Eating is an agricultural act - Wendell Berry

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

varagu - down and out

we planted in early august and saw it do decent upto a couple of months later.
but since december, we were quite in doubt over it.
one - there was a certain lack of height and colour in the stalk.
two - very few stalks had let out the grain crowns.

so, we have as of today,cleared the field entirely after bidding a quick good bye.

it left us with some questions to answer.

so, there was a lack of something which caused this debacle.
it was certainly not water (though one hypothesis could be excess water!!).
the seeds could have been poor quality, but this is a low factor as the early stages showed promise.
so, we are hypothesising that it was a lack of fertility in the soil.
this assumes greater chances as even the weed growth in the field was sporadic to low.

to continue the flow, we covered the field with manure and ploughed it and plan to try our regular and classic january crop - yellu/sesame/til.
and we will not be able to follow any of the 5 improvements planned from last year as we have changed the field :-)
so much for advance planning...

and dear readers - happy new year and all that.


Anonymous said...

Would it not be better to cut the plants and leave as is, that would have increased the fertility of the soil, is itn't that Fanuka's method of increasing the fertility?

csm said...

yes - the classic fukuoka method would have us repeating this type of growing and mulching with green manure over 1-2 years for it to become a no-till field.
we have taken a decision to use bullock based tilling till we are fully confident in our ability to be no-till.
for the record, bhaskar save has grown all his grains using cow based tilling and he told us that this method is the best for indian conditions.

Anonymous said...

Kailash Murthy, the inspiration for natural farming for many farmers in south India, has grown rice without tilling. Agree with csm, for most of us, it will have to be a gradual conversion to no-till.
I had planted some sesame in November, very dark and tasty, the people on the farm said it was Erode variety, which will grow tall. But a month and half later, when the plants were about a feet high, they started flowering. May be wrong time for planting, or it was a dwarf variety.

csm said...

anon 2 - as we understand the correct season is 'thai' for yellu.

where are you farming?
i would think this season logic would extend to most of tamilnadu.

there is also a line of thinking that yellu requires much fertility, so it may be a reason for the height!!
do let us know how the fruiting and then onwards happen.
mail at sriramskdATgmailDOTcom