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 :)

Monkey business and cabbage harvest! February 19, 2010

Filed under: Organic Farming and Kitchen Garden — rajapanda @ 8:42 am

Got a chance to take these 2 video on my mobile camera at a shop near to my office.

Quite a few emotions crossed my mind, upon seeing the two fellows so busy in themselves. The thoughts varied from “Isn’t it proof dog and human are friends from early days?”, “Wow!! what a nice example of symbiotic relationship, dog is benifitting by getting rid of it’s parasitic worms and the monkey benifitting in terms of food”, “Aren’t the younger lot of all animal species more friendlier than the older lot ?? I guess it will be very difficult to find similar thing happening with a older dog and moneky. So, does fear and apprehension take over us as we grow older?”

What emotion does it evoke in you ??

The camerderie was surely a joy to watch except for the humans who intervened with a intention to make them give better pose for my camera. Sorry for the intrusion guys! Please carry on the good work!!

In the meanwhile I have harvested the first cabbage from my garden. I had seed started this batch some time around 20th of October’09 and harvested it on 6th of Feb’10.


So, that’s roughly 3 and half months. Knowing the right time to harvest was surely a challenge. But, I just followed my natural instincts and self imposed guidelines of not letting anything over grow in size. When we go to vegetable market, I generally avoid buying anything that looks over grown to me like those huge sized bottle gourds, capsicums or even cabbage and cauli flower etc… I don’t have any solid reason as to why i do that. But somehow, to me they look very un-natural. As a kid i grew up in a very small town called Puri,Orissa famous for Lord Jagannath’s temple. In a small town like that probably all the vegetables use to come from near by villages. Also, those days may be because of lack of all these hybrid varieties and high quality chemicals the veggies used to be of small size. So, the image I have in mind of ‘nati’/local and small veggies still guides my mind in veggie selection.

cabbage - a closer view

cabbage cross section view

There 5-6 more cabbages which are still growing, they are showing very laggard growth though. They were heavily infected by caterpillar in their early stage. Caterpillars came under controlled only after I applied this suggestion based on comment from Meena, one of my blog readers.

“I read that garlic spray is effective for caterpillars: Ingredients are garlic (2-3 bulbs), chilli powder (1-2 tbs), liquid detergent (2 tbs),vegetable oil (1tbs) and water (7 cups). You can put them all in a blender , mix and then strain through muslin, a coffee filter or similar. Pour what you need into a spray bottle for use.”

Thanks to Meena i have been able to save these cabbages and also bottle gourd to a large extent.

Right now am working on raising the beds of my garden with an intention to go for raised bed gardening. More on that in my next post.


19 Responses to “Monkey business and cabbage harvest!”

  1. Revathi Says:

    Hi Kg

    The cabbage is awesome!! You are lucky to consume home grown fresh vegetables – Looks like you are fast heading towards self sufficiency!!


    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi Revathi,

      Thanks for visiting my blog. I agree, to some extent am lucky to have some part of my veggies requirement fulfilled by my garden.
      It’s darn hard too 🙂

      Self sufficiency is still a distant goal. Right now am trying my hands at growing any veggie for which i can find seeds. With time and increasing experience I hope to strike a balance between the effort and output though.

      Recently i harvested few onions too.. will post the pics in future posts 🙂


  2. Hi, Thanks for visiting my blog. Your videos didn’t show up, but I enjoyed reading about your cabbage. Smaller veggies tend to be more tender, as long as they are ripe. I think cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower can be eaten at any size. Your cabbage photos are pretty. The chewed edges of the outside leaves almost look like they are from rabbits. Do you have rabbits?

    • rajapanda Says:


      You so rightly noticed the chewed edges. I don’t have rabbits, guess they were eaten up by caterpillar in the early stages.
      so, sorry you couldn’t see the videos. Try these two links on youtube.


  3. Vinay Chandra Says:

    Thats was music to the ears:) I can imagine the proud and happy face of yours. By the by where did you buy the seeds?

  4. meenakm Says:

    Hi Raj:

    I am glad that the suggestion of garlic spray worked out for you.

    My gourd plants started showing white male flowers. They are about 6 ft in height and I pruned the top as I read that this will enhance lateral growth of branches which bear female flowers. But, the flowering seems to have stopped suddenly.

    Also the leaves have started developing burnt patches – this is in spite of all the different floilar sprays I have tried out – garlic, neem oil, neem oil+ pungam oil etc.

    Do you have any experience in handling the above problems?

