All right ! Comes the new year 2017 and lots of changes on the card. To begin with, no more updation on this page from now on. You’ve got to come to see it for yourself now ;-).
December 2016 : Geeta – one of our cow comes home on her own ! Yay ! Winter continue, Sunhemp harvest begins, Winter Gathering Organized. Most of the crops are very healthy and promising, weather being kind this year to all with almost no pests in the field.
November 2016 : Three of our cows go missing while one of them gives birth to a calf. This month saw an increase in number of visitors to farm (around 10 this month), spinach, bengal gram leaves, beans, coriander are ready for some consumption, nights become chilly and windy. Fencing work started.
October 2016 : Rabi sowing almost complete. We have sown – bengal gram, wheat, masur dal, flax seeds, green peas and various vegetables. Rainwater harvested in the lake is slowing drying up now. Few more wild trees planted around the border.
September 2016 : Rabi crop sowing has begun. Monsoon bid goodbye, leaving the farm green, moist and active with birds, butterfly and fireflies.
August 2016 : Lovely rains hit MP with excess rainfalls in most place, Monsoon magic takes it peak and greenery spreads to horizons. Crops find difficult to grow in water logged fields but overall good monsoon means joy for all. Mango trees, flowering tress planted, Sunhemp growing vigorously.
July 2016 : Monsoon comes in full swing, above average rainfall affects some crops. Planted 100 Bamboo plants. Lovely green cover everwhere, Geedhan waterfall begins.
June 2016 : Sowing done around full moon for sunhemp, pigeon pea, black gram and little bit of sesame, maize, groundnut, rice, moth dal and various rainy season vegetables. Planted some more mango, fruit trees and wild trees. Rains have begun, but yet to see that wild rain. Monsoon delayed. Cows really hungry for green now. Come rains..come..!
May 2016 : Summer reaches it’s peak with one of the hottest year yet again, tilling and soil preparation for sowing of next crop done, seeds and plant acquisition as per plan for this year begins, planning to sow Sun-Hemp for green manure and create a bamboo and mango forest along with plantation of other wild and fruit trees. Looking forward to monsoons.
April 2016 : Summer sets in, colors of the Vindhyas change, cows, plants all get ready for the hot days, evening strong winds blowing away various structures of the farm, planning for plantation and khariff crop begins.
March 2016 : Harvesting of all crops completed, we are grateful for whatever nature bestowed us with. Summer begins, time to take care of trees. Windy afternoons and nights. Mountain changes color from green to brown, Bagad – the dog is new addition to farm along with his visiting friends Bada Bagad and Chetan (names given by Siddharth and Shreya).
February 2016 : Harvesting of Tuar and other crops begins, crops coming out strong even after pest attack and sowing issues, the average production is better than many surrounding farms, Geeta also gave birth to Bheema, 3-4 new birds spotted in the fields, planning for coming season to start.
January 2016 : Happy new year :), crops have gained momentum as winter hits finally, Tuar is very healthy now – it’s a lovely example of how nature takes it’s own course, Shantanu and family has started plantation (planted around 200 wild and fruit trees), planning of this years plantation and earth work begins, organic matter on ground, birds, insect population has increased, we are bestowed with Soma – new calf to Lali.
December 2015 : Winter knocks finally and crops gain momentum, pests are in control naturally due to dip in temperature, Tuar revives itself and flowers again with healthy pods, Shantanu’s house is complete, second Winter gathering concludes the year with lovely memories.(read about gathering here)
November 2015 : Sowing of Coriander, green peas, some more wheat, potato and various vegetable done. Still no rains, we have started irrigating dryer areas of farm with lake water. Sprouting is not uniform indicating poor sowing timing and weather. Tuar is heavily infected by various pests inspite of spray of Amrut Jal, we are waiting and watching. Winters are quite weak as compared to last year. Shantanu’s House construction is in final phase.
October 2015 : Sowing of wheat, Bengal gram, local green peas, flax seed, Masoor done. No rains post monsoon – quite unusual. Tuar dal crop going strong though sowing was not good for most of the crops. We lost the moisture in the soil due to delay in second tilling after harrow work.
September 2015 : Temperature soared up, no rains. Soil preparation started for next crop. Lot of natural weed growth, thus lot of green manure, butterflies have increased, Tuar is the only crop standing in few acres, planning for winter crops and winter gathering began, more than 50% of trees planted have been perished, rest 50% are being taken care of and doing good, tilling continues in absence of a better workable method.
August 2015 : Heavy rains continue without much break, almost all our crops succumb, only some Tuar (Pigeon pea) still standing grounds, sad to see heavy soil erosion, our water outlet system broke down and all the trenches and bunds created are gone, considerable increase in number of fireflies – they almost look like twinkling stars in the evening, Lake is full and overflowing, green cover all over the farm.
July 2015 : Good monsoon, non-stop rains for 3 weeks cause water logging and crops are affected, Lake is collecting rain water, old trees especially bamboo, guava, drumsticks are growing fast, thousands of insects of many species spotted, no artificial lights after sunset.
June 2015 : Plantation done – bamboo on the periphery, wild trees on little inside and further inside we planted wild and rugged fruit trees like Custard apple and Lemon. Lot of other fruit and flowering trees planted. Sowing of Soya-bean, Urad Dal, Moong dal, Maize, Til and Tuar done. Agnihotra started at the new Pyramid Prayer House (Sadhna Kaksh), looking forward to unpredictable monsoon ahead.
