Sunday, January 17, 2021

Cutting and mulching trees

Since we allowed to grow trees which came up of their own in the farm, there are quite a number of trees in the farm. Some started shading the crops, so now started cutting them and mulching them. Trees are cut at around 4 feet height and complete leaves and branches are used for mulching. An year ago, STIHL MS-180 chainsaw was bought for this purpose. Even though it is a bit dangerous machine and has to be careful, but it is quite useful. I make sure that only small ones are cut, never attempt to cut bigger one. Some time chain gets stuck, when you gain experience, you get a feel of it, that time I take it back and make one more cut near, so cut is bit wider, that works well.

Cut stumps...

STIHL-MS180 used for cutting

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Coconut nursery

January is the time when you have to collect coconuts for planting them for making new plants. According to experts for two months, collected seeds has to be kept in shade and then planted in soil.

Selected couple of good yielding trees and harvested around 10 coconut. both of them yield good, but the coconut size is not very big, but around 500gms.

Protecting coconut saplings from wild pigs

Wild pigs are becoming an issue in the farm now a days, their numbers have increased. When I bought the farm 10 years back, there were no wild pigs issue at all. They stay some where nearby and comes to farm at the night. They uproot coconut saplings,eat yams,tapioca and even destroy banana plants.

I have stopped cultivating root crops like elephant foot yam, chinese yam,greater yam,tapioca etc...There is a particular variety of small taro which don't eat.

Farm does not have a compound fencing, that is one issue since it is spread it is bit costly to put complete fencing. So thought of putting mulch around the newly planted coconut saplings, but that didn't help. Now a days, I put thorns from bamboo or some other thorny plants, so far that has worked, has to check if this is a dependable solution or not.

This plant was uprooted once, again planted and put thorns around.

Nursery of coconut saplings, thorns put in between, so far it has worked

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Kolumbu Mango

I have three trees of a mango variety called Kolumbu Mango. Not sure about the origin of this mango variety but 'Kolumbu' in malayalam means Srilanka. Old generation used to refer Srilanka with this name, there were lot of people from Kerala in Srilanka who had gone there looking for work, which earned good money in olden days.

I particularly like this variety since it is very sweet and there won't be any worms inside the riped ones, since the skin is thick. The raw one is not very sour. Another very useful feature is it bears fruit in every year, unlike some varieties which bears fruit in alternate years. Last year, due to some climate change, none of the mango trees fruited, but this variety had some mangoes.

So planning to plant some more trees of this variety. Some photos ...

Some youtube videos about this variety...

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Taro harvesting and keeping it for next season

Taro is something which grows nicely without giving much attention and I really like its taste. Normally, I put some seeds at the harvest time and these plants also were grown by such Fukuoka method. Felt soil is bit tight, may be should add more organic materials or should grow a leguminous cover crop. Last time after harvesting, I kept the seeds in a jute sack and by the time it was planting time, i.e june, lots of seeds had gone bad. So this time, thought of keeping the seeds in soil itself. So in a rubber basket, kept some soil and then put the seeds and above that again, soil was put. That way, the seeds will be completely covered by soil, have to see how does the seeds find this storage.

Before putting the final layer of soil

Friday, January 1, 2021

Planting Gondharaj Lemon

Recently came to hear about Gondharaj lemons which is famous for its aroma and is native to west bengal. It is said to be king of aroma, please see the link 

Couldn't find it in any nurseries of Kerala, and finally contacted a friend in Calcutta and he sent me 4 plants through courier. It took 7 days to reach the plants, but they had packed it nice, and hence all plants reached safely. It looks like, it came by air cargo. Planted one at home, by taking 1feetx1feetx1feet pit and filling it with home made compost.


Planted one in the farm today, watered and also provided some shade