To cut or not to…


I have a tall coconut tree near my front gate. it has been blessings us with lots of sweet coconut s all these years, except some years in between.

The fruit is so sweet, and very tasty. It was a gift from a friend, who brought it all the way from Amalapuram. We cherished it. It used to drop coconut at intervals, tossing outside the gates, on to the road, to be picked up by neighbours. It sheds the coconuts on to the porch with loud banging, waking us in the middle of the nights. The fronds used to shed at various places, much to the dismay of house helps. Sometimes it used to perch on to the electric wires, making it difficult to dislodge. But we loved the tree.

Two months back, a new shocking problem cropped up. One fine day, while doing some plumbing work on the lid of our sump, we saw that inside there was about ten feet big roots spreading in a straight line. it was shocking and upsetting. We pondered, how could that happen.

The blame finally rested on the huge thirty eight years old coconut tree, which never did any such daring penetration, till now. On hindsight, this year, the yield was huge, compared to dry rotten yields for past two years. Now we know how and why.


What followed was the dilemma and confusion. Days , weeks of worry and sadness. People advised to down the tree with out second thought.

Some others advised to drain the sump and cut only the root,reinforce the walls. Tiresome work., for days, we have to go with out water supply. 


Meanwhile one worker who claims he knows all about cutting coconut trees, came and examined the site. He was confident of cutting the tree but was sure that the tree will lean on to the house, gate and garden fencing will take hits. The power lines overhead need to be switched off. That will cost.15000… etc. In all he demanded eleven thousand for the job inclusive of debris disposal. He was eager to finish the job the next day, as he was busy for the next one month. I had to decline since I didn’t want to take spot decisions. He promised to come after a week.

The worker has not shown up yet.😔 Meanwhile its raining copiously in Hyderabad. So things are at a standstill.

From August I am immobile, dont know what to do. It keeps me awake some times. stressful times.

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Some stunning photographs and home made noodles


The title is not very creative, but click on the links, you might be surprised. Enjoy.

Stunning Embroidery of China’s Miao People – a Photoblogger’s Perspective

Pulled Noodles, Lady Style

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Return to blog after too long


Oh,,,Its been almost four years……during which life was engulfed with grief,coming to terms, daily grind in a new format, watching grand kids born and delightfully filling days and life.

Reason enough to be away I suppose. I had forgotten gardening, forgotten the blog, and many many things that was part of my life. I watched You tube, Netflix etc to forget my nagging feelings. I was tired of TV, sports telecasts, and didn’t muster the courage to read books lying by the bedside. I was thinking of my life , lot of times. How normal mundane it was! While contemplating, I saw that I was not an achiever in any category.

Now, at 71, lying in bed after a bad fall, I recalled my blog. I am done with gardening, my helper sprinkle some water to the plants that come by themselves, out of the seeds embedded long ago. I cant see the flowers , want to go in the sun, feel the rain, caress the plants. But have to wait for the doc and physio grind. Patience, and exercise only way…trapped I am 🙂

I was browsing through my old bookmarks, and found some nostalgic blogs. Dear readers, I am sharing what I Iike, hope some of you may find them interesting.

At my age, going back in time is heartwarming. South India and, places where one lived decades ago is etched in memory. Of course the present visuals of places have undergone enormous changes, that doesn’t deter the heart.

Here the blog that caught my eye.

https://kaminidandapani.typepad.com/my_weblog/2011/08/a-few-thousand-words.html#more

Hope to write more…Cheers.

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Item off the bucket list


I am travelling around Hyderabad .in the cool monsoon breeze , no trace of sun, and dark clouds rolling in the horizon. Me, who has no time or inclination to stir out of our remote corner , is zipping around in the auto, to Kukatpally, Fathe nagar, Chaitanyapuri,…There can be only one interest in these travels…collection of plants and materials. I never felt this happy shopping for clothes or gadgets..Crazy.

And the latest item in the bucket list got done. Ha!

