Jadan Organic Gardens September 2018 – Bumper Harvest in Spite of Failed Monsoon
At the beginning of the month, our minds were filled with our trip to Badri Vishal Puri and the climb to Sri Alakhpuriji's gufa (cave) in the Himalayas.
During our train trip to Haridwar, Jadan was already showing signs of heavy clouds and whilst in Rishikesh, I heard that rain had started and this continued – not torrentially – for 4 days. This amazing blessing meant that our gourds got a huge growth spurt and when I returned to work on the 19th there was a record harvest on that day of 150kg! And by the end of the month, including lemons, the total was up to 650kg, which is not at all too shabby, considering that with the exception of a few rainfalls since June, we in this area of Rajasthan have experienced a drought of exactly 13 months. There was also a nice rainy day on the 23rd and that was the last of it – only 2 torrential rainfalls since June and hardly enough to fill the talab, which now stands at just under 5 metres depth of water. So every cloud has a silver lining.
At the end of the month, I was already thinking about the next season and about the roquette salad and basil that can be planted very soon – around the 10th of October. Then will come the winter planting at the beginning of November and monsoon season is gone with the humidity falling day by day and the days are getting shorter. It is great that we managed to produce some food during this worst monsoon since 14 years, but it does not change the fact that many local farms and family holdings have experienced huge setbacks due to the drought. It is time to look forward and not to dwell on these last 3 months.
On the final day of this month, we had a nice weeding action from some women in our visiting group, and cleared a large area of weeds in the workshop garden. They also helped to trim the golden hedge and to harvest the dried chawla pods from the Shiv Bagh. The daytime temperature is nearly 40 celsius but the mornings and nights are already cooling off.
Most of the sandalwood trees have survived thus far in the Shiv Bagh and some of the custard apple trees are fruiting. Soon we shall need to plough a fertile area of the Big Garden for the preparation of our root vegetable and winter greens plantation. Perhaps we shall have more success with our garlic this winter because Rukmini from Croatia is here for a few months and lending a hand in the gardens, and she has both garlic and strawberry farming experience. Today we went through our winter seed collection and we would need the following by Deewali, which this year falls on the 7th of November:
TOMATOES (INCLUDING CHERRY TOMATOES)
We saved a lot of lettuce seeds last season so we do not need so many although it never hurts to have a few new varieties.
I should like to thank very much all of those bhaktas who came to Jadan after the Blessed Badrinath Pilgrimage and whose deep pockets have supported our Organic Store very much, which in turn helps our gardens to keep developing and producing organic vegetables, fruits and herbs and spices and medicines and herbal tonics.
There is a lot to look forward to for the final quarter of this year and October is a drying season, so we should prepare rose petals and moringa and tulsi and neem powder, as well as our own organic colostrum from the cows. There will be a lot of fresh stock and good handmade organic soaps and some new items in November.
I thank all the fellow pilgrim-bhaktas for their love and support during our epic trip to the Satya Loka, especially those brave boys that helped us to cross the Alakhnanda River when it was flowing very high as we arrived at our camp, and to those that encouraged me to descend on the last morning when I was feeling not so strong. It was so well-organized, and there was so much care for one another, that I felt that I could have stayed there for a much longer time.
See you soon in the early Jadan winter.
30th September 2018