Friday, January 28, 2011

Trees , Plants & Herbs of traditional kitchen gardens of South India esp Kanaras

3) Add in the cooking herbs and plants  viz. Vaali ( the creeper of leaf spinach), Bimbla, Sasambara ( Karpooravalli)  - Karavi pillai (Curry-patha)  and few more like the large Cucumber on the stalk -vine.  Fruit trees to suit local conditions like Guava & Chickoo ( Sapota). This almost gives a complete Kitchen Garden  to live on.
4) Homes, Temples- Fields, Garden and work places all were in close proximity of each other  and our forefathers lived in close contact with Nature.
5)Will we some day go back to this way as Metros have become overcrowded, very  costly and suffocating; more difficult to live in and manage, especially as we age. 

For study -thought.
                                                                 Our Puttur Temple-
                                                       Shreemath Anantheshwar, Vithal-

Mangalore  city has  changed much in the last 10 years ..
Heritage Buildings almost all lost --now in debris---and yet in these narrow lanes--- esp. Hampankatta-GT Road  these Temples alone stand testimony to yester year --
Thank GOD

Roads have improved and Hampankatta sees  a good concrete road now.
In most areas we found the roads have been improved finally.
Motoring along is much better and easier now.
Modern constructions springing up all over sees over development -over crowded..
However when we go outside the city limits, it  is still so scenic, peaceful and clean; 
trees laden with jackfruit and  mangoes of several varieties. The overall cover of vegetation with sheer lush greenery ..rivers,  water fed green fields gives an ambience which is always me with a experience of being  rested and rejuvenated .
All these are relatively clean and unpolluted areas. 
There is a simple quietude here that takes us to the Divinity of Nature.  
Mother nature in all her splendour. 

The early monsoon rains washes away the dust frequently;the land does not have the arid look seen in many places in Tropical India  ...of the heat and dust!!
These  places with their simple way of  life is still very good.
Life is slow and peaceful.
There is time to stop and  appreciate--

Also, as the  poet said on Flowers " A thing of Beauty is a Joy for ever "  
Below -Pic taken of Bimbla tree at Jogeshwari on 22nd Jan 2011-(tree was not yet in fruit)-
Bimbla - the home grown sour fruit used for Pickles and in cooking in South.

Tree was not yet in fruit-
Hence fruits pic from sites, with  their kind courtesy: 

PIC: File:Averrhoa_bilimbi_fruit_by_Sugeesh.jpg

Note: Also refer to this site on Bilimba-

BILIMBI (Averrhoa Bilimbi)-pic from a site on fruit trees 
Bilimbi click to Enlarge

This fruit is shaped like a miniature cucumber and 2 to 3 inches long. It is yellow when ripe. Fruit is sour and used as a relish or for pickling. Tree is upright and decorative. Will get 15 to 20 feet and and 10 feet wide.
The Amla -India Gooseberry is shown below, is a different variety seen throughout India and is extensively used in Ayurveda. 
The  gooseberry called "Nellikai" in Tamilnadu  is a different species, as in pic below. 
                                                Pic. credit to calender of Shree Sathya Inst.
Typical home in Kanaras- from my Archives.

The Kitchen Garden and trees provided most of the daily needs- The Rice came from the fields.
Gobar gas (from the home plant) was used for cooking -very efficient. Every part was used-
The best example is seen in the coconut tree which is a classic example of maximum intelligent usage and with no wastage. A Coconut is used daily for for adding in many dishes inc sweets and savouries, the tender coconut is a cooling drink, the item most used  in poojas and in offerings at Temples, copra for crushing out cooking oil , dry leaf stem for making brooms, dry branches for fuel, outer shell for coir fibre-- in many ways inc carpets, mats etc .
The Humble Coconut   provides for an industry all by itself-
 Plucking Mangoes from a tree -my Aunt showing my Grandson : in my Uncles house in Udipi
The Mango is a veritable delight-used in cooking and juices, in pickle making and even dried and eaten .
                                                   Pic. credit to calender Shree Sathya Inst.
 Tulasi at the front of the house entrance- a  lamp is lit to symbolise: "Tamaso ma Jyotir Gamaya"
(At Chennai 2010. in the compound of our old house, our neighbours still maintain tradition ) 

Mango trees in bloom and fruit in 2009 May -
At my uncle's house, in Udipi  
The cow comes  daily for Rice Kanjee and water . 
My grandson Keshav at my Uncles house, Udipi -having fun in the garden.
Children who experience this life are so elated-contact with the Divime Nature
Traditional homes  -
this pic is of the house where we lived in Puttur, 65 years ago, remains unchanged. 
My parents were married here in 1944.The Tulasi pot in red in the front of the house and the kitchen garden at the side is symbolic of a time tested way of Life.

City-Metro life and the old world living in smaller towns and villages of India !
Q:Why do we tend to forget our life with the pristine Nature 
Q:Why do we confine ourselves indoors and  grow up in a tech-gadget  world ?  
Frankly, feel this contact with Nature all helps to develop sensitivityto the world around us . 
It is more useful in fostering  Eco- protection attitudes- Earth Day -Environment -Green Peace and all-will gain.Children  love this-  

Even a few plants in pots on a porch or verandah is a good gardening  start and brings in much beauty and joy. The ambience is also much improved. This project has taken off in Chennai with Veg gardens now after a family at Mylapore initiated the Project---
possible even on a terrace or balcony.
Let this love of nature not be forgotten in the hustle and bustle of life today?

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