Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sunhemp and velvet beans

This year I planted sunhemp and velvet beans in June with monsoon start. I broadcasted the seeds and then cut and mulched the grass and it has grown well. Once it produces seeds, I will collect it and will cut and mulch it.


Velvet beans

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Meeting an old farmer

During this onam holiday when I went to my native place, I happened to meet this neighbour grandma. Earlier she and her husband was living in a farm adjacent to a forest area and later when they grew old her husband sold that property and they moved to stay with their kids. Her husband expired couple of years back, and she was alone.

From he talking she was missing her farming way of life which she enjoyed a lot. I just asked her what all cultivation they were doing. To my surprise, they had cultivated a number of indigenous paddy varieties. I could collect some details from here and putting it as it is.

Erumakkari -  gives good yield

Vattan -


Pal chembavu -  and porridge made using this tastes like milk

Thekkan Njali

Athiyan - It is red rice


Masoori - good yield

Chitteni + Pazhanikkutty - This is used in doing 'Koottumundakan' in which two varieties are sown together

Navara - 60 days

Karamkari - 60 days

Athiyan pattambi



Some other information which she shared with me..

If soil has lot of 'poozhi nayakam' then no need of any fertiliser..poozhi nayakam can be seen when we take the soil, it seems like this is not earth worm..and its casting can be seen through out the field

In 'Potivitha' they plough using bullocks and sow the paddy seeds in April 15th when usually the first rain starts. There will be lot of grass but  they just cut the 'kathiru'.
They do 2 cultivation, second cultivation using water from the streams which comes from forest. Later people started planting rubber etc.. up hill and streams stopped..

She had lot of cows..upto 60 in one time..they dump lot of cowdung into the field along with leaves..during harvest it will be mud upto the knee..

She gets up early and go for walk..and comes back by 7 o' clock..and she loved that life..but her husband finally sold the property...and she still misses that life...

Yesterday, received a call from this grandma's daughter she informed that, grandma passed away. Last time during our visit to my native place, myself and wife had visited her. May her soul rest in peace.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Some paddy experiences from others

I am planning to start 2nd season paddy crop this year and was discussing this with a neighbor. On this season, I was planning to get a tiller and puddle and make muddy field and transplant the seedlings. This neighbor is around 70 years and he is a traditional farmer and has more than 10 acres of paddy field and does two crops yearly. On hearing about my paddy plan, he asked me to delay the planting since the neighbors hasn't started planting yet. He told me that if my paddy gets matured first all the insects will be coming to my field, so it is better that I time it with other neighbors so that insects will have lot more area to attack and hence per unit area attack will be less.

I have heard about similar comments from others that if the rice gets matured and there will be parrots and peacocks coming for the harvest and if your paddy alone is there, the attack will be very severe. So when the area is more, birds attack severity will be less.

Even if we do natural farming or not, these things are important since insects/bird attack will be there anyway.