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July 27, 2002 

Inspiration for the day

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MAN WHO CULTIVATES KERALA-VEGETABLES IN USA

Dr.S.K.Ramaswamy,   New Jersey, USA

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If you were a Keralite settled in USA and yet nostalgic about Kerala food cooked with Kerala vegetables, you could try the method of Dr. S.K.Ramaswamy, originally from Kidangoor, Kottayam and now in New Jersey.  He decided to bring seeds of the vegetables from Kerala and start his own farm in a 2Ĺ-acre land, thus transplanting a bit of Kerala in his adopted land of 35 years.

Bitter gourd and snake gourd, ladies finger and peas, pumpkin and chillies and so on grow in abundance in his farm.  Dr. Ramaswamy, who is a specialist in Aromatic plant at Colgate-Palmolive, germinates the seeds in artificial light.  There are small mechanical devices to prepare the land.  And so he does the transplanting of saplings himself.

He avoids chemical fertilizers and relies of dried cow dung available in packets.  A 200ft bore well supplies water for irrigation.  Like chemical fertilizers, he avoids chemical pesticides also.  A good fence keeps the rabbits and deer at armís length.

As the produce from the farm is more than that required for the family, he gives away a portion of it to his friends.  The balance is stored in deep freezer and is used for up to 6 months.

In addition to South Indian vegetables, the doctor cultivates apple, plum, peach and pear in his farm.

Dr. Ramaswamy in his farm

 

Courtesy: Suresh Muthukulam, Karshakashree, June 2001

Contributed by: Administrator

 

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