AUTUMN IN JADAN GARDENS – NOVEMBER 2016
his November, as always, was a dry month – no clouds to be seen except some haze for a few days and for most of the month Vishwaguruji was here with us, as well as some guests from Europe and Australia, so we had some garden help...
We cleared the compost from an area in the north of the Shiv Bagh, which we then prepared for the winter lettuce and parsley, tomatoes and a few salad radishes.
Since we decided not to plant before Deewali, we spent most of this month planting and planting and planting, which also meant a lot of bed preparation. My helpers were working from the 5th to the 28th of November, so every day was super active. The last to go in was garlic in the Big Garden on the 27th.
Salad mixes started during mid-month – a combination of roquette, baby palak (spinach) and endive, with edible flowers such as periwinkle and rose and moringa, as well as herbs – dill, Thai basil, sweet basil and mint.
The sunflowers and hollyhocks are growing well, although they are yet to bloom; but the marigolds – self seeded and transplanted - really came into their own this month, especially on the west boundary of our cultivated area in the Shiv Bagh. We also made a north border of sunflowers in this ornamental garden, which now includes cotton that was harvested this month, and salad vegetables, herbs and even some new bhindi and lauki that were planted in October.
The mooli was ready this month too, and the oats and mustard are growing well behind the central office, and some corn is there too. In the Big Garden the sakarkand is flowering, but still not ready – now the locals say that it should be big enough to dig up in mid-December.
At the end of the month on the 26th, we planted rhubarb in some fertile empty beds prepared in the mulberry section of Shiv Bagh. These are Austrian seeds and like the cool, so I hope that they will be happy during our winter here, which should resemble an Austrian summer I hope.
Now that irrigation and weeding are slowing down, we shall have some much needed time for pruning and removal of large bushy weeds in the Big Garden area, beginning with the Napier grass in our fig plantation. Because of the heavy rains, some monsoon weeds have grown several metres in height and we shall have to remove these from the whole Big Garden area. It will take a couple of months, because the lemon trees will also need to be pruned and fertilised.
Lemon production started to slow down this month, but there were enough to cover the needs of our guests. The guava trees in the north of the Shiv Bagh fruited this month and some ripened, so these we brought to Guruji. The custard apples get bigger by the day, but are still hard, so perhaps they will be ripe in December.
Thank you to all who brought seeds with. It was enough to cover our needs. In the Big Garden during the first week we made a plantation of beetroot and carrot, with turnips on the borders. The area was irrigated four times in November and the root vegetables have germinated well. These vegetables when ready in January, will be delivered to all of our ashrams in Rajasthan. They are warming and nourishing, and with the sweet potatoes and lettuce varieties, we shall have a very happy and colourful winter salad table! We also make our own special dressing using organic cold pressed sesame oil made from seeds harvested in October, with crushed garlic, jamun vinegar and lemon juice, freshly collected pure honey, rock salt and crushed black peppercorns. Fresh daily salad is very very important for Jadan karma yogis!
A big thanks too to the kind and thoughtful support for the Organic Store. I hope to have some new and interesting stock for the upcoming guests. Gomasio and homemade peanut butter are new season items on the shelves, as well as fresh honey and sesame oil – which is a warming abhyanga oil for the winter months.
If you are thinking of taking a break from the winter chill in Europe then kindly consider treating yourself to a working holiday as a volunteer here, and re-energize yourself with the kind rays of the winter sun of India and the fresh and nutritious organic produce from our gardens. Most welcome!
2nd December 2016