Saturday, May 24, 2008

Eat Healthy, think better!

Recently a very learned person, FAO director general Jacques Diouf, made a doomsday prediction with a calamitous announcement that the World food stock reserve will last only 2- 3 months! Combined with rise in international price of crude oil, it was like fuel to fire for already spiraling inflation here in India and probably at other places in the World as well. The American President ascribed the Global food grain shortage to rise in living standards of people in India and China. In turn several economists in the developing World were quick to blame Mr. Bush for diverting a sizeable proportion of land to Bio fuel production leading to a drop in food grain production.. Bickering and Brickbats continue but one thing is certain that we do have a problem at hands and very soon this problem of food shortage will be staring us at face if nothing is done immediately to address it. What can an individual do to fight something which appears to be an inevitable consequence of rising population pressure on a finite resource i.e. land?It is presumed that around 7 tones of food grains are required to be fed to produce one tone of Beef, 4 tones for producing a tone of mutton and 2 tones to produce a tone of poultry, in short eating non-vegetarian food puts a greater pressure on land than does going vegetarian. Besides, there are host of other health benefits to be got from vegetarian food; like being rich in anti-oxidants and roughage, relatively parasite free, no moral issues involved, and in general good for Heart and Health. No Meat can match the healing power of fresh green vegetables and I guess we all have experienced the fresh and active feeling which follows a plant meal as compared to the dull and drowsy feel after a high protein non vegetarian diet Therefore there is a very strong case for turning vegetarian as it is not only good for the ecosystem in general but also for the individual’s health directly. The best thing about plants – and also the best way to have them – is by growing them on your own, if possible. A vegetable garden full of healthy vegetables is a sight pleasing enough for the senses, and the feel good factor is compounded when the healthy harvest adorns the vegetable baskets in the Kitchen. Personally I feel that food habits, like religion, are a deeply personal issue, and it is nobody’s job to tell anyone on what to eat; but the changing world equations have forced us to give the issue a thought and as a nature lover, I’ll always have a strong bias towards vegetarianism.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Garden Blogger's Blooms Day May 2008

There has been some relief from the intense heat thanks to some very welcome showers. Not only have the little drizzles managed to bring the temperature down but they have also ensured adequate hydration for the parched plants; for some reason (wo)manually watering the plants never replicates the magical effect rain-water has on them. So 15th May, 2008 in Indiagarden finds the Weather a tad less uncomfortable than expected, the plants in the ‘pink of their Health’; all ready to be a part of the Blooms day post started by Carol at Maydreamsgarden.The first in the list is Alpinia Zerumbet or Shell ginger.The flower is fiery yellow red inside and cool white and pink outside!! Hibiscus is enjoying the warm temperatures to the fullest... Cestrum Noctrum or the Queen of Night- Aroma is simply intoxicating at night! Plumeria is imparting a very Hawaiian feel to my garden... Malphigia Coccigera-flowers are very short lived, they come and go in quick succession during summer days. Sweet William,Gaillardia with Balsam in the background. Dahlia still continues to bloom despite the adverse temperatures...very surprising!! Sedum Morganium showcases its small delicate blooms...I had brought its cuttings from my Aunt's place in Dehradun. The frilly Dianthus with its intricate central design is truly nature's work of art. The twin blooms of Adenium also called Desert Rose... but one of them is getting sweltered by heat!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Beat The Heat

Human nature can be so capricious; there was a time, just three months back, when I was almost cursing the weather for being too cold, and today, with the May Sun shining overhead in its full glory at 43 degree Celsius, I am yearning for the ‘good old, nail biting, mind numbing, freezing’ cold days! The garden is feeling the heat too. Roses are drying, croton is definitely not looking happy with the weather. Temperatures here are now running in the Forties and they can be absolutely hellish in the noon; but when in I look at the defiantly standing heat loving plants I get inspired to not to be bogged down by the heat, instead to face the weather proactively without allowing it to sap my spirits out.
Manihot Esculanta
Quisqualis Indica or Rangoon creeper
After all it might be intolerably, unbearably hot out there…But who minds the heat when it is also the time for the luscious Mangoes, juicy pomegranates – which are growing in my garden – lovely watermelons, muskmelons, litchis, peaches…not in the garden but available in the market. This juicy summer bonanza does take the sting out of summers somewhat. Summer is also the time for visitors of a different kind, like this Dragonfly(popularly known here as Helicopter insect), which thoughtfully paused for this shot!Times change and with it the weather; each season comes with its distinct flavor and frustrations; it is up to us to either savor the flavor or to whine about the heat. It cannot be easy to remain cheerful outdoors with sweat tumbling in loads and blood sucking mosquitoes trying to make the most of your presence, but with the beautiful blooms beckoning, I lift my spade and shovel and go gardening to reap the fruits of my Sweat and Blood – literally!


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