Exploring an organic farm

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?

10 Comments

  • Kiddothings
    December 3, 2011 5:44 pm

    It sounds interesting and exciting! I can’t even keep my potted basil plant alive, so I don’t think I can give you any pointers on managing plants and little ones. I hope your dream of having a vegetable garden of your own comes true soon! 🙂

  • Mama J
    December 3, 2011 11:38 pm

    Thanks, G. I’m already struggling to water my existing plants, so I need a real hard kick in the pants to help me get going! *sigh*

  • Runnermom-jen
    December 5, 2011 4:18 am

    This sounds amazing!! I hope you can get it up and running. I’m sure you wouldn’t regret it, although it does sound like a complete lifestyle change!

  • Selvi
    December 7, 2011 9:10 pm

    This is so funny ….I share my name with a cow!

  • Alison@Mama Wants This
    December 7, 2011 10:31 pm

    That is an amazing dream! I wish I live in a house, I always wanted a vegetable garden of sorts – not a farm, that’s far too ambitious for me 🙂 Good luck to you!

  • Mama J
    December 8, 2011 1:59 am

    I’m pretty faint-hearted at the moment! Looking at how excited the kids are whenever they harvest our potted basil leaves, though, I feel I owe it to them to break my back in a veggie patch!

  • Mama J
    December 8, 2011 2:00 am

    Haha!!!! Nice to see you here, Selvi. When’s our next banana leaf meal, eh?

  • Mama J
    December 8, 2011 2:03 am

    Thanks! I really do hope our kids will get closer to nature, dirt and worms and feel natural about it all – unlike me! And enjoy the whole process of learning to grow food too

  • Shirene
    January 8, 2012 8:34 pm

    Hey what do you know?! We know Yahqappu and have visited his farm too. Wonderful to hear that you are starting your vege patch. We sure have lots to talk about when we meet face to face again. Using lots of mulch helps to keep out weed while slowly fertilising the soil. Basically, you don’t want to leave any patch bare.

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