Friday, September 2, 2011

KGI Day Harvest - 28th August 2011

Basket full of harvests! :D

                                                   Herbs...lemongrass, basil,all spice, owa

                                                          Sword Beans and lady finger

                                          Fruits... Raw papaya, sweet lime,star fruit, lemon,guava.
     These harvests were taken to MNP for celebrating the KGI Day with Urban Leaves members...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Monsoon Magic has spread in the air

Monsoon is the time for eating all veggies above the ground. This is a statement arising out of an "A - Ha" moment while watching the abundant snails, soil insects chomping away happily on those which grow close to the soil. eg: greens, roots, cabbages and its family members.

So its time for the abundant variety of gourds that grow in India.

Bottle gourd
Ridge Gourd
Little gourd
Bitter gourd
Sponge gourd

This year our bottle gourd grew so well, promising us with an abundant produce!

Yes, a comment in the last post reminded me I have not posted anything for a long time.

We have been enjoying the monsoon harvests, and yes we have had some bumper crops.

Almost 150 lemons and still counting.....


Saturday, April 9, 2011

April blooms

This site of the chikoo tree( Sapota ) loaded with chikoos greeted me today as I entered the terrace. My joy knew no bounds to see so much abundance!

Celery was fresh and green with an awesome strong flavour.

And yes! The Grafted Sonchafa a gift from Jyoti Bhave, my dear friend , has bloomed for the first time since we planted it two years ago.

Its beauty and fragrance is mesmerizing.....

Our gardener Nakti with his prized gift of fresh Kohlrabi grown in Amrut Mitti.

The papaya tree ( male ) grown sooo high on six inches of Amrut Mitti needs to be cut as it does not yield fruit and also its roots have started affecting the plants growing in the adjacent beds

After the winter months and shedding of leaves, the terrace garden is once again green and flowers are in full bloom......

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Our coconut tree sweeps us off

Our coconut tree on the terrace was planted 10 years ago on the terrace, when we were totally inexperienced about farming activities. One of our staff members from the kitchen brought this sapling from his native village and so this tree established itself in these grey surroundings.It has been a sight of wonder and joy as people discovered it;s presence. Many wondered how the roots did not affect the slab, how the weight of the tree did not cause cracks etc...Although this tree has not yet given us any coconuts, it is a source of great joy. It is said that 1 coconut tree can sustain 1 family. I am not surprised.

Today I was thrilled when our gardener showed me three brooms he had made from the leaves of the coconut tree. I fell in love with the brooms and felt like hanging them on my walls...... : )

The thick jute cloth like pieces on the bark were cut to be used for lining the aerated drums!

What more can an urban farmers want? Just waiting for the coconuts!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Winter Harvests

Guava a plenty

Amba Haldi

Madhavi Lata

This season the Madhavi Lata is in full bloom. Its wonderful fragrance has filled the surroundings as well as our hearts.

I found some amazing information about this flower seen rarely these days....

Madhavi lata, native from India to the Philippines, is a vine like plant that is often cultivated in the tropics for its attractive and fragrant flowers. A woody climbing shrub with clusters of pink to white and yellow fragrant flowers and 3-winged, helicopter-like fruits. Flowers have very interesting shape and look like a decorative accessory, with fluffy-toothed edges. The fragrance is very strong and pleasant, resembles fruity perfume. Leaves are narrow and drooping. This plant can be trimmed as a bush, and can be crown in container, too. Used medicinally in India. Make sure to provide lots of light for profuse blooming. The genus name, Hiptage, is derived from the Greek hiptamai, which means "to fly" and refers its unique three-winged fruit known as "samara". The fruit is carried by wind because of its papery wings.
Medicinal uses: The bark, leaves and flowers are aromatic, bitter, acrid, astringent, refrigerant, vulnerary, expectorant, cardiotonic, anti-inflammatory and insecticidal. They are useful in burning sensation, wounds, ulcers, cough, asthma.

This tree also has a importance in mythological stories.....

In stories of Krishna, Madhavi-lata is found every where in Vrindavan, and creates a wonderful atmosphere with its fragrance and the three-colored flowers:

"This forest has Atimukta-trees, therefore the chariot makers resort to it (chariots are made of the wood), the makers of Madhavi-garlands like it (Atimukta means Madhavi flower) and those who desire liberation come here (to Vrindavana; (Atimukta means completely liberated).