Two years that flew by @ our farm -part4
- The Harvests : All the stress, work, and pain seems worthy when we see our kids play and when we harvest the blessings in various forms that the panchbhootas bring in to our lives -poison free vegetables and fruits, mental satisfaction, mindfulness, learnings to name a few
- We have harvested keerais(thandukeerai, modakathan, manathakkali, vallarai, thuthuvalai, mullu keerai, palak,murungai, ponanganni), tomatoes,onions, chillies,sweet potatoes, potatoes, brinjals, ladies finger, butter beans, french beans, papayas, guavas, mangoes, jack fruits, sundakkai, chayote squash or chow chow, peas, mango ginger, turmeric, taro root, winged beans, pumpkins, gourds, avarai, radishes, beetroots, strawberries, mulberries, cashews ,so many herbs etc. Of course we don’t have all of them all the time, this harvest is spread over 24 months. Depending on the season, on what vegetables we sowed and experimented with , what the birds and rodents decided to leave for us, we harvest 🙂 Self sustainability in vegetables is still a long way to go. We tried some peanuts as our boys love peanuts. Not sure what will be harvested as we have been unable to give them enough water and the rodents have raided them too. We put up emergency chicken mesh fence to save the rest of the crops.Whatever be the harvest will be accepted with a big grin 🙂
- The kitchen experiments and learnings – How can I miss talking about them, when I spend half my time in the kitchen. The harvests need to be honored by cooking them into tasty dishes or by sharing with friends and family. Both of which is done, multiplying the joy of harvests. We learned so many new recipes and preservation techniques – pickling ( avakkai, mango thokku, tomato pickles, nellikka pickle), making jams like Chakka varatti (jackfruit jam, tomato jam, rose jam), chips (jackfruit chips, banana chips, potato chips), thogayals, rasams, parathas, pasta sauces, sundried tomatoes & veggies, and so much more … We learnt how to process cashews from start to end all by ourselves 🙂 Thats why my mind keeps saying” The safest food can only be grown in your backyard and the tastiest /safest food can only be cooked in your kitchen”. I am so grateful for the recipes, knowledge and love that our close friends and neighbors Mrs.Lily and Mr. Rajagopal share with us.
- Teaching yoga at the local Govt. Tribal School – I volunteered to teach yoga to school kids for free last year. I got to teach the 9th standard kids, it was fun . This year it did not work out due to special classes as per govt. rules at the school. I am hoping at least next year I get to teach again as the kids thoroughly enjoy these classes, it is the teachers who find it difficult to find time for the classes. I leave it to the universe- it will happen when it has to happen.
- My Tanjore paintings – Yes I did manage to burn midnight oil to finish 3 paintings in these two years for three friends 😛
- Failures are the stepping stones, they are better teachers – Several people think living on the farms on hills must be like a vacation forever. No life is good but life can never be just a bed of roses, there are thorns of all sizes too.This picture shows our crops burnt down by the drought
- We have lost hundreds saplings to drought, lost thousands of money, lost crops.
- We have faced and still face immensely stressful situations juggling multiple problems at the same time.
- We have lost saplings and things to theft.
- It has been physical strenuous to manage work on this terrain. We have faced some health issues
- Our pond liners have been destroyed by wind, dogs and mice, we have fixed them twice but still some are leaking in one of the ponds.
- We have lost quite a lot of things to rodents and pests, including our car parts.
- Our motors don’t work in the low voltage so pumping water uphill to water the plants has not been possible till date, so our harvested waters are not yet used much.
- So many challenges in fixing this house 🙂
- 24 hours a day never seems enough… but still what is life without challenges or failures or pain.
We express our heartfelt gratitude to our mentors in permaculture and organic farming, Govinda Sharma ji and Anoop sir, can’t imagine doing this without their guidance. We are glad that our experiences as children growing up in a village at least partly, that have helped us in getting used to stone grinders, rocket stoves, and few other things, easier than what we had imagined.
Grateful that we get the needed help for physically strenuous work like fencing, digging huge trenches etc. from our dear neighbor Ramesh anna, sometimes Moorthy anna and his friend.
Not to forget all the blessings and timely help that the Universe showers on us.
I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all the joys and pains that life has gifted us with, for if joys energize and encourage us, pains are what really help us grow.
The streams which had water last year are dry now, this picture brings so many fond memories of water in our village.
Praying that we get to immerse in this joy again in the coming years.
Signing off with happiness that I could at least document this part of our life and if someone had the patience to read this series of posts, I am grateful for that too.