Ever since the building construction workers threw away my ivy gourd creepers and the pencil ivy gourd lovingly given to me by dear Suneetha near the gates of Lamakaan,  guilt was what I felt . I searched high and low to find some donor who would be brave enough to pluck few roots off the plant.  It was nagging me for months. Shamelessly I had asked around in the gardening circles. Felt jealous when people proudly posted pictures of bountiful harvest . The obsession grew more. Finally dear Suneetha called me over and voila!..I am in possession of the creepers. Hope to grow them like Suneetha’s.. below :-).

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This is only in one corner on the front and side wall, there are many more inside. In a decently medium space, she has created a mini permaculture forest type. The lemon trees full with fruits giving away a mild smell, the pomegranate trees swinging with tender fruits, the bitter gourds peeping through the lush foliage, various types of flat beans, purple tipped beans (?)..climbing all over.

Side by side , the chillies too greet you, black, mirchi bhajji , tabasco and some more I might have forgotten. Under the canopy of trees, plenty of saplings of Papaya, ready to grow into  trees. Huge banana trees laden with small emerging bananas, sapota tree with fruits on the ground..(monkey business), Banganapalle mango tree, lots of indoor plants, huge coconut laden trees swinging..I wonder how can this person do so much?

Lovely rose bushes and dilli malli also are part of the set up. There are more creepers going over porch, young saplings of honey jack fruit waiting for adoption… (let me catch my breath).The plants enjoy sunshine, good soil and lots of leafy compost.  Suneetha look after them all , and says , its no big deal Bless her and the garden.

By the way does any one know that Junglee karela(spiked teasel gourd) , has male and female plants? Suneetha is searching for the male one, as her female plant refuses to get pollinated.. Anyone can offer a clue please?

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Response to first showers


After hibernating for almost four months, the garden gives a welcome sight.

A few showers in early June, the heat comes down from 42 to 29 …31.Aha.. one waits for this magic for most part of the year in Hyderabad. The waiting for the dark clouds is over, the city wakes up to pleasant weather and I venture out on the terrace. Cool wind greets , bringing a new joy into the weary bones. A look at the containers is enough to lift the spirit.

The almost dried plants are shining with new vigour, small forgotten seeds are sprouting around in neglected pots, and the resilient jasmines , champanghi and beans and gourds are all rearing to go.. Any niggling thoughts I had about quitting gardening disappears, I am ready for another try at growing food.

A few visuals of the state of the plants that survived the heat and neglect

The change in the weather and the fresh growth after the showers encouraged me to go searching for seeds. A stressful exercise, rummaging through cupboards..which one?..was it in boxes or plastic bags…Found them tucked in boxes and tied , stored in a dark dry attic.:-)

The plan was to sow the seeds by Amavasya(New moon day). Next urgency was to prepare the seed tray/pots. Due to lack of time  I adopted a short cut procedure and made few pots and grow bags, threw the seeds at random, exposed them to the drizzle. Waited for a few days, and felt good finding the new seedlings. How I am going to replant them will be another story.

Trying my hand at tomato caging , amateur styleA change of weather also  allowed me to go around the city for coco peat, vermi compost, more pots etc.. Felt revived and joyous, doing stuff closer to heart!

Now keeping fingers crossed for more showers, and planting more .

 

 

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starting all over


How time flies… It’s more than two years since I posted a page .  Lifestyle has changed , priorities have changed..Wordpress formatting has improved.. Cute grandson is more than two years old.. But the garden bug is still wriggling.

I wanted to give up growing plants in containers on a number of occasions. Sometimes due to lack of time. Sometimes due to lack of help or feeling unwell. But a glimpse of fresh harvest posted by like-minded folks would make me sit up and continue the effort. And effort it is. Climbing three floors up to care for the plants is daunting in the mornings, but the thought of all those lovely fragrant flowers and fresh vegetables keeps me going up, huffing and puffing.

