Organic Gardening: The Harvest
I have been talking about my organic garden setup in the last two posts. So I thought it was time to show some results. The previous post ended with us setting up the shadenet around April 2019. From then on we have been harvesting some vegetable or the other. Although I don't have photos for some of the harvest, what follows next are bunch of pictures of fruits and vegetables we plucked from the terrace as well as ground garden. Enjoy!
In April 2019 we got lots of chillis and capsicums. Not sure why. Perhaps it is the season? We got a bunch of them every week or so. Did not have to buy anything from outside. Well, the point is not about saving money, but about eating home grown vegetable, fresh and without chemicals or fertilizers. We also got some eggplants (brinjals), tomatoes, bottle gourd and beans too. In the fruits department we got a musk melon.
The May 2019 crop is more about tomatoes and eggplants. Lots of them :). Other than that, we got a couple of cabbages, musk melon and chillis.
Rest of 2019
The story is pretty much the same for the next few months, so instead of boring you by repeating myself, here is one more collage of all the vegetables and fruit we got till the end of year.
Late 2019 - Early 2020
Towards the end of 2019 and early this year, we got a lot of turmeric and papaya.
Oh and about the papaya trees (and also banana trees as you will soon see) would not fit in our side yard and also are too big for the terrace. So we actually planted them outside on a vacant plot beside our house. Hope the owners don't mind ;). We have a lot of empty plots in our layout, so most houses who are living here do this.
Coming to the huge turmeric harvest we had, we dried them in shade for a few days and got it milled in a near by grinding mill. The turmeric powder thus obtained amounted to more than a kg! Sufficient for a long time for the household, so we gave a bit to neighbors. The mills are a rare breed these days. I remember when I was a kid, I used to take dried red chillis or wheat to the nearby mill to get chilli powder and wheat flour. Reminds me of the good old days.
That was the crop we had over 2019, but we haven't taken pictures of a lot of green leafy vegetables that we have been growing as well. We had lettuce, four types of spinach (Malabar spinach, Ceylon spinach, Indian Sorrel), mint, cilantro (coriander), amaranthus, Indian borage, Indian pennywort, betel leaves and some medicinal plants. In addition we also have a fig plant, plum rose tree, and Singapore cherry tree. The fig plant is still too small, while we are enjoying the plum rose and Singapore cherries (if the birds leave anything for us that is ;)).
We really had fun growing, harvesting and eating the home grown food. I guess the fruit of labor always tastes sweet :). But truth be told, while all the vegetables were pretty tasty, I can't say the same about fruits. The papayas in particular were not as sweet as we got from the store. Watermelon was good, musk melon was pretty good. I guess this is how real fruit tastes without fertilizers?
But the lesson I learned was that the cost of growing fruits and vegetables is very high. We are perhaps spending 5 times more in growing them ourselves when compared to what we get from market. So I can understand how difficult it must be for farmers to sell so cheap. No wonder they have to take shortcuts in terms of pesticides and fertilizers. For us, most of the expense is water, soil and grow bags, which most farmers don't have to worry. Water is quite expensive over here. Then we had the occasional neem oil and turmeric sprays (pesticides). So some time and labor goes in it. All in all, it was a very fun experience and we are continuing to grow even more this year.