Saturday, 7 January 2012

Gardening in January

I was out in the garden today and realized that it was the first time I have ever weeded a garden in January. Since working in the Chennai can be so full of pollution, noise and chaos, I look forward to my rural weekends in Tiruvannamalai. Right now, we are eating fresh arugula, basil, sweet potatoes, okra, and pumpkins from our garden. We have planted over 30 tomato plants, so are expecting a bumper crop in several weeks.

Traveling back and forth to Chennai each week, I sometimes pass fields of rice be planted by woman dress in brightly colored saris. I am always amazed at how grueling the work must be and yet how beautiful they are in their saris. I work in a wide brimmed hat, cover myself with 50 spf sunscreen and look like hell after several hours in the garden. I have seen the local workers leaving the rice fields in their saris looking spotless as they walk home after a long day bent over rice plants.

This is the most pleasant time of year in South India with cooler weather so a garden can survive for several months; come late March, the weather will become extremely hot for another several months and the soil too hot to even walk on. So for now, I am enjoying these "cooler" 80 degree Fahrenheit days of January gardening.