Organic Kitchen Gardening and my personal musings

This blog is about my experiments with Organic Kitchen Gardening and sometimes about other personal experiences of my life… Please leave a comment about anything that touched you. Comments help to keep the blogger motivated to keep blogging :)

Visit to farmhouse and seed shopping in Orissa September 29, 2009

Filed under: Organic Farming and Kitchen Garden — rajapanda @ 3:07 pm

It’s holiday time of the year for my family. Currently am in the mid of a 2 weeks holiday trip to my native Puri and Dhenkanal in Orissa.

Puri, my hometown, is a lovely beach town with very rich history and has prominence in the Hindu religion for being the abode of Lord Jagannath.

Dhenkanal (In-laws place of posting), is a nice and small town with it’s own charm and relatively better weather. Today I got a chance to visit a private farm house here. The farm house is on the outskirts of the town. Strange though, how the definition of outskirt changes in the context of the city, outskirts here is just 5-7 km away from the central market of the city !!!

Road leading to farmhouse...

Road leading to farmhouse...

I travel 15 km each way to reach my office in b’lore and have nothing like this for company 🙂 nor is it anywhere close to this kind of greenery. May be am comparing apples with oranges. So, lets just enjoy the nature.

Indian Cow(buffalo) boy taking his buffalos back home

Indian Cow(buffalo) boy taking his buffalos back home

This area is known for it’s elephant population and here is some sign to alert the visitors. What it says in Oriya is “Sabdhan, Agare hathira gatipatha”, translated into English it means “Be Careful, ahead is elephants pathway”

Alert!! Elephants ahead

Alert!! Elephants ahead

The farmhouse is made roughly on 13-15 acres of, what was earlier wasteland (mountain slope). One look at the farm and it became obvious lot of effort (and of course money) has gone into bringing the farm into current shape. It has taken all of 5 years to get here. It now has a variety of trees like mango, cashew, jack fruit, papaya, coconut, banana etc etc…

Mango hybrid treesm, with the hill at the back

Mango hybrid treesm, with the hill at the back

A good source of income for the farm, I guess, is from the nursery activities of grafted mango,cashew, and rose saplings.

Grafted hybrid varities of mango saplings.. to be kept here for ageing

Grafted hybrid varities of mango saplings.. to be kept here for ageing

The farm is well supported by a goshala which roughly has 15 cows and also has a vermi compost unit.

It’s a very meticulously planned setup, and looked very organized in terms of location of each unit (roads, staff quarters, plantation, compost pit, cow sheds, water borewells, sprinklers for drip irrigation etc etc..). It was quite a learning experience for me and the 4 hours flied away like 40 minutes or was it 4 minutes…

I also did a bit of shopping for my garden here at dhenkanal. Bought 2 kgs each, of Neem cake and mustard Cake (Rs. 25/- per kg). These cakes are commonly called as pidiya in Oriya language. Those should be good food for my plants, wish I could carry more 😦

Neem cake(left) and mustard cake.. good food for organically grown plants

Neem cake(left) and mustard cake.. good food for organically grown plants

But the best part was shopping for Seeds. Seed sellers here are very flexible. They are ready to cut the seed packets and sell few grams of it loose, to small kitchen gardeners like me.

Seed seller

Seed seller

Here is what i got: Black and white color brinjal, red carrot, Cauliflower, cabbage, peas, onion, bitter gourd, ridge gourd, spinach. All this for just Rs. 30/- !! Unbelievable… And just the right quantity of each kind to avoid any wastage. Wish something like this was available at B’lore.

Seeds purchased

Seeds purchased

I also bought a cutter (Rs. 80/-), a weighing scale of 10 kg limit and 250 gm variance (Rs.150/-) and this little iron plough (in the pic below) for Rs. 15/-.

weighing scale and little iron plough

weighing scale and little iron plough

All this while I have been thinking, how pleasant it is to shop in a small town. The shop keeper gives full attention and is ready to answer the silliest of questions from customer with a smile, is almost always able to give a better margin of discount than shops in bigger towns are ready to give.

For the time being I am eagerly looking forward to getting back to b’lore and try out all these seeds. Till then, Happy Gardening!!


14 Responses to “Visit to farmhouse and seed shopping in Orissa”

  1. geekgardener Says:


    Nice post. I had a similar experience when I had been to UP ( My wife’s native). There were nurseries every 100 metres on the highway and the seed shops are worth a mention. Their knowledge on agriculture/gardening is simply amazing. One thing was very evident. They don’t try to push their product to us. I too got a 3 rs packet of Red carrot. That 3rs packet itself is a handful for a Nano gardener like me.

    keep us posted with your new experiments

  2. Sapna Says:

    Never heard of mustard cakes. Do they have the same pest repellent properties of Neem cake?

    Also I grew red carrots (Gajar) this year. And they taste much better than the regular orange carrots. I guess Gajar is making a comeback.

    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi Sapna,

      Mustard cakes probably do not have pest repellent property like neem cake. But they are known to be good source of nutrients, which can enrich soil.

      Red carrots are one of my favorite. They taste much better (sweeter) than the normal ones and specially taste good in gajar halwa.

  3. Urban Green Says:

    Very nice post! It’s like a trip down memory lane. Simple things don’t cost much. The “desi-ness” and the green in your pictures makes me crave for it, and detest city life even more.
    *Urban Green sighs sadly*
    Anyways, I do hope to make the best use of my walkway and balcony and sharing more on my patch of green. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving such an encouraging comment. See you around 🙂

    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi Urban green,

      You are so right about “simple things don’t cost much” and I sincerely hope it remains so for generations to come..Your blog is a treat to read. I can only aspire to be as good a narrator.

  4. Tnelson Says:

    I usually don’t post on Blogs but ya forced me to, great info.. excellent! … I’ll add a backlink and bookmark your site.

  5. Kanak Says:

    Great buys! Would love to see the growth later. That road leading to the farm reminded me of places we cross on our journeys through laid-back towns. It’s beautiful! So’s the farm and the hill in the background. I grew up in a hill town so a view like this warms my heart:)

    Enjoy the rest of your holiday!

  6. green thumb Says:

    That’s the joy of living in a small city and that too so close to nature!! I did my MBBS from VSS Medical College Burla, Sambalpur, so I share a special bond with Orissa, I have some very fond memories of my college time.Many places in Orissa are still untouched by commercialization, so they still retain their natural charm. Your photos made me yearn to go their once again!! Thanks for sharing

    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi green thumb,

      Am so glad it bought back good memories to you and you liked the post.
      You are so true about the some parts of Orissa remaining untouched by commercialization. But alas!! Dhenkanal may not remain like that for long. Some mega NTPC project is coming up in the vicinity soon.

  7. Basant Says:

    I’ll visit again…interesting stuff bhai…hmmm just wondering itana time kaha se milta hai tumhe?

    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi Roomie, Editor sahab,

      Glad you liked the post. Yaar kabhi kabhi thoda editorial kaam bhi kar diya karo apne ex-roommate ke liye.

      Time ka kya bataein basant bhai, woh to bas youn nikal aata hai, agar interest ho to. Then add to that the benefits of having such a nice thing to do to unwind, spreading greenery, having fresh organic vegetables to eat from your own garden and so many other worthy reasons. It’s a win-win hobby. To give it a thought!

  8. jayasudha Says:

    hi raja
    I am from tamilnadu. your kitchen garden is very nice. your teracotta tiles idea is very useful for me thankyou

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