In the summer of 2014, we got the opportunity to extend our farm by another two acres, taking the total up to 10. This piece of land was adjoining Aanandaa, just across the village path opposite our side gate on the east side. An interesting detail was that while the soil at Aanandaa was always pebbly with lot of water run off during the rains, reminiscent of a river, the soil in this adjoining land was more fertile, with fewer stones. More like the riverbank. We decided to make a bid for it, as it was fertile and had clean title. Moreover, we were getting ambitious about growing more crops, whereas Aanandaa was full of trees with no clearings, just like a food forest ought to be.
The shape of this land was rectangular, with a long strip just opposite our side gate. We thought this long path would make a good parking area at a later stage. So we planned an 'in' and 'out' gate in that strip, and only planted Teak trees, and yellow oleander - both of which are not eaten by cows and goats.
Trees brought in from Saharanpur, given a day's rest before the plantation begins!
For the rest of the land, we designed an pathway that ran through it, and marked out six plots of land. Along the pathway we planted Ashoka trees, but on the entire periphery of the land, we did a double row of Casurina and Silver Oak as a windbreak, and bougainvillea on the fence, which has become a signature of Aanandaa.
SO now we have 6 plots of land where we plant different crops. In future blogs you will read more about what we are growing at the Annexe.
We extended the gravity feed based irrigation system to Annexe as can be seen below (this photo is of a later date!)