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In May the weather forecast a lot of rain this month and also in July and indeed we really had more rain than we are used to receiving in this usually hot and humid pre-monsoonal month. The moody black skies and the moistness created an atmosphere of true monsoon and little mushrooms started to appear in the beds and our eggplant seedlings shot up and started to produce aubergines and the lauki vines exploded and we picked some pretty large ones this month. On the 23rd and the 25th the rains were so torrential that the talab started to fill on both sides which is phenomenal – the water came down so hard and fast that it just skipped along the dry caked soil. And then the heat and humidity hit us again for the last 5 days of the month and by the 29th some of the vegetable beds were already starting to wilt. Not so in our big garden where the lemon trees look tall and refreshed and where the clay soil was still slippery and muddy on the last day of the month.

before planting - monsoon sabji area june 30th 2015 600 june 2015 monsoon field 600 pre planting chipping and repairing of beds 600

Our summer sabji is still going strong and even some amaranth that was planted along with the 4th area of bhindi came up during the really hot spell. During the rains I managed to sort through our seed box and put all monsoon seeds in small boxes as planting for this season starts during the last week of June with tomatoes and chillies and papayas followed in early July with the gourd vegetables like karela and toru and also guar phali, cucumber and okra and then finally lauki and corn, Chawla or cowpea can also be planted in June.

The whole ashram already has the green layer of sweet monsoon grasses on its surface and so we have been very fortunate to have had this preview to what I hope will be a good monsoon.

In the Shiv Bagh the young papaya seedlings purchased in November are already producing some fruit – they are sturdy and short compared to the tall and wiry ones in the workshop garden. In the big garden the 600 square metre area that we ploughed and furrowed for our vegetables was repaired with a hoe following the heavy rain and then the tiny weeds were chipped with our copper hoe. We plan to plant out the seeds in July when the temperature has dropped a bit and the rest of the field will be planted with chawla and corn – to be broadcast and then hopefully rain-fed.

Our shade house roofing – a green tough cloth – was taken down and rolled up just before the heavy rains as it has been continually falling down since storms in April. However it gave the needed shade for the hot period. We shall purchase some fresh kumtiya seeds next month as our attempted plantation of 3000 failed due to old seeds. Some of the seeds may be planted directly on the dora or ridge in the New Gaushala during the monsoon in order to create a boundary as we did in 2009 by planting around 4000 saplings 1 foot apart. These are now thriving and already 6 years old.

So we shall have a lot of weeding work for you all when you come in late July and maybe some of our figs will be ripe by then. Some of the trees are coming into their fourth year so hopefully… Remember to bring sunscreen and a good hat and gloves.

During the heavy rains on the 23rd our tortoise which we have not seen for 2 years appeared in our Shiv Bagh garden – all good things come with the rain.
See you in July

Warm regards from
Puspa Devi, Jadan Ashram
June 30th 2015

dried rose petals and mint leaves 600 gobar dhoopbatti and neti lotas 600 handmade pranayam sticks 600

neem datuns and neem pencils 600