I am encouraged by those  voluntary tomatoes, chillies , brinjal, gourd and marigold plants.. Luckily I had  gourd seeds left over from Vanastree, bought three years back.I scattered them and forgot about it , but they didn’t fail. Just sprang up. A Facebook friend posted purple beans seeds and they are thriving.

Apart from vegetables I branched out to conventional flowers too . Jasmine, Champa,(kodi Sampanghi, creeper a specialty of Tamil Nadu,donated by another graceful Facebook friend who flew the bulbs down from Chennai) few roses, lots of trumpet flowers, around 50 pots of Cannas ,Juhi and Chameli, Raat ki Raani,Chrysanthemums were also blooming to give me a sense of joy .

Unfortunately i am not able to continue using cow dung or intensive preparation of manure. I manage with products bought from other organic friends.

 

A glimpse of the plants in my terraces..First, second and third floor..:-)

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Gourd and Raat ki Raani on the ground.

 

 

Dear blog friends, these pictures are from 2016 and there are scores more to share  in the next few posts. Hope you will convey your  thoughts.

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Intipanta meet at Lamakaan


 

Stirring out of home from this corner of Hyderabad is a task that requires planning and hurrying up. Many a time I miss meetings due to various adjustment troubles , but today I made it hey…For the Intipanta meeting, organised by an efficient group of Terrace Gardeners , who were thoughtful to include warmth and friendship in to the group.

I have the habit of comparing our group meetings to the OTG meets of Bangalore, where the knowledge and the drive of the gardeners used to amaze me. Now, I found the same spirit of participation and sharing in this meeting from all those amazing young people who are doing their best to make Hyderabad rooftops, a food factory. May the tribe increase and attract more bees and butterflies to Hyderabad skies.

The venue was at the open space in Lamakaan which was convenient,making it easier for many. Though I missed our usual crowd, except a handful of the old group,it was heartening to see that handful taking active part.( Sundeepgaru, Prakashgaru). The pleasant surprise was that he gathering consisted mostly of  young garden enthusiasts,readily  sharing the pains and pleasures of the organic gardening experience.

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The energy of the chief organizer was behind the smooth functioning of the meet(Ms.V). She and her group of volunteers did a good job , conducting , getting people to interact, arrange the seed swap and sapling distribution.  I noticed that for the first time, they had organised sapling exchange which was booked in advance. I saw Ivy Gourd saplings, betal leaves, cinnamon. scent jasmine (dilli malli) , turmeric, banana, kanakambaram , chrysanthemums piled under the tree! All those in charge of the seed exchange, were busy throughout, I barely got to know them.Next time may be.

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The power point presentation was lapped up by budding gardeners, and the presenter requested for interaction whenever possible. The concept of containers , vertical gardening and use of oil cakes were touched upon.

The demo on compost was simple and encouraging. I am sure those who did not think of recycling kitchen waste are pepped up to start immediately. Availability in Hyderabad at affordable prices, can make many balconies the place for those pretty kambhas.

The speaker from Agriculture Department , explaining about the Bio fertilizers,made it in easy jargons and dispelled the doubts about organic ametuar gardeners using stuff like azospirillum azotobacter and PSB. She offered her help for anyone requesting advice, thus making it easier to access materials like top class Vermi compost, neem cake and accessories all from NIRD, and AGri Dept, Rajendranagar. More on that can be sourced in the Facebook group.

There were expert organic gardeners who have offered to advice on the issues , anytime, through Facebook discussions. (Mr.Z). (Ms.Sh). Hope more Hyderabadis will join the group and avail their expertise.14.09.14 02514.09.14 025

There were many more enthusiasts , whom I know only by name, but could not interact. Maybe next time , a meet will be held in a big garden where discussions and bonding takes place.

I could collect the lily plant from Ms.S at last. 🙂 What a nice person she is, keeps distributing lovely seedlings to anyone who wants it. Interacting with her was an eyeopener. I also got a gift of small “pencil Dondakaya” sapling from Ms.SG, another lovely person and avid gardener. Hope to live upto their expectations by tending their saplings with care.

