Short updates where we are right now at the farm

I Pictures: straw bales being made – straw bales in the rain.

We are in the process of harvesting the 20 acres of paddy and hope to finish in a few weeks. The paddy was planted with intervals and so the harvest is also happening in steps. In this way we can better manage the work. Most of the crop we harvest with a combine harvester, which saves a lot of labor. In the process we do lose some grain because machines are not as sensitive as ladies with their sickles. Still, economically we come out better and more importantly we can move much faster. This is essential to be able to bring in a green manure crop (leguminous rich plants), after the harvest, on part of the area so the cattle have some good fodder in the summer.

I Video: combine harvesting with music.
I Video: next step, baling the paddy straw.

Things are all connected and time is very essential because organic farming goes very much with seasonality. Moving fast is also important because we see that weather seems more erratic; and we get those bits of rain in these months, which is wonderful to give a little refreshing feel, but are quite a nuisance when you are in the middle of a paddy harvest. We try to go with the flow ..

Our new pup Enya got Parvo virus and we had to go for intensive treatment for a week or so, but with the help of Dr. Thiruselvam she got through the ordeal and the puppy is slowly recovering.

I Pictures: Enya puppy – Serena, Asta & Enya – Pongal ride – Madhuri checking the paddy harvest results.

We had our yearly Pongal celebration with a puja in January, shared a meal all together and of course there was the cart ride which brings joy ..

Madhuri, our usually-Mumbai-based volunteer, stayed with us for a few weeks to help analyze our paddy results; she is developing herself into a rice cultivation expert!

We will share more about this years paddy crop soon.

We are also busy with our infrastructure improvement projects.

I Pictures: Fence pillar mould development: Andre – Fence pillar mould development: Kanduvel & Sudha – Upper pond preparation for liner.

The pilot boundary fence is going on. We got a lorry load of cuddapah stones (a rough black lime stone) and Andre prepared a few sets of pillar molds. We will start producing the pillars with a small mason team this week. We aim to put up another 100 m in this next phase.

A few days back there came a technician from a company from Coimbatore to look at the upper pond (a relatively small pond embedded in the hill of soil which was created when digging the big pond a few years back). He explained what still needs to be prepared before the liner can be put in place. This week he will send us their quotation for the material and we will start to work on this as soon we are freed from the harvest work.

Then at last we are on the point of getting a small three wheeler electric vehicle (Ev) for transport of our products. With the bulky bananas, which will become more and more part of the daily deliveries, our old mopeds cannot handle it anymore. Our jeep which is over 20 years old will soon not be able to be used anymore because new laws are going to be implemented to ban old vehicles from the road.

We had ordered an Ev from a company in Chennai who after many months of false promises did not deliver; we had to switch to a more reliable company. We are still fighting with the company in Chennai to return the payment we made to them. It’s a difficult thing to deal with and feels not so nice. Even things which look simple on the face of it are often quite challenging to get executed…it’s our collective karma probably.. because I see a lot of people around us here struggling in similar ways and maybe we need to see the process as the thing to focus on and leave the rest to the big picture …😉

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