I have often heard farm owners ruing that the coconut palms in their farm have been ravaged by rodents and they are unable to do anything about it, try as they might.
“Once you plant Gliricidia or Giri Pushpa on the edges of your plot the rodents will avoid your farm,” says Kusum Dahivelkar.
This advice comes from one who has worked in Maharashtra’s Forest Department for thirty five years and presently runs workshops for ayurveda doctors and those interested in herbal medicine. Her HirvyaPunya Nursery is home to both traditional medicinal and herbal plants gathered from different parts of the country.
Used for its medicinal and insect repellent properties, Gliricida fixes nitrogen in the soil, boosts crop yields significantly without the expense of chemical fertilizers. Most importantly it keeps rodents away.
As we moved around Kusumji’s modest sized nursery she pointed to her papaya trees—one which was reaching the skies and the other hardly four feet tall. The former with hardly any fruits while the later was laden with fruits.
“Do you see the difference,” she asked.
“Yes,” we said, “One with couple of fruits and the other heavy with fruits.”
“That’s obvious. But why?” she asked and went onto explain that the plant which was shorter and laden with fruits had a benign surroundings.
The plant was surrounded with other plants and had thick undergrowth providing a safety net to her fruits, if they fell. Just like a pregnant woman who feels secure in a loving and caring environment.
Do plants do have a mind. Have emotions and feelings. I think so.
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