Welcoming the Rains

Rains are the time when we, those who dirty our hands with soil and plants, are the busiest people around. For there is so much to do as the earth’s bosom receives the showers and responds by transforming its surroundings—from brown to green. Rains are exciting times for the farmer. Just four months and you need to make plans for next nine months. It’s like having your beloved for such a short duration, before she rushes back home. Just come and gone. The time you spent with her feels too short and you pine for more.
Sourcing the seeds, acquiring the saplings, preparing the bunds, readying the soil for the new inhabitants can really keep you busy before you find that Varsha ritu is over and gone.
Things I did during this monsoon.
• Two years back I had planted a Gliricidia cutting which has grown tall and branched. I made several cuttings of the plants and ringed the edges of the farm. As they grow and the leaves appear they are likely to serve my plants needs for Nitrogen.
• Planted Laxmitaru saplings on the outer periphery of the farm. Laxmitaru is untouched by cattle and am going to benefit by the leaf litter and its seeds which contain oil.
• Planted lot of flower bearing plants to attract butterflies, bees and bumblebees.
• Broadcasted seeds of cowpea, sunhemp in places where nothing grows and in between the plants. Also sown sesame and groundnut.

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8 thoughts on “Welcoming the Rains

    1. hiraman

      hello Prabha,
      Here is a brief on Laxmi Taru.
      LAKSHMI TARU (Simarouba glauca) also called Oil Tree is native of El Salavdor and was introduced by National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources in the Research Station at Amravathi, Maharashtra in 1960s.
      * Seeds contain 60-75% oil that can be extracted by conventional methods
      * Each well-grown tree yields 15 to 30 Kg nutlets equivalent to 2.5-5 Kg oil and about the same quantity of oilcake. This amounts to 1000-2000 Kg oil/ha/year (400-800 Kg/acre/year) and about the same quantity of oilcake
      * The oil is largely used in the preparation of bakery products in Central America. In India too it can be used in the manufacture of vanaspati, vegetable oil and/or margarine
      * The oil is free from bad cholesterol. It can be also used for industrial purposes in the manufacture of BIOFUELS, soaps, detergents, lubricants, varnishes, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals etc.
      * The oilcake being rich in nitrogen (8%), phosphorus (1.1%) and potash (1.2%), is good organic manure
      * The shells can be used in the manufacture of particle board, activated charcoal or as fuel
      * The fruit pulp, rich in sugars (about 11%) can be used in the preparation of beverages
      * The pulp along with leaf litter can be economically used in the manufacture of Vermicompost (about 8 tons/ha/year or 3 tons/acre/year)
      * The bark and leaves are medicinally important
      * The wood is generally insect resistant and is used in the preparation of quality furniture, toys, in match industry, as pulp (in paper making) and as fuel
      * Cattle avoid the tree.

  1. Kamal

    Pl give us a list of the plants u planted to attract bees and butterflies. The bael tree does a fabulous job to attract butterflies.

    1. hiraman

      Hello sreeram
      Do write a mail to SSIAST Accounts ssiast.accountsatgmail.com You will get seeds of Laxmi taru from them.

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