Curry leaves everywhere

Curry leaves everywhere

Giriraj, a resident of Medehalli village near Chitradurga, may be into business, but his front yard shows his passion for agriculture. Over 150 curry leaf plants grown in this half acre patch not only enhance the beauty of the landscape, but also contribute to the wellbeing of the family.

A native of Davanagere, Giriraj moved to Chitradurga with his family 14 years ago to start a new business. Eventually, he bought half-an-acre land in Medehalli. While he built a house in one part of the land, he decided to utilise the remaining area too.

Though he tried growing flowers, vegetables and greens there, none of them came out well as the water was saline. It was then one of his friends showed him a healthy curry leaf plant near the well in the land and suggested him to grow it in the entire land.

Giriraj considered his friend’s advice and decided to plant curry leaf saplings in the entire area. He and his brother Ravi visited a nearby nursery and bought local variety curry leaf saplings. They started with soil preparation and in the process they added five loads of sheep manure to the soil. About 150 saplings were planted. Initially, water from the open well was sufficient to irrigate the plants. Later due to meagre rainfall, the water level in the well dropped and he was forced to dig a borewell.

They plants grew bushy with lush foliage and were ready for harvest after nine months. After two years, all the plants were ready for harvest. Now, the family members trim two plants everyday. They cut the branches at the node. Later they make bunches of these leaves  and sell it in the local market. Through systematic harvesting, the family has ensured regular supply of curry leaves throughout the year. Due to its easy maintenance, Giriraj expanded the curry leaf growing area to his friends’ plots too. Now about 300 plants are cultivated by the family. The family gets a good income from the sale of curry leaves.

Though the plants are relatively disease-free, the berries affect the yield of the plant. To destroy the berries, Giriraj sprays pesticide 20 days prior to harvesting.

Giriraj and his wife believe that cultivating the leaves that are known for their aroma and medicinal properties also lead to a healthy lifestyle.

(Translated by AP)

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