…growing heirloom tomatoes
…learning about roots
…making ghee (clarified butter)
…grazing and milking our growing family of cows
…making our own packaging from supari (betel) tree leaves
…fermenting edibles from the zen garden!
…expanding our heirloom tomato collection
…sourcing produce from other farmers to encourage their good practices and get them better value for their work
What’s on the horizon? … Bees! We hope to home the hardworking-pollinating-honey-making-compound-eyed ones soon.
The torrential rains of the monsoon allow us a bit of a breather on the land. Mother nature waters, we sit back, eat cukes, harvest, and work minimally not letting the jungle overtake. Post monsoon, we get busy. A quick rendition…
Members – two new members have joined us on the land. In India, the cow is synonymous with the mother and considered a Goddess (Devi). Sure, the cow gives milk, but for a grower, she shits and pees all over the land. We’ve willed their presence for some years now and are stoked to be joined by these two gorgeous ladies, with their massive strength and gentle presence.
Sows – while the monsoons have stretched over by a month, we can’t pass up a sow period. We kickstarted the year with heirloom tomatoes (adding 3 new varieties to the collection from last), cucumbers (1 heirloom variety and another indigenous one), gourds (several local varieties). In store next are chillis, brinjal, radish, microgreens, and a host of weirdly coloured heirloom veggie seeds we got our hands on!
Ingredients – always foraging for food off the land. Sure, we grow, but what does the forest have for us?! This year, we were introduced to a whole list of indigenous monsoon vegs, also bamboo shoots, and we received some delightful mushroom harvests!
Ferments – our ferment continues to brew, feed for the soil, bubbling with life as we continually add new ingredients off the land
Harvests – harvests have included gourds, herbs, pumpkins, and flowers
Making Friends and Foes – as we ogle at the beauty and variety of nature’s creation, and delve into what role they play on the land… well, we make some friends and some foes. For the burrower, our til is kept to a mimimum. And the hornworm in all it’s beauty, does feed off our saplings and is now fed to the fish.
Spreading the knowledge – our goal is to see all growers evolve to clean practices. This year, we have begun work on PurnaMadhuVan, a plot of land around the bend from us, committed to growing clean and nutritious food. Here, starting from the blank slate, we sowed fruit trees for future generations, herbs for a couple years down, shared with them several of our saplings, and shared with you their bitter gourd and pumpkin.
And now, it’s back to the land.
The thing with food is, it takes much of natural resources – sun, water, soil, air; Not to mention human energy to grow it – prepping the soil, prepping the seed, sowing the seed, tending the earth, watering, watching, and doing it all over until it’s ready to harvest, months or years later; The harvest – be it leaves-one leaf at a time, a vegetable at a time, or fruit -climbing tree/shrub, picking, passing, gathering, cleaning; Travelling it – first to a gathering and holding location, then likely to a mode of transport, holding and travelling once more, before it reaches a kitchen. And the kitchen – another massive usage of human energy and earth resource – washing, dicing, and prepping into the way it’s to be served on a plate. Boy, I do truly believe this plate should be a massive plate, shared by many – Food is meant to be shared.
Mangoes that will take you back to your childhood….
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