Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Eating the Fruits (or Vegetables) of my Labor

Cucumber salad and roasted sesame French beans were menu items for dinner at the Maiti house. Uncle-ji and I picked three large cucumbers and two giant handfuls of French beans from the Maiti house organic kitchen garden! Even though when we picked the cucumbers, they looked oddly like squash because the color was off, they tasted fresh just the same. I don’t want to be a mother anytime soon and weeding the garden is turning into a chore, but I consider the vegetables growing in my garden, my babies!

It all started at the beginning of July when we lost internet in Maiti for a month. What to do, what to do…I know! Create a garden and plant some seeds before the monsoon! I had planted French beans, Indian beans, cucumbers, okra, spinach, bitter gourd and garlic with Gyani, a fellow organic farming intern. We were warned that it was possible that none of the seeds would germinate because we were planting them so late into the season and so close to monsoon. But I didn’t care, I just wanted to garden.

Two weeks later, my French beans had germinated! One week after that my cucumbers had germinated! A couple garlic bulbs and one okra seed had germinated after that, and that was it. I considered it a huge success. Then the monsoon hit. It was heavy rain everyday and all I could do was look at my garden from my window. On an afternoon where the rain had paused, I went out to look at my garden and I found my bean plants struggling to keep standing. They needed my help! The next clear day I chopped bamboo with a broken slicer and a hammer to make supports for my beans. This thankfully saved most of my bean plants and I was able to rest.

The French beans germinating before monsoon
Then in August, after taking two weeks of holidays and no one to weed my garden I came back to find my garden overgrown with weeds. I had a minor heart attack. My babies are suffocating! I started to pull weeds immediately and then discovered baby French beans hanging from my plants. I was thrilled! They were still alive and they were beautiful! A few days later is when I able to eat the first batch of the beans and I think they were the best French beans I’ve ever had. Am I over exaggerating? Maybe, but a mother has to love her babies! Since then, the Maiti house have had the pleasure in eating more beans from our garden. The vegetables of our labor taste so good!

My little babies healthily growing with the bamboo supports

Michelle Fujisaki - US
HR Coordinator, Maitee (Himachal Pradesh)

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