Showing posts from June, 2016

Seeds as gifts and souvenirs!

Soon after marriage, shilpa (needs no mention – my wife) and I went to Andaman by a package tour. Package tours are almost like ATM machines. They give us specific instructions and one can only do those. One of the days, as part of the package, the cab driver took us to the shopping streets. We didn’t find particularly interesting stuff with some utility along with beauty. We didn’t buy anything. However, we wanted to take back some thing as souvenir.
One of the beaches where we visited offered us something better, for free. There were a lot of assorted seeds of many types, carried ashore by the altruistic waves doing a kind favor to the mother plants producing buoyant seeds. We collected 30 seeds of some 8-9 varieties. 2 of them just looked like green sticks of 1 foot each. I couldn’t imagine what they were. We sowed all of them and these 2 sticks horizontally on ground. In some time, many sprouted. Regarding the peculiar looking sticks, from the narrower side the sprout came out, roo…

Growing rice again, after 36 years - part 1

Growing food is what farming is meant for at its essence. 
My dad used to grow paddy until 1980. He had standing crop that year, ready to harvest, but couldn’t harvest on time due to labor shortage. Ripened fruits drop themselves naturally from the plant after their growth (due to ‘abscission’, i.e. cutting themselves away and observed in most plants) and so did rice plants; a part of the crop was shed on ground. We stopped paddy cultivation for the next 36 years. Most rice growers in our region have switched to Areca, the ultimate cash crop, due to multiple reasons, two of which definitely being 1) extreme climatic dependence of rice and the effort involved 2) it’s ever dwindling income, thanks to consumers and governments who want to purchase the food cheaper than its true cost.
But whatever be the situation, the first statement of this article still holds good, growing food is what farming is meant for. Now that we have reasonable cash crop, it is time for us to return to growing our…