburnt and frazzled.
May 2nd 2014, Jadan Ashram

Ponibai helping to clean the stems from the chandaliya

Ponibai helping to clean the stems from the chandaliya (amaranth)