    Meena K

    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi Meena,

      I too had faced he same situation with my bottle gourds. I had sprayed neem oil on it at a very early stage and all the leafs started developing burnt patches after that. I had just used 2-3 drop of neem oil in half litre of water. Since then I have almost stopped using neem oil. It took sometime for the plant to revive and i kept applying panchagavya in the meanwhile.


  5. geekgardener Says:

    Hi Raja,

    Awesome harvest. It looks so fresh and crunchy. Appreciate your patience and instinct to pluck at the right time. Are they grown in container or in the soil ? ..

    Once again superb harvest. the ones I picked had a tinge of sweetness in taste( Variety: Earliana(55-60days).


    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi geekgardener,

      Thank you so much. Right now everything is growing in soil. My containers are not getting any sunlight since last 5-6 months and waiting for start of March-April month when they will again start receiving sunlight. From April to September most of my soil patches will stop receiving sunlight 😦


  6. geekgardener Says:

    How did i not write about the monkey-dog pals. I had a similar picture caught on mobile camera when I went house hunting and also a man who has befriended a crow.. simple things! yet a great source of joy!..


  7. sudesh Says:

    I was very happy to got a search hit to your blog. Please let me know if you can advise on the following. I was trying to get some help on my farming adventures. I had some past experience in the Goan village to grow a few beans varieties. I am presently in Bangalore and hit upon the thought to try my hand at it again. bought some palak seeds and organic manure at Lal Bagh,just to experiment. I dont have any space, i used a pot and roadside soil whatever i could lay my hand on. The seeds were put in just a cm under the soil, which itself is not very fertile. I water it once in morning, it gets good direct sun till 11 AM, and only indirect sunlight for rest of the day. Its a month now. mostly 5 cms tall, most of them have died as they started growing taller and then bending too much by the weight and their stems started decomposing/rotting. I replanted a few deeper so that the stems will be able to hold the weight of the leaves. I am not sure if i am doing something wrong and wanted to take some guidance from an experienced person.

    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi Sudesh,

      Am really glad you liked my blog. Firstly, I would say you should go for little better source of soil like say Lalbagh or some other nursery.
      I think the amount of sunlight received by the plant is just enough for it to grow nicely.
      Bush beans don’t grow very long, 8-10 inch is their typical height. Some times they are prone to bending because of the soft stem and heavy foliage, so i give them support by tying to small sticks. I think re-planting deeper probably won’t solve the problem.
      Check out my below post for more information on growing beans
      See you around.


      • Sudesh Says:

        Hi Raj,
        thanks for the reply. I wonder if what you said applies to the Palak,(probably you missed that the question was related to palak and not bush beans). I will try some good soil next time. Probably i should have mixed the organic manure well in the soil. I am left with my last few palak sprouts they seem strong from their leaf sizes. even if i can make one sprout grow that would be success for a first timer with minimal setup.

        • rajapanda Says:

          Opps!! Sorry Sudesh,
          I thought the question was about bush beans because Palak are normally not prone to bending because of the weight (at least in my experience).Sometimes the first few leaves are very close to the soil and they do tend to rot but the plant overall doesn’t rot because of that and continues to grow well.
          Anyways, what I said regarding the soil applies to Palak too.
          Wish you success for good growth of your Palak.


  8. GoodEarth Says:

    Hi Raj,
    My bush beans plants are suffering much due to leaf miner attack & some kind of black flies. They are troubling every leaf on the plant, by burying their eggs deep inside… even the new leaves are getting affected once they attain a considerably big size. im quite upset by this destruction 😦
    Will the garlic solution suggested by Meena work out in this case? it is not possible for me to keep removing all the leaves of the plant… any other remedy for this problem?

    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi GoodEarth,

      Sorry for the late reply. I too have the leaf miner problem specially with my beans and tomato, but I wouldn’t remove the leafs for the same reasons as cited by you (If it’s infecting just one or two leafs I may remove).
      However you can try this (found from the internet, so customize the quantity as per your need) –
      Make the oil spray by blending two cups of vegetable oil with one cup of pure liquid soap, and mix it until it turns white. Dilute one tablespoon of the emulsion to one litre of water and spray all affected areas thoroughly. Do this during mild weather, because if it’s hot it may burn the plant’s leaves.

      HTH. I have tried the above suggestion. But it’s not full proof. You have to keep doing it with a interval of say 5 days until the problem totally disappears.


  9. Yes! Finally someone writes about coffee bean.

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