- Manisha Lath Gupta
Crops in Permaculture: Bajra | Pearl Millet
Updated: Apr 12, 2021
The first crop we planted in the Annexe was Pearl Millet or Bajra. This was the first time we were growing anything on such a large scale. And its good that it was Bajra - its a relatively simple and easy crop to grow. I needs little water, and not much care.
I have to say that the Bajra field is one of my favourite. It stands out from a distance, the cobs looks pretty and picturesque. What I also like about it is that one can but the cob while leaving the plant standing. This allows one to plant the next crop and slash the plant over it, as I explain in my next blog.
The cob on the stem also makes a pretty flower decoration item. I usually keep a bunch in my house in a flower vase. It also reinforces our farmer status in our city home!
After cutting and collecting all the pearl millet cobs, we let them dry in the sun for a few days. Then we invited the threshing machine, along with its owner, to come and thresh the crop for us. Its an entertaining process (see video below) and the loud music that plays alongside adds to the charm!
Pearl millet drops out of the machine like pearls! And soon we had a pretty big pile!
We had such a good harvest in 2014! Almost 1300 kgs of Bajra, and frankly didn't know what to do with it. We had no access to the organic market, or to the non organic market. We simply sold about 1100 kgs to the middle man at some pathetic price. Next year we will be better prepared!