Papaya

So today is my second visit to the farm.

The scene of the area is breath-taking. It’s pouring every now and then due to the monsoon season but it’s beautiful. We play around with the rain, cows, walking bare-foot feeding nutrients, treating and talking to plants. It’s a pure bliss. I’m in Pandora. Our mother earth is priceless.

There are two other volunteers working on this organic farm as well, Andy and Jake. In fact two more are coming! YAY!

The meals here are fully organic and healthy. We have mainly lots of brown rice, chapattis, dhal, and juicy vegetables with curry.  Lunch is served after work with Kalyani and Daniel like in every Indian traditional way – with hand and on the floor. Whereas dinner is savored at the canteen run by the temple at a very very reasonable price – 20 Rupees which is about 40 cents.

Daniel drives us to the farm early in the morning. The route is bumpy, rocky and rough, just like today we nearly got washed away by strong stream current due to the heavy rain.

The love, vision and mission that this couple have are amazing. They have so much to give and offer, both to the people and to the nature. Their ambitions and hope for a better and more sustainable living are inspiring.

Daniel asked us in the jeep after we visited the farm yesterday, “Do you want to hear bad news or good news first?”  Jake and I immediately shouted “Good news!”

“Our banana tree has grown! We have bananas! And the bad news is our papaya tree is infested with Mealy Bugs.”

So today we have an important task to get rid and treat our papaya tree. She is Daniel and Kalyani’s first ever planted Papaya tree.

Daniel called up one of his good friend to find out the biological and organic remedy to heal the tree.

“So listen, one deepa of cow’s urine mixed with some water, ash and soap. You need to spray it on the papaya’s leaves and make sure you grease around the bottom trunk so that the ants won’t spread them to other trees.”Kalyani explained after the phone call.

So off we went this morning to destroy the bad bad Mealy bugs.

Jake and I started off by scattering some used tea leaves around the four acid-loving lime trees to work as mulch or as a source of nitrogen and minerals.

Then we mixed the ingredients mentioned above for our papaya tree. Kalyani and I carefully sprayed away and removed the bugs. The next thing I knew was carrying cow’s urine odor with me the whole day.

We also brewed a love potion for the rest of the papaya trees. It consists of cow dung and urine, used tea leaves, rock sugar, ash and water which is a natural fertilizer to enhance the earth and strengthen the trees.

We came back soaked and bruised as hungry Andy, Jake and I met a minor accident with the motorcycle as we were rushing home for lunch. However, we managed to sing ‘What a wonderful World’ by Louis Amstrong on the ride back.

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