is commonly known as Kaarvi in Marathi.  Each year the plant comes alive with the advent of monsoon & after the monsoon what is left behind is dry & dead looking stems. The pattern repeats itself for seven years & in the eight year the plant explodes into mass flowering with a lovely lavender/ purple/pink tinge to it. The flowers are also a great source of honey.

This is how the Kaarvi plants looked at the beginning of June

Kaarvi stems are commonly used for making the walls of the house & here is a snap of the bundles of Kaarvi stems which were harvested to make the walls of our house.

After arranging the Kaarvi stems as in the following pic,  they are plastered with a paste of cow dung, red soil & ash. Kaarvi plants provides not just a dwelling place for humans but also for the Spittle bug (frog hopper) & is also the food plant for the Oak leaf butterfly

As monsoon sets in. the plants get hydrated & they come alive again.

When i first took a walk around the land one of the first things which i noticed was the Grade A Nursery soil which was under the Kaarvi plants. I had immediately got into action & collected as many baskets as i could before the rains. All of the trees were planted in this rich humus & even the recent vegetable planting. I still have about 50 baskets still to be used. It was truly nature’s bounty !!

Like this drumstick plant (in the pic) grown from seed in the Grade A Nursery soil given to me by the the Kaarvi plants.

Now while searching for nutrients to prepare the soil for the rabi (winter) crop, once again it was Kaarvi which showed me the way. This time in the form of its leaves.  Small heaps (like in the following pic) are been prepared in various parts of the land as we harvest leaves & leave it in situ to (de) compose & to provide us with nutrient rich humus. Due to the thick veins in the leaves, the humus has loads of lignin & then of course the magnificent combo of mature & tender leaves….(read organically derived Nitrogen, Potash, Phosphorous & all the trace elements)

Now, what can i say to this amazing plant which has provided a dwelling place, great humus to work & enrich the soil & even firewood ??

Carvia callosa.… you are truly a colossus.

Advertisements