Planting trees in Mandala
We talked about the layout and design of the two acre plot at Mandala, about 400 m down the road from Aanandaa, We made the land layout design as given below, which we followed in our plantation plan.
The small pool or shallow pond at the south side of the land was filled with rain water. And you can now see how simply fencing the land and stopping animals from grazing here, had already rejuvenated the growth and greenery. The earlier pebbly sandy land was suddenly all green and lush.
As before, we ordered the trees from Farman bhai in Saharanpur. This time, we had a better idea of what trees we wanted to plant, so simply ordering over the phone was okay. We chose to plant native forest trees in the outermost circle of each mandala, with fruit trees in the inner circle and the flowering shrubs in the inner most circle. Accordingly we ordered our trees, a total of about 1000.
Our faithful 50m long measuring tape came in handy once again, and along with a sack of lime, we managed to mark out the circles, and marked the placement of trees along these circles, 10 feet from each other in the outermost circle, 8 feet in the middle fruit circle and 6 feet for the flowering shrubs. With this our trees were planted much closer together than we had done at Aanandaa. 1000 trees in two acres of land, still leaving a lot of space for the crop fields.
A customary windbreak was planted at the North and South boundaries - rows of Casurina and Silver Oak trees. The East and West boundaries has a water channel, so we planted bamboos and native trees there.
A gate is always nice to secure the property from trespassers. We always like to keep it painted white and neat looking. It adds a certain disciplined look to the farm and earns respect in the village!
After planting all the 1000 odd trees over 2 days, we kept waiting for the rains. However, the clouds would gather and simply blow over our heads. It would just not precipitate! Finally, we had to hire a water tanker, and water all our newly planted saplings. We immediately mulched them over with wood chips - we were wiser after our experiences at Aanandaa.