JANUARY UPDATE FOR WINTER 2016 IN THE JADAN GARDENS
Roots and roots and more roots!
Alkalizing and delicious, raw or cooked. This was somehow the theme of this month and our salad bar, which consists of lettuce varieties, spring onions and carrots and beetroot and daikon radish or turnips lightly boiled. Yes we are slowly munching and crunching our way through a 2 ton season of winter veggies, which are very warming, nourishing and grounding during the cool season; and of course bolster our immune systems against coughs and colds.
Our mares and bulls are also enjoying the leaves of our carrots and freshly harvested lucerne and oat grass this month, from our fodder area. And then to top it all, Gurudev organised some local sweet potato vines (Ipomoea batatas). Locally this is called shakarkand, which literally means 'sugar root', and must be planted after cutting the vines into short pieces, and then it can be harvested throughout the year once the tubers get going. One can make a halva pudding from these, which is taken in India during Navratri or during ekasdashi vrat. And then there are our regular potatoes due to be harvested at the end of next month….!
This month the leaves of many of our trees started to dry and drop, as they do this season until the heat arrives. There was some action with the gunda trees in front of the workshop wall - their leaves were manually removed, which is not an easy job since now the trees are 15 years old and really tall. Kudos to Bajrangji from Slovakia for all his efforts there. This action enables the trees to develop their fruit/vegetable faster.
Towards the end of the month it warmed up and there was even a day that was 32 celsius. In the Shiv Bagh (garden of the Shiva Temple) zinnias and marigolds started to self seed and some beautiful tall fern like flowers with daisy heads that we planted back in September, started to bloom. The tomato plants developed flowers and tiny fruits and the lemon trees blossomed; so February is sure to be a colorful month and even now the bees are ecstatically buzzing around our new blooms.
The papaya trees also yielded quite a lot of beautiful sweet fruit this month and there was plenty for Viswaguruji to enjoy. I have kept many seeds and we shall make a bed in March as last year. and raise up some more seedlings. The last of our lemons (stored in our cool room since December) were used up this month and so now we must wait until August before we start to harvest them again.
So even though winter sometimes feels a bit dormant as far as the gardens are concerned, some unseasonal warmth created signs of an early spring and we are already discussing where to plant our summer vegetables. The heat is never too far away in this part of the world and I, for one, am in no hurry for it. Let the winter play out slowly so that we can enjoy the sun and the lesser need for irrigation (our last rainfall was 4 months and 6 days ago)
Greetings from Jadan and many thanks to those visiting bhaktas who helped out with the daily salad harvest and cleaning.
Puspa Devi, Jadan Ashram 30 January 2016