It was a great meet, thanks to the organisers, hopes to see many more in future.

 

P.S. I could not post the names directly, but you all will understand. If there is any problem with photographs kindly indicate in the comments.

 

 

 

 

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Slow Progress


Hyderabad , in the new state of Telangana, is reeling under water shortage, and hot humid weather since weeks. Failure of the monsoon is more pronounced in our state,  more so in Hyderabad. There are warnings about depleting water table, reduced water in the reservoirs, and dispute with neighbouring states about water sharing. Water and power crisis might deepen in the coming months, the very thought is sending shivers down my spine. How to sustain my terrace garden is a constant worry now.

This morning , there was some ray of hope.26th aug 14 034

Well, the above was written yesterday.. and interrupted due to daily rush and some drama. Today is nearing to an end, the ran is on for the night , slowly soaking up. I would like to share my progress, though a bit slow, through some pictures clicked during the week.

The ash gourd is growing well , and the new one on the way,may not be ash gourd. Waiting and watching is fun. The long beans are fruiting plenty and I have harvested some seeds too. There are plenty of tomatoes saplings, chillies, beans varieties( not sure how many) and few new brinjal varieties sprouting up. I am busy staking and tying and trying to find more pots and more bags for bigger plants. My herbal plants too are doing great.

This year I am trying HDPE bags. I am also minimising expenditure by using bigger bags( rice and wheat bags ), with plenty of soil , and multiple plants in them. So far gourds and beans are coming up well with amaranth. I missed the corn , forgot to scatter them 😦

 

Some of the plants growing in the bags

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One of my Facebook Group friends had introduced us to Hugelkultur method of growing stuff. One member of our group , posted how she is using the method in Colorado. She even suggested that we can use the method for filling up sacks and stuff grows in them!. Amazing. I am sad that I had thrown all those sticks , all these month to the dump. I need to collect them all and start bagging them and use with compost to make as many plant holders as possible. Isn’t it exciting?

I found a video  referred by friends inspiring . Many garden lovers and beginners might enjoy viewing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rg5n9g3PJY

Posted in Beans, Bitter Gourd, Brinjal, Gourds, rain clouds, Uncategorized, Urban Farming | Tagged , , , , | 22 Comments

The Sherdukpen Tribe of Arunachal Pradesh | Celebrating Indigenous Peoples


How little I know of my countrymen!

The Northeast India Travel Blog

Upcoming this week is the International Day for the World’s Indigenous Peoples. Observed by the United Nations on August 9th each year, it is dedicated to promoting and protecting the rights of the planet’s indigenous population, along with recognizing the achievements and contributions that indigenous people make to improve the issues facing the world. It is only natural that a lot of indigenous activity happens during this time. Worth mentioning is the Indigenous Peoples Week, celebrated by Planeta and friends, it is an online unconference in its 4th edition focusing on indigenous people and tourism, with themes such as biodiversity conservation, crafts, cultural heritage, food and literacy. Meanwhile, Proud To Be Indigenous is an initiative by Cultural Survival to give an online platform for indigenous people to express their cultural richness.

Continuing our efforts to take part in this year’s discussions, we are proud to continue with our…

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My fireflies


bits and pieces

I firmly believe in innate goodness of mankind and I feel most of us do.So we all harbor that wish to be of use to others and this wish is always tucked inside us not only because we want others to feel good but doing good make us too feel good.When grown-ups extend a helping hand to others ,it involves a whole lot of thought process but when kids do it, it just happens. It’s natural and spontaneous that’s why perhaps more endearing, more uplifting. They don’t make efforts to do it.
There is this event long back from 92-93 but it always remains with me.
A very busy square of the city. Time must have been between 8-30 to 9-00 A.M. It was time for schools,college and office goers crowd rushing towards their destinations.Bikes swishing around, cars honking, cycles lurching, auto and six-seaters snaking in between, city and school…

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