January 2015 in Jadan Gardens – from heat to storms to fog to sapphire blue skies
January 2015 in Jadan Gardens – from heat to storms to fog to sapphire blue skies…
We were really blessed this month with a great harvest – 468kg (okay – 160kg of this was mooli!) and a initially quite a warm beginning to the month and after the dark moon of the 20th a whole night of rain following by a heavy shower the following day and a week of cold and dewy and foggy and humid weather. This meant a whole week off from irrigation duties and some extra time for weeding and repairing beds and the ladies were thankful to have some dry work cleaning our wheat.
The focus this month was also purely on the Shiv Bagh and transplanting flowers to the west and southern beds as well as to some empty spaces in the new beds and the repairing of the latter which took 8 days. This work was done by an experienced mali (gardener) from Bagawas village. By the end of the month the sunflowers were blossoming and some stems had more than 10 blooms on them. Many of the marigolds are also coming into bloom and some green tomatoes are appearing on the plants.
108kg of mooli was pulled up from the new channels in the Shiv Bagh before Makar Sankranti and these were mostly sold to the Om workers on the 14th. On the last 2 days of the month the north end of the garden had a makeover and many Bermuda grass roots were removed and the beds repaired. We shall plant the calendula seedlings there.
Mid month the mustard was cut and sent off to the cows in the new gosala. The empty beds will be ploughed next month and cleaned of grass roots and then we shall see what will be with the empty beds.
Our fabulous team of boys – see photo – have been continuing their excellent work in the Big Garden this month and did the annual removal of the leaves from the gunda trees which many of you will remember as being an event or highlight (!) of the winter group karma yoga activities. They have also been doing some light pruning in the area and removing some shrubs that came up in the monsoon time. The area is looking more park-like each day and the boys have bucket loads of energy and enthusiasm.
We employed 4 expert tree cutters in the second week of the month and within one day they had lopped off huge branches than 50 huge neem trees along the east pathway of the Shiv Bagh, near the guard house and inside the Swastika building. It took us a few days to load up the wood. Unfortunately none of the leaves were suitable for using to make neem leaf powder due to the dirt from birds which like to live in close proximity to our talab – some of them eat the fish there! Some of the wood from this heavy cutting will be sold.
As a result of the cutting more light will come into our east beds and we shall not get all the tree litter (dead leaves) during the 3 month period between February and April which will save a lot of cleaning.
February will give us 3 more weeks of this cooler weather and there are many more programmes in the big garden and some beds will be prepared for the summer. Stay tuned and I hope to see some of you in March.
Kindly bring any curcurbit seeds that you may have collected from your gardens in the summer (meaning any melon or cucumber varieties or zucchini or pumpkin or even squash varieties) as these really enjoy the summer heat of this part of Rajasthan and I shall make sure that we have plenty of juicy organic tomatoes for you to enjoy for your spring salads here. We shall also have some new items in the organic store for you including a traditional garden tool here called a datuli (sickle) which I can teach you how to use.
See you soon and remember – March is one of the most beautiful months of the year!
Love from Puspa and the garden team.
January 30th 2015