June was a relatively slow month at the farm. The cows had slightly tough time grazing because despite the rains upto May mid, the grasses had all dried off after the delayed agninakshatram. The South West monsoon which brings the occasional drizzles also got delayed because of which the month of June was unusually hot.
We harvested groundnuts, sold most of it locally to the women who harvested them. Which is what we want to achieve in the long term : local production & local consumption. The price that we fixed was the usual price for the non organic ones for local sale. The idea with these efforts is to escape the capitalistic trap : to ensure that the labourers, rather than landowners, get most out of the labour that they put in. Having said that, the rest of the shelled groundnuts, we sold at organic produce prices on our online store. Our belief is that these prices should eventually converge- our efforts are going to be in that direction.
The cows are enjoying the crop residue from the groundnut harvest every day. Like always, and unlike the prevalent norm, rather than feeding all crop waste to livestock, we have returned some to the soil and retained some for compost preparation.
We wanted to try a 3rd crop for the first time ever. A small onion crop was going to be tried out in one of the plots. We want to achieve the classic crop rotation of : cereal > pulses > veggies eventually. But the delayed monsoon had other plans for us. We are hoping and waiting for a decent monsoon in the month of July.
We milled this year’s rice harvest at a local mill last month. We retained some of it for home consumption, and sold off the rest of it. We have been wondering if we should reduce the rice acreage because peacocks aren’t leaving much of the harvest for us humans – we are losing hope for economically cultivating rice and millets next to a forest. Despite remaining guard most of the day when the crop nears maturity, the economics isn’t making sense for us. We had to sell the rice for almost triple the prevalent market price to meet the cost of cultivation. There are some non-invasive non-laborious techniques to chase the birds away, which we are yet to try out.
We lost one of the three recently adopted puppies to a leopard. That takes the count of dogs lost to the wild to 3 in the last 2 years. I think this is just going to be a secondary effect of living next to a forest for the rest of our lives.
Noushadya and Sudhakar
P.S. We have been partnering with a lot of organic farmers nearby to bring more and more organic produce to you. Do check out our online store and order if you’d like to.