Quarter Acre of Livelihood (for chickens :)

A month back, after harvesting the sun hemp, we proceeded to seed all the raised beds in the 25 cents with a variety of seeds weighing about 10 kgs (22 pounds). Many of the seeds were tiny so we decided against making clay pellets for faster completion of work. Also, we are not very good

Companion Planting 1 – Summer Tomatoes Among Castor Trees

Attempting a series on companion planting that has worked well on the farm both accidental and otherwise. I think a successful combination of plants should meet at least three of  these criteria.. Reduce pest attacks Increase or maintain combined productivity Reduce human labour especially weed control Increase carbon content of soil Reduce water requirements This

An Ode to Cow Pea

On June 14th this year, with the infectious enthusiasm of 3 kids and 3 ladies, we cleared out a small patch just in front of the house and planted some cow pea and corn. The total area was about 100 sq ft of which the cow pea to corn ratio was 60:40 In 30 days,

Looking Back at Monsoon Season 2013

With the mercury rising like it’s second summer, I look back with a teeny bit of nostalgia at the flowers, veggies and fruits that delighted us in the last 3 months. Thanks you friends and family for everything from sending us seeds to actually putting them in the soil. Slideshow…  

Green Manure As the Solution

Through our friends from Goa, we came to know of a farmer named Nandeesh, in Karnataka. Inspired by Fukuoka, he has been farming naturally since 2000.  His 20 acre farm includes paddy and trees. Nandeesh specializes in green manure and has used over 100 varieties of these for different purposes. He also has this nice

Quarter Acre of Livelihood – Update 3

Earlier Updates on the same subject: Update 1, Update2 In Feb 2013, our friends from Tiruppur, Anand, Selvi and their farm-boy son Akshay came to help us with making 9 cents (approx 4000 sq ft ) of land cloes to home ready for growing. 7 years ago, 4 ft of top soil from this area

The Best Birthday Gift

On my latest birthday, Ragu and I were out to attend a friend’s baby shower. When we came back to the farm, my mother-in-law pointed us to two healthy saplings of Suppota and Hibiscus along with a few little ones. All nicely packed and left anonymously with the note – “Be Happy”. The note gave

Quarter Acre of Livelihood – Update 2

Wanted to update the status of different elements laid out in the earlier post. A rough layout of the different elements. Space for growing green manure for seeds. After 3 seasons, it seems quite easy to harvest sun hemp for seeds. Can’t say the same about Daincha. Space used: 100 sq ft Provide permanent space