March News in Organic Jadan Gardens
This year March was a truly dynamic and action filled month. Our mustard was harvested and the seeds extracted and the summer planting took place and the wheat was cut. Half of the month was a worker holiday for some (Holi from the 16th) and there were 2 amavasya holidays as well.
The total sabji came to 116kg and we collected 25kg of tomatoes. The plants are not flowering as well as they did last year and that could largely be due to the fact that we no longer have a good quality spray machine for our biospray.
Mustard dry, cut and ready to load.
Temperatures rose to the high 30s towards the end of the month and night watering of the trees began. We watered the Shiv Bagh only twice this month using the water from the Lakshmi tube well in order to save the precious rain water in our talab which has fallen to less than 1.5m.
In the big garden the oat grass was removed and some seeds saved for next year. The 2 empty lines were ploughed and we shall plant sorghum wheat there next month and this will provide enough animal fodder for our horses and ashram cows until the monsoon.
The germination of the sabji sown in the workshop area was excellent but the curcurbit varieties have been very much attacked by red pumpkin beetles and some replanting will be necessary in April. The guar phali, lauki and toru however are looking good as are the bhindi and chandaliya (amaranth) in the big garden.
This month we put tree guards around our passion fruit vines as the horses really enjoy eating the leaves! A large compost pit was made nearby (100 square metres) and is being filled with tree litter – mostly dried neem leaves from around the ashram and gobar. In July we shall plant pumpkins there.
Over Holi we had some group action in the area behind the white and loaded up 11 trolley loads of neem wood.
So this has been a month of beginnings (planting) and endings (harvesting) and the passage of spring into summer which is an annual seasonal change that takes a lot of adapting too and ultimate acceptance of! As with all the seasons here the heat brings with it new gifts of fruits and flowers, dust storms and hot winds. These aspects shape the gardens and shape us. Nature remains the indomitable teacher in this great land of Rajasthan.
In service of Gurudev
April 7th 2014