Vanakam Sadhana World !!!
The lovely Stephanie Garvin has graciously provided us with a blog post regarding the past week’s happenings in the Sadhana Forest garden:
Over the past week, we have made astounding progress in the garden, thanks to the hard work and interest of our dedicated volunteers. The levels of energy present in the garden were incredible !
Last Monday was a strenuous day as we started clearing the site for our new banana and papaya plantation with the help and guidance of the very lovely Kaled from Solitude who kindly volunteered to help us with this project. Oh boy, that man can dig ! Twenty three holes were dug for banana plants which we hope to source this week. In between the bananas we hope to plant rows of papayas, pineapples, beans, pumpkins, and gourds. We removed all the weeds, grass and thorny plants that were growing in this area and spent some time afterwards removing thorns from volunteers’ fingers! It was great to look back at our work at the end of the day and appreciate the results of such great teamwork. The new plantation will be the biggest garden plot we have created to date and we hope it will supply our kitchen with delicious, organic fruit and vegetables for many years to come.
Last week we began the task of overhauling our current fruit plantations. The banana plot behind the kitchen looks amazing after giving it a good weeding and mulching it with sticks and a generous layer of leaves.
Towards the end of last week we also did some maintenance work on the plantain plot beside the tool shed. The site was weeded and the irrigation system was overhauled. A test run with the waste water from our plunge pool proved very successful and we were very pleased with the result. We still need to finish mulching the site and this work continued this week. As soon as we get some decent rain we can also thin out some of the plantain that have sprung up too close together. It’s looking good and we hope it will produce a great crop later in the year.
Work also started on an irrigation system for our other banana plantation using the overflow from the water tank. All this work should help to ease the workload of the garden watering team and help us use our water more effectively and with minimal waste.
One of our priorities for the garden was to produce lots of leafy greens for the kitchen. Work started on Tuesday on the area to the right of the kitchen where we will plant some fresh herbs, spinach, rosella, and other greens. We are using the layered, raised bed technique which we find works really well here.
The bottle gourd seedlings and watermelons we planted a month ago are still doing well and we will soon have to build supports for the gourds to climb on. We continue to harvest green beans, eggplants, spinach, lemongrass, tulsi, and drumstick leaves and we had an amazing home grown watermelon with our fruit salad on Wednesday. We continue to plant the pineapple crowns regularly in our existing beds.
Our next priority is to get some nursery beds up and running so we can get some seeds planted as soon as possible before the monsoon takes hold.
The garden team have started to meet regularly on Sundays to discuss priorities for the following coming week and review our overall strategy in relation to the garden.
I would like to extend a huge thank you to all those who helped turn our garden dreams into a reality and to all those who worked previously on the Sadhana garden ! To all those Sadhana volunteers that have moved on or are departing soon- come back soon and sample the fruits of your labour !!
Thanks Stephanie for that wonderful post. Peace for now!