Discouraged by pigs, encouraged by tubers

Yesterday was a pig day at the farm. The wild pigs got into the fenced groundnut field — the precious no-till experiment — and had themselves a feast.

Meanwhile, the parakeets are gorging on the guavas and corn. And the various vegetable seeds I planted so carefully and hopefully over the past two months have mostly failed either to germinate or to survive. We don’t know if it’s the seeds themselves, the weather, or the new vermicompost we’re trying out. I’ve been feeling pretty discouraged. Seems like non-violent farming just doesn’t work.

But then this morning we dug up a bed of root vegetables, and were pleasantly surprised by the respectable quantities of mango ginger, arbi (taro), sweet potato and ginger. And there’s more where it came from! Considering I planted them all with my own brown hands, I don’t know why I should be so surprised, but I was. I guess this is a reminder to look below the surface, in life as well as your garden. Don’t forget there’s an underground, where things are working away quietly and invisibly. Arbi leaves are delicious, but slow roasted arbi is even better!

Another bit of good cheer is that the red agathi plants (can’t call them trees yet) have started flowering at last. The white flowering ones got going last year, and this year it’s the red. They are so exotic and lovely, no wonder they’re called hummingbird trees!

Anyway, we’re back to the drawing board. Which means starting the vegetable beds over with new seeds and last year’s manure, then brush-cutting the groundnut field to see if the groundnuts grow back. The other crops are more or less intact. One doubtful consolation is the fact that the pigs thought it worth raiding. A kind of testimonial!


17 responses to “Discouraged by pigs, encouraged by tubers

  1. I really miss ‘mango ginger’ (didn’t know it’s literally translated, we call it aambe halad). Enjoy it! The red agathi looks beautiful.
    Some of your lines reminded me of a poem my daughter had to learn, and generally recited at full lung power –
    “Deep down in the underground
    How many marvellous things are found!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes. We sometimes see piglets running across the fields, and they are so sweet and funny! If we have to choose between pigs and groundnuts, we choose pigs! But it would be nice to have both.

      Liked by 1 person

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