200 Words – Amrut Mitti

Squatting on the paint splattered tarp I had spread over the terrace, surrounded by plastic bins and sweetly sour splinters of sugarcane bagasse, I was caught up in sifting the finished compost, amrut mitti, when I heard voices behind me. Two children, brother and sister, and their father stood admiring the corner garden plot. Quiet exclamations and animated chatter passed between the trio. The red amaranth glowed almost purple in the afternoon sun, and the tiny palak sprouts stood tall, reaching up, up, up to the sky. Soon another student and his mother joined the group, and they moved from bed to bed, tasting the cherry tomatoes just ripe on their vines, measuring the bitter gourds with their smiles. The compost in my hand teemed with tiny life, rotten papaya skins and cow dung together neatly decomposed to nothing but a rich brown velvet, leaving behind only the clean smell of new earth and tomorrow.

Cherry tomatoes finally starting to hit their stride!

Cherry tomatoes finally starting to hit their stride!

A and K's always impressive (and delicious) red amaranth.

A and K’s always impressive (and delicious) red amaranth.

Rich in vitamins and minerals, and pretty to boot! (Red amaranth is also super easy to grow!)

Rich in vitamins and minerals, and pretty to boot! (Red amaranth is also super easy to grow!)

Reflections

Pretty morning light, my favourite time to water.

The view from the terrace garden.

The view from the terrace garden.

The first harvest of our cherry tomatoes, decorated with Thai sweet basil and fresh coriander. View to the west from the terrace.

The first harvest of our cherry tomatoes, decorated with Thai sweet basil and fresh coriander. View to the west from the terrace.

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