The Nimbu (lemon) field at Grampari had a dramatic makeover this last month and we’re reaping the fruits of our labour – literally!
Earlier this year, after drinking in monsoon rains, the weeds in this area had taken over the field and were choking the trees.
With help from our team members, AP staff, interns and even programme participants, we were able to pull or cut all the weeds during a few sessions of shramadan. Coordinating large groups with sharp tools in tall grasses that hid ticks and snakes was quite an adventure! After putting the weeds in our compost pit where they will eventually decompose and be provide nutrients for the trees, we were able to pick two large baskets of lemons from our eight trees.
Once we had weeded and harvested, we needed mulch for areas around the lemon trees. Mulch is a protective cover that is placed on soil to reduce evaporation, supress weed growth and provide nutrients. Our newest intern, Rachel Jacobson, a landscape architect from California, suggested we shred newspaper and use this as mulch and we loved this cheap way to reuse old newspapers!
After all the weeding, shredding, picking and mulching, the lemons were used to make lots of nimbu pani at the Asia Plateau Kitchen and everyone agreed that they tasted just a little bit sweeter than market lemons….