Last week (15 March 2015), TWA team visited TRE Farm to help in Ulundu(Black Gram)Harvest. It was a new experience for many TWA members where they had the opportunity to harvest dhal for the first time. Earlier we had harvested paddy and millets where we used tools to harvest them but that wasn’t the case with black gram harvest. We just had to pull the plant from the soil.
A special thanks to “Parthasarathy VM” who had lot of patience in guiding us the route and providing us with good hospitality. We were served yummy, homemade food like Kambu Koozh for breakfast which actually kept us energetic throughout the day followed with mint flavored butter milk to beat the heat. Finally we were served with tasty lunch (unlimited J).
As a part of learning section TRE members showed us the process of extracting dhal from the harvested plant. Plucked ulundu plants are being run over by tractors to get the dhal out.
Ulundu Cultivation and its advantages:
Traditionally Ulundi is sowed at the time of harvesting paddy (Mid-January) and the best part of this crop is that it requires very less or no water. This crop will use the beautiful crystal drops of dew as a source of water and that is sufficient for the crop. Usually Ulundu can be harvested between 60 to 90 days.
Black Gram(Ulundu) plant will fix the nitrogen back into the soil. Nitrogen fixed by legumes is the main nitrogen source in organic farming systems.