Friday, 27 January 2017

The rich variety in traditional farms.

As new age farmers are growing 'biodiverse farms', this is how biodiverse a traditional farm is. Every farm. Ours has been like this since before we bought it 20 years ago.

Our farm has mango trees as this is our source of income. But traditionally a variety of trees are allowed to and encouraged to grow on the boundries. Just walked around the boundries. Jan 2017.

Chinta – Tamarindus indica (L), Tamarind (E), Imli (H), Puli (Tml), Tintrini (S)
(Fruiting now) 

Essential part of daily cooking in AP.


Pariki kaaya - Ziziphus oenoplia (L), Jackal Jujube/ Small-Fruited Jujube/ Wild Jujube/      
Sparrow Berry (E), Makkay, Makai (H),  Suraimullu/ Surai ilantai (Tml), Karkandhauh(S)
(Fruiting now.)

 Children pick the small fruits in this thorny shrub with nimble fingers. And relish it.

Regi – Zizyphus jujube (L), Jujube/Chinese Date (E), Ber (H), Yelandai (Tml), Badara (S)
(Fruiting now)

The children collect these fruits, going a long way for this tree. They also pound the pulp with salt and chiil powder and make small pats and dry them as a snack for themselves !

Nalleru - Cissus quadrangularis (L), Pirandai (T), Asthisamhari, Vajravall (S)

Makes a great chutney. Is used as a medicine for coughs and other conditions, and also fused as a medicine for cattle.

Veduru – Bambusa arundinaceae (L), Bamboo (E), Bans (H), Moongil (Tml), Vamsi (S)

Used for roofs, fences, and uses too myriad to mention.

Vepa – Azadirachta indica (L), Neem (E), Neem (H), Vepa (Tml), Nimba (S)

From green manure for tress, to good building wood, to toothsticks

Raavi – Ficus religiosa (L), Pipal (E), Pipal (H), Arasu (Tml), Ashwaththa (S)

A tree that gives home to countless birds. A tree that is holy. A tree that is medicinal and is used for wounds and gynaecological problems.


Sitapalam - Annona squamosa(L), Sugar apple (E), Sitafal / Sharifa (H), Sitapalam (Tml),
                   Sitapalam (S)

The most delicious fruit on earth. When children take their cows grazing, they collect the matured fruits, and hide it under the shrub for it to ripen, and to be eaten when they take the cow grazing another day.


Reppali – Holarrhena antidysenterica (L), Tellicherry (E), Kurchi(H),
                Kudasapaalai/Vetpalai (Tml), Kutaja (S) 

A tree that is used extensively to treat fevers. For a fever type called 'musiri jwaram', the tree is prayed to, circled thrice, and a notch made in the trunk with a knife and the milk that comes out licked. This is done thrice. I have used to our daughter many times when she was a child. She always recovered. The villagers say that fevers which respond to nothing else respond to this. This tree is also of much medicinal value in Ayurveda.


Maavidi – Magnifera indica (L), Mango (E), Aam (H), Manga (Tml), Amra (S)

Mango trees, badly hurt in all farms through successive droughts . One main source of income in this district.

Bandaara - Dodonia viscose (S), Virali (Tml)

These leaves are pasted on the knee for knee pains . These branches are used to start fires for jaggery making process, as this is a plant that will burn when green.

Kaanuga – Pongamia pinnata (L), Indian beech (E), Karanj (H), Pungam (Tml), Karanja (S)

The tress are widespread and grown on farm bunds as they are excellent green manure. The seeds are collected from the ground by people and exchanged for kanuga oil from the oil vendor. This oil is considered the best for the lamp lit before the gods. The oil is also used for skin conditions. The shade of the kanuga tree is considered cooling and 'like a mother'.

Thaati -  Borassus flabellifer (L), Palmyra (E), Tad (H), Aanankai/ Pana maram/ Nongu(Tml),   Taala (S)

The fruits are delicious. The fruit juice is applied on babies for prickly heat, and I had applied on our daughter when she was a baby. The leaves are used for thatching roofs.

Shankapushpi – Clitorea ternatea (L), Kaakanam (Tml), Sankhapushpi (S)

1 comment:

  1. Sankha pushpam's sangam Tamil name is karuviLai(dark blue) and seruviLai(White). :)