Update for Jadan Gardens September 2014
This month was a whirlwind – intense and fast and spinning with action.
The rain continued until the 11th and such downfalls as we experienced on the 9th and 10th I have not seen in the 15 years that I have lived here – incredible and the talab had reached 8 metres by the 12th and then of course it started to disappear again but still this is… incredible! The moisture stayed in the unshaded soil for about 10 days and shady areas were still moist by the end of the month but we needed to start irrigating our cultivated areas within a week after the rain as the weather became consistently hot and day and basically the monsoon ended with the last rain on the 11th.
We harvested nearly 100kg this month and mostly the vegetables are doing well. We managed to makeover the north side of the Shiv Bagh by weeding it well and making new channels there and transplanting Napier grass and eggplant and tomatoes and rosellas to the area. The workshop garden was completely weeded this month and the bhindi and lauki and toru are being harvested every second day. The small trees are doing well and some of the empty bags were planted up with khejri seeds later in the month and some of these had germinated by the end of the month.
The big garden vegetables are also doing well and the guar phali and chawla were harvested this month and snap melon was ready behind the wood workshop by the last week of September.
We started – the Jadan students – to meet after breakfast each morning in order to start removing some weeds around the buildings and in our fields. It is the only way to get on top of the abundant growth of these plants and we needed to prepare and clean up all areas before Swamiji’s arrival.
By the 23rd we had cut the last of the summer sorghum wheat in the Shiv Bagh lawn area and there remained a lot of monsoon grasses and herbs to be enjoyed by the cows. The golden hedge was cut right down to 1 foot this month as it has only been lightly pruned for years now and is full of dead wood and thick and spiny branches some of which need to be sawn off. The pruning will make the plants softer and fuller and is well worth the effort involved.
October promises to be a busy month because of the autumn group and Deewali on the 23rd and it will be hot and a good time to dry some herbs before the winter. In addition to this we shall be preparing our winter field for vegetable and fodder planting in early November and so if anyone out there can contribute some winter seeds this year they would be very gratefully received. Just leave them with your Indian group coordinator and please write my name on the bag some that they do not get lost en route. We need stocks of the following seeds this year:
CHERRY TOMATOES AND REGULAR TOMATOES
ELEPHANT GARLIC – WHOLE HEADS AROUND 3KG
LETTUCE – ESPECIALLY SOFT LEAVED VARIETIES – A MIX OF VARIETIES IS ALWAYS GOOD
SMALL EUROPEAN RADISHES
PARSLEY AND ANY OTHER WINTER HERBS ESPECIALLY BASIL VARIETIES AND LEMON BALM (MELISSA)
FLOWERS SEEDS FOR ANY SEASON INCLUDING SUMMER MARIGOLDS
PEAS AND BROCCOLI
(PLEASE NOTE THAT EUROPEAN CARROT AND SPINACH SEEDS DO NOT WORK THAT WELL HERE THOUGH NEW ZEALAND SPINACH WOULD BE WELCOME (WARRIGAL GREENS)
PUMPKINS AND CORN ALSO WELCOME
MISCALLENOUS ITEMS ALSO WELCOME – UNUSUAL VARIETIES, MEDICAL PLANTS AND EVEN TREE SEEDS
Most welcome would be seeds from your garden if you collect them and if you have a list of seeds that you need then perhaps I can fulfill some of your needs too. The most successful seeds that we have used so far from Europe have been from Slovenia.
All the best and safe journey if you are flying to India for October. See you then