Chikoo Chikoo Bang Bang

For over two years now I was denied the chikoos.
Come evening as darkness spread over my orchard insects (I don’t know what they are called) would descend on the chikoo plants and chomp on the tender new leaves. In the mornings when I checked the plants which are six years old now I found as if the leaves have gone through a shredder. The pests were very choosy preferring only the new shoots.
I tried several organic pesticide recipes provided by online forums, horticulturists and farm owners but nothing helped. Once in a while I even put up small bonfires to attract the pests.But my chikko pest kept away from the fire.
At last I tried a combination of cow urine and neem oil with soap used as a surfactant. I sprayed it for over two weeks, every alternate day. It seems to have worked, at least for now. The new leaves have been left, unharmed. Flowers have appeared aplenty and some fruits too. Of which I picked up five last Sunday bring them home along with methi saag, plantain, curry leaves and green papayas.
“Its verrry sweet,” remarked my college-going daughter after I had convinced her to try a misshapen chikoo which had survived the noon train journey of the CST local I boarded from Badlapur.
I smiled and said: “It had to be.”
Happy with the knowledge that I had decided to be an organic farmer.


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