UPDATE FROM JADAN GARDENS FOR MAY
One of the hottest months in the past Century!
Some people may wonder how seasonal fruits and vegetables, ornamentals and flowers, and young trees can adapt and survive when temperatures rise above 45 degrees. And then what happens when temperatures continue to rise to 48 and then further up to 49.1 celsius - which was the reading at our Om ashram weather station (in the shade) on the 18th of May, and the highest temperature recorded in these parts for more than a century.
The answer is that with the blessings of our divine Swami Madhavanandaji talab rainwater reservoir, and also our main tube well, which has uncommonly sweet water, that everything was still flourishing by the end of the month. And more miraculously, I was not even present this month, but spent the time near the banks of the Holy Kshipra in Ujjain and so my team of ladies from Sondara village heroically saved the day and attended work every day of the month doing their tasks stoically and without complaining, in the terrible heat.
Fortunately, after the 18th, the workers times changed and they began to arrive at 5.30am, so as to go home by lunch time and during the great heat there was plenty of seed cleaning work in our kitchen underground, where it is cool and sheltered from the burning westerly wind that we call the loo.
So when we returned from Ujjain it was a joy to see that the gardens were green and blooming and still producing some vegetables, and that beneath our Shiv Bagh shade house the little papaya seedlings are 2 feet tall and ready to transplant.
The usual April and May rains have failed all over the Northern states of India this year, so we are so blessed to still have water in our kua (open well) for the irrigation of our native and fruit trees.
The organic store travelled to Ujjain this month and my deepest thanks to all the support from the bhaktas who came to our camp and also who supported the store in Jadan during their 2 day visit. I hope to have many new items for the group in July.
As soon as Vishwaguruji arrived in Jadan there was a notable change in the temperature and now these last 2 days at 39 degree actually feel cool and a strong and cooler wind has been blowing day and night since the 23rd.
To date we have not prepared any areas for the monsoon vegetables and will start this in mid June. As usual, eggplant, tomato and chilli seeds must go into beds to be raised as seedlings; and then will be the usual pumpkin varieties and lauki, cucumber and bhindi, as well as snap melon and cluster beans. It will be a wonder to feel and experience rain after such a long time, although we had 2 major storms this month at the camp in Ujjain.
So in brief – May activity in the garden was about maintenance in terms of weeding and intensive irrigation; and about 200kg of produce was harvested. Seeds of isabgol and spring onion were harvested and stored; and packing of amla (gooseberry) powder, methi (fenugreek) and flax seed and many other items will go on from the 25th May until about the 25 June, including several thousand veggie capsules – tulsi, amla, dried cow colostrum, etc.
June has now begun and is for many of us the most challenging month, with high temperatures and a climbing humidity that leaves us in constant need of a shower – but this is pre-monsoon and it ripens fruits and as the winds drop the clouds form and the hope of torrential rains grows.
I wish to all of you who were able to come to Ujjain that you keep safe in your hearts the precious jewels that we were given there as timeless blessings for our spiritual journey.
Love from Jadan Ashram and
May 30th 2016