Sunday, 2 April 2017

Garden to plate

A long time ago, when we lived in a big metropolis, we would occasionally dream of the simple life.  About living on the ground floor and having a garden.  But that seemed all so far away and impossible.  How would we ever get away from Thane and from all the work that we were entrusted with...

How quickly things changed.

We are now living in a 'city' of 1,30,000 odd folks.  But can we even call it a city?  A town, perhaps...  Lalitpur is the district head-quarters of the district of the same name.  We are a railway station on the main Bhopal - New Delhi line (though many fast trains rush through without stopping at our humble station).  We do have our set of shops and bazaars, and our tallest buildings will be a whole 4 floors high (as far as I can recall).

Our calling here took place at the end of 2015, and today we are in a place where local vegetables are dirt cheap.  Tomatoes were selling for only 5 rupees per kg last month.  Sure, they weren't the big perfect red ones - but they have come from the local farms around us.  And buy them we did.

To make tomato jam for one!

It did not last for long.

But living on the campus of the HBM Hospital in our beautiful Bethel Villa home is literally that Thane dream come true.  We are on the ground floor.  And we have a garden.

And the garden actually produces food.

Not a lot, mind you, but for the first time, we are eating what we have grown.  Our beans have already been made into subji and consumed.  Now it is the turn of the humble brinjal (or eggplant as some call the aubergine).

We have a whole two rows of these beauties right when you enter the gate to our home.

With the sudden onset of summer (almost like a light switch being turned on) we have lots of gardening to do.

Sheba manages to multitask with a phone call from Asha (at boarding school in Mussoorie) and the watering of the plants both being done with aplomb.

 Being a city boy, I am still amazed at the very basic miracle of seeds sprouting, plants growing, and then us being able to actually eat that which has come out of the ground.  What an amazing bit of engineering our Lord has put at our disposal.

So here we have the first fruits of our brinjal crop.  What beauties.

 But those fellows are not meant as ornamental show pieces.  They are destined for the plate.  That batch went off as a gift to a special friend of ours... and another batch ended up like this - part of a wonderful meal with spinach dal and brinjal - potato fry. Yum!

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