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We've been breaking our backs wielding the pickaxe and shovel in Karthi's backyard the past few months. At least, I've been doing it most of the time with occasional voluntary help (by my MIL who likes vegetable gardening and DH whom I accuse of wanting to hog the bragging rights) and rarer bonded labor (our elder kiddo who will surely brand me a slave-driver one of these days) as well as well-intended, but mostly disastrous work by the youngest of the family who now gets shooed away before he can wreak any havoc. Incidentally, this makes him even more eager to enter the fray and two weeks ago, he cried for one whole hour sitting on the back steps while we all toiled in the hot, hot sun. 

Last week we got these:

Two lovely tomatoes that were gifted to us by a plant that grew up all by itself and was helped only with some physical and moral support from us. They were soon transformed thus:

and consumed eagerly by a grateful family. Even my salad-hating elder kiddo said it was tasty. Yes, although it grew up from a store-bought tomato that escaped a noble fate in our tummies, it tasted much better - probably because it was fresh and untouched by pesticides or chemical fertilizers!

I also went up to our terrace and picked these - our first ever Ivy gourd/Tindora/Kovakka

We got the mature cutting from the nearest Krishi office and I've coaxed the vine to climb on to our terrace from the ground. These tasted absolutely wonderful fresh off the vine (crisp and sweet,  quite unlike the store variety that have a sticky texture) and the rest went into a stir-fry yesterday.

Besides these we have been enjoying Cheera (amaranth) and Payar (long beans) for some weeks now (too lazy to photograph those too). So far our gardening experiments and accidents have been somewhat successful, so we plan to do a little more. Meanwhile we have papaya, elephant yam and plantains on the way!!!

BTW, if any of you are troubled by aphid (aka munja)s on long bean vines, spray garlic juice on them. To do this, crush a handful of garlic cloves with a pestle, wash the mortar out with quarter a liter of water, strain the juice into a sprayer and use. Pretend you are nailing your opponents in the Wild West with a silver-plated six-shooter and it will be fun too. No, don't ask me how I know!!!


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