This is getting serious – Last night at 2:15 am, we woke to a glass shattering sound coming from my office room. As I ran towards it I realised it was not a robber but an elephant. Decided not to run into my room and came back to the bedroom just in time to see the elephant snorting and running, agitated across our lawn to the back of the house.
We waited for a long time in silence and made sure that Rhea did not bark as she was excited to see us up at that time in the night. I went to Zayn’s room to get her to our room and all slept in our room.
Later I realised that the elephant was scared itself by the sound of the glass breaking and took off away from the house.
Forest officials were called in the morning and they are planning to get some tribals to coax the animal away from this place in a direction where I hear there are ample forests.
A late check-in at Tea Garden Cottage.
A group of elephants decided to check out our Tea Garden cottage this evening after a night of stomping around our farmhouse. They broke our fence all around the pond which itself was looking muddy. I have a feeling they may even have swum in it. Then they left a pile of dung at our door steps to let us know they were there. Below they are seen checking out some tasty grass in the middle of our lower pond while Tina and Shumita ( a friend from Delhi) watch them. No they are not as close to the elephants as it seems in the photo because of the tele lens.
Who moved my Salad?
As I type this they are somewhere around outside. Wonder what they are going to pull down tonight.
After our family tested it for 2 years, Tina has decided to market bilberry jam under our label. So here it is while the stocks last. Also we are keeping lots of it specially for our farmstay guests.
Bilberry Jam at Acres Wild
Lalitha Sridhar has written a pacy little write-up in Outlook Traveller and she certainly sounds like she is charmed with Coonoor. We were pleased to be given a place of pride in the article. Here is a clip.
“….People come to Coonoor, fall in love and never leave: the late Sam Maneckshaw, Nandan Nilekani, Gopalakrishna Gandhi, writer Ramachandra Guha and filmmaker Mansoor Khan among them. Khan arrived five years ago bought a stretch of tea plantation, turned it into a grassland in which to graze cows, learnt farming and cheese-making, and now offers farmstays …….”
Read the rest at Charmed with Coonoor by Lalitha Sridhar.
Now all the veggies are getting ready at the same time. Little more planning required for this so that we can use them without wasting. The gigantic size persists for the raddish. Turnip, carrots, corn and okra are of a healthy size too. We better harvest it all before they get over-grown. The salad is growing very well too. Will post some photos soon.
All organically grown vegetables - Carrots, Corn, Okra, Turnip, Raddish and Beans
Wild Elephants in Acres Wild Cheesemaking Farmstay, Coonoor Nilgiris India
Yes finally the elephants made their grand entry into Acres Wild today. They took their time hanging around the lower edge of the boundary for 2 days. This morning it became certain that they planned to come into our farm and slowly they did. I had to wait quite a bit to get this photo as they were not in a posing mood. Keeping their heads down in the shrubs, pointing their butts at us and walking in a way that they covered each other. Finally I got this shot – 4 of them and they are still around. The forest officials still trying to get them back down to the forest and the TV News Channel people making most of the excitement as they interviewed our staff and others here.
So it finally happened again this year – 5th year in a row. The elephants are back up here in my neighbours plot just below Acres Wild. They skirted out place and went up to UPASI which is the tea organisation here.
There are 3 of them. Would be interesting to check out if it is the same family that first came here in 2006. Then they certainly have remembered and marked this place to visit each year.
The forest officers, I think, are trying to send them off down again. This time I am a little concerned as we have made many more structures like gazebos and our vegetable fencing etc. Have noticed they like to excercise by pulling down anything standing vertical 🙂
I don’t know whether this is to be expected but we are getting some giant-sized turnips and nodkol as you can see from this photo. Who ever said we need chemcals to grow food. It is the biggest myth that we need chemicals to feed the population of the world. It is exactly the opposite. Now off to enjoy some ‘mooli parathas’. 🙂
The veggies are rolling in once again after we have organised our vegetable area on the farm. We have planted beans, potatos, corn, raddish, beetroots and nodkol. Really encouraged with the way they are turning out on our new patch and all without chemicals and pesticides of course. Here are some fresh raddishes for our dinner.
This summer visitors from all over visiting the Nilgiris are visiting our farm for a day visit. This consists of a trek down to the pond, which is much easier now that we have made the steps. Then we walk up past our veggie growing area and napier grass patch to the cow shed. Lots of gyan from me and lots of questions from them 🙂 on adobe bricks and gobar gas and slurry and water harvesting and our attempts at panchgavya and what not.
And finally to the cheese cottage for a session of cheesemaking and tasting. We end up at the Plainsview Gazebo to rest and chat before they all disperse.
If you are interested in a Day Visit then check out how to get about informing us and what to expect from our Day Visit Page. Check menu on the left.