Monday, September 14, 2020

More vine crops in the farm

 After seeing Ash gourd and Cucumber fruit well in this season, trying all gourds in one area of the farm. This was an unused area, could not cut the bushes using Scythe hence used machette. Made small pits, put some grass and compost and covered with mud and transplanted ash gourd,cucumber etc..

Area before cutting, one small part was cut before

After cutting


All growing well...applied cowdung slurry once...

Thursday, September 10, 2020

More Vietnam Superearly Jackfruit Trees

This year bought another 10 Vietnam Super Early Jackfruit saplings at 150/ each. All were planted in July...It looks one has gone and one has lost its leaves, others are doing well. Cut and mulched at the base, may have to water them in the summer

Monday, September 7, 2020

Finger millet in trial plot

 Got 0.5Kgs of Finger millet seed from a friend, variety is not known. I had made 2 raised beds at the start of the monsoon, one for cowpea and one for foxtail millet and barnyard millet. Didn't want to till it, so just cut the grass using a hoe, then made rows at 10" apart and then put seeds at around 10" apart, at each point 3-4 seeds were put so that if some does not germinate, still will be having at least one plant. Covered with grass very lightly, so that rows were not in grass.

Cut grass was piled around at one corner and put some soil above it, wanted to see if it can be composted without much effort and can be used in 2 months time.


Seeds are tiny and when they germinate, plants are so small. Right now, I am not able to see uniform germination..feels like, have to put germinated seeds and also may be put 8-10 seeds and then thin them.

Soaked finger millet seeds for 12 hours and then kept them in wet cloth for 24 hours and they have germinated well. So under good conditions they germinate well, may be in soil, some are lost to insects?

Left side is foxtail millet seeds and right side is finger millet seeds...

Germinated seeds also failed to come up, may be because of heavy rains during this time.


Finally transplanted single seedlings...Fokin's hoe is quite useful to cleanup small seeds in these cases

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Growing vegetables and banana in neighborhood

Because of lockdown due to Corona, I was not able to go to farm often. Once there was strict checking, you were allowed to go out for buying essentials, later it was relaxed, but still kept avoiding the travel. Buses were not there, so was driving to farm and it was safe, but may meet a few people who is nearby and laborers also, so kept avoiding the travel.

There was not much to do at the backyard, and my neighbor offered his backyard which is of decent size and gets good sunlight, size of the plot may be around 60 feet x 80 feet, they have some existing crops like arrowroot, one jackfruit and couple of coconut trees etc..but still lot of open space for growing some vegetables. Since banana is in constant demand, planted around 15 suckers, and also planted some tapioca, african yam (locally called koorkka), lady's finger,brinjal, baby corn etc...Also planted pumpkin, ash guard etc...


Made a compost heap from cut grass...some grass were cut initially, so they had dried up, can be considered as carbon source. Put cowdung slurry in between and some soil also, it may not be a perfect example of Berkely compost, but was easy to make from available materials. Watered it completely and covered with plastic sheet.

Compost heap was turned, inside it was very hot

Compost heap was turned once again, it takes around 15 minutes. After turning, it was watered and again covered with plastic sheet

Turned and watered it

Turned and watered it, looks almost ready now.

Pumpkin,Ash gourd etc...They wteere planted in pits filled with kitchen waste


Compost heap near paddy field

Recently I started making some compost using dried leaves and grass cuttings, it is not that difficult to make, but there is some work involved in transporting the dried leaves,grass cuttings,making heap and turning it periodically. But if you make the compost heaps once in every 3 months, it is not a difficult task. 

Recently I was clearing the bunds of the paddy field using Scythe and there was considerable amount of grass clippings. There are plenty of dried leaves from the mango trees, so thought of making compost heap near the paddy field so that there is not much movement of items. Also I can get some water from the paddy field, so work involved is less. Once it is ready, since compost is available near the paddy field itself, it can be easily applied. When women laborers were employed for clearing the grass in the farm, they were asked to bring 1 basket of cowdung each while coming from home. 2 basket was enough for one heap, so total cost of the compost was just 30 (15 rupees per basket) rupees and my effort. I spent close to 2 days for cutting and collecting materials.

This pile was completed on 29th August


Turned the pile...could see that it lacks mositure, actually there was stagnant  rain water nearby some time back, but forgot to wet this pile

Got around 5 baskets of compost and it was well decomposed and applied to paddy field.

Vine crops on to terrace

 At the start of rainy season, planted few ash gourd and pumpkin plants. Made a pit, filled kitchen waste and some dried leaves, covered it with soil and planted seeds. When there was no rain, moisture was maintained. A set of ropes were tied,so that they can climb to terrace. Initial growth was a bit slow, once they reached terrace and started flowering well. Ash guards gives lots of female flowers and lot of them form fruits, pumpkin is bit slower in this aspect. In between handful of kitchen compost also was applied to them and once cowdung slurry.