It’s that time of year when we look back at an irrevocable past, and wonder about the future unfolding. Disasters, destruction and disappointments may have marked the past for many, but where there is life, there is hope in the new year. And wherever there’s some green growing, there is life 🙂
January is a blissful time of year to grow greens in Mumbai. At lower temperatures, farmers can germinate cool weather greens like lettuce and coriander. Winter’s milder sun prevents the unwelcome bolting (flowering) of greens – and so, edible green leaves stay sweet for longer. Fungus and harmful insects also remain under control in this season, and the sustained coolness of winter (unlike our tempestuous monsoons, and increasingly hotter summers) brings stability and peace to Mumbai’s myriad mini-plots, green windowsills, terrace gardens and urban farms.
This winter I grew some of my old favorite greens, and some brand new ones.
Methi/Fenugreek – an army of little green folk standing to attention…
…Mustard Greens – spiky, spicy and salad-ready as baby greens…
…Spinach – irreplaceable, irresistible, and integral to Indian cooking…
…and PakChoi/BokChoy -spunky Asian green with great attitude, and growth!
PakChoi is proving to be a delight to grow. I bought high-priced, hybrid seeds with some amount of skepticism, but have been more than happy since! The seeds had a 100% success rate – and I’ve had to use every nook and cranny of growing space to accommodate my burgeoning population of saplings. They are growing to fullness at remarkable speed, look lush and glamorous in my containers, and I can’t wait to harvest them for stir-fries and soups!
(Photo Courtesy: Rhea)
And on another (unrelated) note…here is the long-promised update to the sugarcane experiment I began last January – black cane grown to natural fullness, organically, and in modest containers – pride of my urban farm, and a happy treat for kids and adults alike!
Black sugarcane being harvested at 10 months, and its happy eaters!
Mumbai Farmers is another growing phenomenon, not much older than the black sugarcane! We’re experiencing more visitors to this website, and a burgeoning membership at our eponymous Facebook group. My wish for the New Year is that more city-dwellers get inspired by the resources on our website and facebook group – to grow more, and more, and more, and choose to do so organically!
Here’s wishing you a very green, and very hopeful New Year 2015 🙂
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