Friday, November 28, 2014

Rains are here !!

After a couple of years of little or insignificant monsoon, Sivagangai and Tamil Nadu alike received a good dose of retreating monsoon rain. There is greenery everywhere. With the rains come the weeds that often become difficult to control. 

All the village tanks, some of them as big as 20-30 acres are filled to the top. Farmers in the neighbouring villages are hoping for a bumper yield after a drought like condition for over 3 years. 

While we were delighted that plants were healthy and green, excessive weeds around them was becoming a deterrent to enter the plots. Once the rains decreased in mid Novemember, a round of rotavator was done to incorporate the weeds into the soil. 

Weeds after monsoon rains

After a round of rotavator
After manual deweeding

Water harvesting structure

Mango plot

CO4 plot

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Hight density Moringa plantation

We had planted over 850 Moringa trees back in 2012. Due to high volatility in pod rates, we converted over to leaf production for pharma and herbal tea companies. There has been good demand for the leaves and supply has been pretty steady too. In order to augment our production, we have planted another 2 acres of moringa in High density – 2x2 ft spacing. 

While this type of cultivation shows promise, there are inherent challenges. Weeding is the biggest challenge due to close spacing. Incidence of pest attack is more as well. Continuous monitoring is a must. Periodic pruning is required to multiply the leaf bearing shoots.In another 2-3 months, we will get an estimate of leaf yield.

High density Moringa plantation
 Do share information if anybody has tried planting Moringa in High density.