Recently, as part of my dream to grow our own organic vegetables and be almost self-sustaining veggie wise, I visited an organic farm.
Sweet Man and I chanced upon the farm owner, Yahqappu Adaikkalam, just last weekend. He was seated at the table next to us at a Graduation event organised by Dignity for Children Foundation. I was supposed to provide piano accompaniment for a student choir singing Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror, and we had had a fantastic time practising a few weeks before.
Meeting Yahqappu just before the event began was such a moment for me because I’ve always wanted to meet a farmer. I lost my jitters, and we immediately planned on a trip to his farm during the week.
We were so excited to go, I forgot my camera!
Being at this farm was a real eye-opener for me. We talked for a long time about how to start a veggie garden, about life, and the balance of our bodies, minds and spirits over a lovely lunch of brown rice and freshly harvested vegetables served on banana leaves. There was a pot of steaming hot tea, and we just sat, talking more after the used banana leaves were left outside the porch – to be eaten by the cow.
The Bunnies loved every minute of it. They played with Yahqappu’s 3 year old son, the cat and the extremely benign dog while the adults talked and Piglet busied himself, scratching in some the sand by the door. When the midday sun waned a little, we went on a tour of the farm and Yahqappu gave us a running commentary on some of the basics.
In the middle of it all, Lamb got chased by the cow (named Selvi), who managed to give him a mighty lick on the head with her tongue. I don’t remember laughing so hard before as I did then. Interestingly, although Lamb was slightly alarmed, for all his 3 year old positivity he found it pretty funny too.
Starting off, farming your own vegetables, is hard work.
I don’t know if I’ll be able to get up at 6.00 am, and start tending the plants by 7.00 am. I’m usually still in bed at 6.00 am, nursing! 7.00 am is bathtime, and what about breakfast?!
But I really do want to have our own produce, so I guess I’ll just have to figure out some way of investing some time to start this.
Sweet Man and I have agreed that at some point we’ll spend a few days volunteering at Yahqappu’s farm, so we can see how the farm works, learn first-hand what we need to do, and anticipate the kind of changes we’ll have to make to our lifestyle.
I’m a little worried about the water from the well, but since Yahqappu’s family filters it and has no problems drinking it, I suppose we might be alright …. I don’t know about the kids, though. I also don’t know how I’ll manage getting about the work with Piglet, but women farmers manage with their babies in a sling – and I have a sling – so I suppose I’d find a way equally ….
I could think about so many “what if’s”. So I’d better stop, or else we’d never do it!
Has anyone planted a vegetable garden? How do you prevent it from growing into a weed jungle while managing your little ones?