May 2015 : Plants brought for monsoon plantation – lot of wild and fruit trees, around 10 trees die due to summer 😦 , lots of cow visit the farm due to standing tuar crop – let’s see if it can still come up again, planning for kharif crop starts plannig tuar as main crop and going to experiment with inter cropping, no-till and diverse local crops.
April 2015 : Farm grown organic staple food in stock, Western disturbances continue to bring rains, no tree casuality so far due to summer, planning for next plantation drive begins, construction of prayer room in form of pyramid (roughly aligning to Golden Ratio) is partially complete, Tuar dal crop still surviving – planning to save and harvest it again to avoid tilling. Many “hudhud” birds and white butterflies spotted.
March 2015 : Harvested 13 quintal Tuar Dal, Masoor crop is ruined but we got enough to save seeds for next year, Bengal gram affected by rains but picked up well and gave very good harvest , trees are doing well and enjoying these unexpected rains due to various disturbances in the western seas. First lot of various organic grains and pulses is ready 🙂 ! Gita gave birth to another Calf.
Feb 2015 : Harvesting of Tuar Dal begins, Inspite of heavy pest attack the crop looks decent, unexpected rains affect wheat crop, winters tapering off, flowers have started blooming, the mountain is changing shades quite rapidly. New Cow and Calf (Puna) join the farm family.
Jan 2015: Enjoyed organic Green peas, Spinach, Radish, Bengal Gram and Pigeon pea, construction of Shantanu’s house with mud bricks began, created spaces for cow shed, grain storage, Organic Certification (C1) recieved from APEDA and MPSOCA.
Dec 2014: First Winter gathering held, Rains have helped winter crops and plantation, stars and moon are visible more clear and brighter, many new birds have been spotted.
Nov 2014: Sowing of wheat, green peas and other vegetables completed, preparations going on for winter gathering.
October 2014 : Tapan,another madman buys 3 acre close to the Madmans farm, Sowing of green peas, bengal gram, masoor done. Sowing of wheat is partially complete, Process for Organic Certification started, winter vegetables sown – growing well, planning started for additional constructions for cow-shed and storage, First Winter Gathering annouced (to be held in Dec), excited to welcome winters 😉 !
September 2014 : Harvested 50kg of Moong dal and 800Kg of Organic Urad Dal inspite of Yellow mosaic virus infection (no pesticides used), Lake filled and tuar dal growing well, Shantanu – a friend, another madman decides to move to the farm with his family, plants growing well in bright sun post monsoon.
August 2014 : Plantation of more variety of green manure trees continued, urad dal flowering, Amrit Jal and Amrit Mitti experiments started, lots of butterflies spotted, fireflies have also increased, more than a dozen variety of insects spotted, monsoon has been weak so far (only half of annual average rainfall till now) leading to some change in plans for winter and monsoon plantation
July 2014 : Planted more trees in second phase, some 40 bamboos, 60 other wild trees including fruit-flower bearing trees, replaced damaged or dead plants by newer ones, vegetable for rainy season sown, sowed urad, tuar and moong in rest of the farm, also trying sesame and ground nut in smaller pilot plots, lake starts collecting rain water, cover of green is arising from all directions, the forest in front of farm has also taken shade of dark-dense green
June 2014 : Delayed monsoon pose challenges for us, fencing work partially completed, new trees to be planted bought ( lot of bamboo and some fruit trees and wild trees), a 12 ft deep trench made inside the lake to help improve water absorption into the soil, our local helper Suresh leaves, Sundar Singh Joins the farm with his family, started planting of more trees.
May 2014 : Lake work (Phase 1 ) completed, now the farm has a big (little less than an acre) of lake which will harvest rain water, more work will be needed next year, summer combat continues, all coconut trees succumb to heat, animals frequent farm as it remains the only green patch in near by areas, enjoyed some water melons, musk melons and baby corn, repair of the concrete house begins..
April 2014 : Summer hits, few trees succumb to heat and animal grazing inspite of our care. Solar system installed, now we have basic solar power for domestic needs, Lake outline made, roads repaired.
March 2014 : Harvested 180kg of Organic Wheat and 6 Kg of Flax seeds, Planning for lake, summer and monsoon begins, sowed corn and cucumber along with various vegetables, Crop damaged by parrots, wild boars, rabbits and deer – wondering about our intervention, Friends visited from Mysore, Fireflies spotted.
Feb 2014 – Compost toilet experiment begins, enjoyed ample tomatoes, brinjal, carrots and spinach, second house completed with mud roofing, Wheat, Flax and Gram suffers from heavy rains and hailstorms, Geeta – Indian cow along with her calf Sunyo joins us in land healing process. (Read more : How a Vegan gets a Cow)
Jan 2014 – Official launch of farm – open for visitors, First house ready, second in progress, enjoyed organic spinach, fenugreek, radish etc.
Dec 2013 – Natural farming experiment for wheat, peas,flax seeds [half an acre], sowed some greens, vegs
Nov 2013 – Harvested 35 kg of natural rice. [ frm arnd 1000sqft ]
Oct 2013 – Started building first nature friendly house , 30 books in library, some musical instruments brought. (About Housing at Madman’s Farm)
Sept 2013 – Planted many local trees.
Aug 2013 – Planted 30 flowers and medicinal plants
July 2013 – Test plot ready for natural farming for rice
June 2013 – Planted around 100 trees of different varieties. (Why we planted, what we planted ?)
May 2013 – A new life begins at The Madman’s farm (Click here to read about Evolution of Farm and thinking behind it)