A young, healthy flowering tree was mercilessly killed near our home. I always admired it for its flowers and never figured why would anyone get rid of it. Anyways, I collected all the chopped branches, removed the drying leaves and loaded them in my car. Am taking them to our farm to plant them. These branches quickly sprout when planted. A good way to seek revenge is to get 10 lives one of one murdered tree.
The healthy tree. Every morning, while walking my dog, I always admired this guy. Beautiful leaves, lovely shade of green and lovely flowers. — in Virugambakkam.
The chopped parts of the tree. — in Virugambakkam.
I collected all the branches and stripped out the drying leaves. — in Virugambakkam.
I loaded them in the trunk of my car and this will soon be given fresh lease of life at our farm. — in Virugambakkam.
Three years ago, we planted saplings on a barren land. These trees start to bear beautiful things other than just fruits. A beautiful nest with newly hatched birds.
These nestlings may be just a few days old but they are already clever. They were shouting for their mom and when they heard our footsteps, they went silent and became motionless. Amazing natural instincts at play.
We were surprised to find a nest built so low. We knew not to touch the nestlings or the nest. I have heard of parent birds being sensitive to human smell and we were cautious.
I had always wanted to have palm trees at my farm. These trees are called ‘Eecha Maram’ in Tamil and I love them for three reasons. 1) They look beautiful. 2) I love the taste of their fruits. 3) They are sturdy.
Surprisingly though I could never get the saplings in any of the nurseries. I had visited lots of nurseries with no luck. So, I was pleasantly surprised to find dozens of the palm saplings growing on the road side just a short walk from my farm.
I marshalled up my men and we began to unearth these saplings and transport them to the farm.
Seen here is Sekhar (our farm caretaker) and his son Satish, digging up a young sapling.
We found the older saplings to have a bigger root bulb and roots. This means there’s a better chance for the plant to survive the transplantation.
We packed them up in the trunk of my car and transported them to the farm.
Sathish and his elder brother, Mathi, bringing in the newly uprooted palm saplings. We dug holes and let them cool overnight. Experience has taught us never to plant in the evenings because the soil is still warm from the afternoon sun. Its always better to plant in the mornings so that its sufficiently cool.
We planted all of them in front of our house. Am really hoping that the nine saplings we transplanted survive and thrive.
Last weekend, I traveled to Bangalore on work and took advantage of the extended weekended to do things that I had long wanted to do.
I wanted to visit farms similar to what I’m trying to create. I always felt that the best way of learning is by looking at the real thing and speaking to the person who created it.
On 13th August, I drove to Vanashree farm along with a friend of mine. I had already written to Srikanth, the owner of the farm, about my quest and he was only too eager to help me out.
Srikanth took me on a tour of his farm and this particular video was shot when we visited his Banana farm. He explains why its best to let nature take its course and when one does that, it gives out better yeild.
This is a particularly useful video where Srikanth explains that neatness is not particularly a good trait for a farm. What may look unkempt and disorderly is actually nature’s way of being efficient. Also, from this video, you’ll notice what a small amount of land can produce. Keep a keen eye on the different crops grown between the plantain trees.
NOTE : You can learn more about my farm and the lessons I learn everyday on farming at http://Kiruba.com/farm
Here’s a short video of the 7 acre farm as it stands now. Remember, this land has been unused for the last 30 years. So, it needs a lot of work to get it back in shape.
The old villagers tell me that during my grandfather’s time, this used to be such a fertile land and regularly has bountiful harvests of paddy, sugarcane and brinjals.
After decades of neglect, the land right now is filled with thorny bushes and some well grown to be trees. These will have to be removed using bulldozers (JCB). The chopped trees make for good firewood and is used for baking bricks in the brick kiln. Yes, we also make our own bricks.
The trick is in the timing of cutting these trees down. These must be cut only a few days before the brick kiln is ready to be burnt. If you cut earlier, then the wood dries up and loses its calorific value. Also, not cutting it is a good way to avoid pilferage. So, we have cleaned about a quarter of the land and the rest will be cleaned up after a few months.