Hi every one…. small thrills like having internet connection, electricity, phone, hot shower & a biriyani from Karim’s etc just for a day……

Many new plants, more & more open pollinated seeds from friends, more ideas on what to grow for the winter crop….

But this whole month i’ve been concentrating almost all of my time in the planting of thorny shrubs & bushes on the boundaries of this 7 acres. I had done a single line of planting in June & seeing the way the Sagargota had grown, i kind of went ballistic with excitement & went ahead with three parallel lines of this wonderful natural fencing plant, plus i’ve intermixed it with a plant named Chilar. Plus i’ve planted a line of Nirgundi cuttings all around the 7 acres.

Well, making a natural fence is a task by itself, to make it really effective will surely take me a few years. Plus they will be re-inforced with our good ole’ Karvanda. But surely i think it is a much better option than trying to make any fence with barbed wires etc. And by the way the thorns of these shrubs would beat a barbed wire by many a mile!! Plus if all these shrubs grow well, they would be giving good shelter to all our co-inhabitants on the land …… (read birds) & may be after a 5 years or so one can think of the marketing aspects of these plants, since they are all absolute power houses in indigenous medicine.

One beautiful tree (which i’ve fallen in love with) & which i’ve concentrated a lot on is Karanj, a co-worker Balu had given me a bagful of seeds & it’s really a joy to see hundreds of Karanj plants sprouting, growing & their bright & shiny leaves weaving in the breeze. Seeing them growing i usually kneel down & i feel them & say: hey…. “you @#%$, welcome, welcome to this world” (like good ‘ole friends, hi5’s & chest thumps et al !!) The leaves of Karanj a great natural insecticide & also the oil from the seeds can run a generator to electrify our place & to add to that i’ve planted more than 50 Jackfruit trees.  All the Jack fruit trees are from seeds. I had brought freshly peeled jack fruit from a very happy looking boy vendor, so i told him i’m going to plant them on my land & would like to plant them remembering you & what’s your name, he replied: My name is Shaheed….. I thought: Woh, that’s a lovely name & since it literally means ‘Witness’ & practically it means ‘Martyr’ & we will have many “Shaheed Jack fruits” growing on our land !!

So hopefully in the years to come the fence by itself will be a living museum & who knows might even sustain us in our good ole’ age !! I told my co-worker Prakash….. i need truck loads of jackfruit coming from this land, & he replied, why only jackfruit, you will have truck loads of Bamboo also coming out….

As of now the natural fencing is over & as of now a small gain is that my shoulder muscles & biceps are rippling hehe !! And my palms & feet would not even know if a nail has gone through it. I am thick skinned anyway !!

Ok, back to serious stuff. Many, many new plants have been introduced. The forest department nursery has been great with providing plants at Rs 12/- per sapling. So i had picked up about 40 different varieties. At a later point of time i can list them out, but the trees vary from Tamarind, Mahogany, Teak, Neem & infact a tree named Terminalia arjuna….. now my partner & son would say; hey, why not Terminalia monalisa or why not Terminalia kabeera   ! Ok, ok, chill… guys !

Many medicinal plants have also been planted all ranging from the cold, cough, head ache cure to even snake bites & scorpion bite cures, also Stevia & also Citronella. Including Aloe vera from Preeti. Drumsticks from seeds have also been planted. Another new introduction has been Avocado. (As per Maniza’s suggestions… she said go for it & another of her suggestion in her own inimitable style was Goat cheese……..well, well we will have to name these products after her. I plan to introduce  Goats later ‘though, when there is enough fodder, plus when there is electricity & also when partner is there on the land. Also i am hopeless with marketing skills. so i leave these to the ladies !!)

In the meantime my favourite Vetiver grass has also been introduced. Hopefully by next rains i will have enough to plant all over the land & stop erosion.

Mulberry & Bird Cherries have been planted for my son… since they attract a lot of birds & hopefully we will get to see the Leaf bird on our land & to hope for the Vernal Hanging Parrot & as a 13th b’day memory when you enter into your teens one of these days !!

And so finally now basically the time has come to think & plan like a farmer. Whats going to be the winter crop & to plan for it, to prepare the earth, to grow healthy saplings……. Wheat, Mung, Sunflower, Onions, Garlic, Corn, Potatoes, different beans, Brinjal, Tomatoes, Leeks, Basil & even Papaya.

Lets see !!

I leave you all with a snap of a giant sisal growing on the land

and the river which is getting noisier by the day

Bye !

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