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 !!!
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.
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”
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…
A good source of income for the farm, I guess, is from the nursery activities of grafted mango,cashew, and rose saplings.
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 😦
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.
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.
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/-.
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!!