At the beginning of this initiative, we had earmarked Wednesdays. Wednesdays are my non teaching days at APU and also the day of community lunch at school giving us a chance to integrate cooking with Ragi, This one set day a week provided us with a peg to plan ahead. But we didn't account for some pre-scheduled activities of the school such as the all staff meet that happens on the last Wednesday of every month. The school shuts early and the kids /teachers are very busy in the remaining time.
hmmm. explore another slot where the 3 groups and involved teachers can come together for 2 hours in the week was not easy. But we managed with teachers exchanging their classes and letting go of their teaching time to fit it later. Again, I was impressed with the way teachers valued the learning from the theme over rigid class periods and the school culture enabling them with this. Of course , the tyrrany of timetables will come back to haunt us but for now we enthusiastically carved out some time on a Tuesday .
And so Tuesday arrived- the day of sowing but not with its share of last minute panic. . Seeds!!! Our main ingredient for the sowing was missing till the last minute. We had scoped out various sources for seeds in Bangalore( Vasantha's own stock; Hebbal seeds shop, Yellhanka shop, GKVK, and Sripriya's stock) but somehow a day before we were still without seeds. Finally everyone realised that Sripriya's seed stock given to school can be used and tra la! Tuesday we had a bag of seeds ready to be planted. PHEW.
This was the list of things we took with us to the farm:
1. Seeds (1 Kg- but we used quite less-maybe 200 gms of it?)
2. Watering can (water was sourced from Radha's house)
3. Twine / jute rassi ( Bought by Vasantha from her neighbourhood shop but we ran a bit short)
4. Rangoli powder to mark boundaries.
5. Puja materials (cocunut/agarbatti/haldi/ kumkum)
6. Puja prasad (jaggery lumps and chana dal-quickly assembled by Jalaja that morning itself
7 Marigold seeds
8. Garden tools for digging ( school has them)
* Laksh consulted his older relatives and found out the Nakshatra on that day. It was Aridra. that is also in jest refereed to as Daridra because of excessive rain)
** we had reminded students a week before to carry caps/ wear appropriate shoes/ get a small bag and extra water.
At the farm, we measured three 15/20 plots ( half of 30/40) using Laksh's shoe size (the biggest amongst us) , marked the boundaries using stone, sticks, and tied ropes and kept one area free for broadcasting seeds. We talked of the Nakshatra , did a small symbolic puja, ate the prasad and kids were involved in measuring their plots, tying rope, and using Rangoli powder for the boundaries.
Then we prepared the plot by digging it loose, threw in seeds, sprinkled water and covered it loosely with soil again. That's it! And with this effort, one fine sunny morning of June 2017 we became proud temporary owners of three plots of land!
Shall I let the pictures do the rest of the talking?