Harvest time


Miguel Braganza

It is harvest time for those who have been following this column through October, 2020 and have sown seeds then or planted seedlings obtained from the Zonal Agriculture Office in Mapusa and Margao, from farmers in their areas like Shiva Satelkar, Green Essentials or Samruddhi FPO in Bardez or others in different towns and villages. The knol-kohl and radish have come to harvest. Even broccoli and cabbage are being harvested by those who planted early while other have the head formation delayed due to the sudden unseasonal rains in January.

Loosen the soil on either side of the lines in which you have planted radish, water them to soften the soil and then you can uproot them easily without separating the fleshy root from the leaves. For knol-kohl, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, it is easier to harvest with a sickle, knife or secateurs (pruning shears) than to clean the mud from the roots which can spread to the above ground parts that are free from mud. If you want to store then, harvest the tomatoes as they change colour. They will ripen in storage. However, if you want to consume them the same day, harvest them when fully red. Use a sharp knife or blade to harvest. Yanking the fruits can damage the delicate tomato stem.

The use of good microbes keep the bad microbes like disease-causing fungus and bacteria out as young agriculture graduate, Puja Phadte explained in a webinar in November and now Liza Pinheiro and Prency Fernandes will demonstrate it live at the Porvorim ‘Come-Unity’ market on Saturday, January 16 at 4 p.m. Different people have different opinions about organic gardening. Hence, the training session has been scheduled on ‘Opinion Poll Day’. Since November 2020, garden enthusiasts and coconut fans have become familiar with the ‘baba’ used to control the ‘black sheep’ or insects affecting different crops. Beauveria bassiana is just one of the useful fungi. There are others.

Pseudomonas fluorescens is a bacterium while Trichoderma viride, Metarhizium anisopliae and Beauveria bassiana are all fungi. However, Trichoderma viride is used as a seed/seedling treatment or applied with compost to the soil to prevent soil-borne fungal diseases like Fusarium and Verticillium fungal wilt while Metarhizium anisopliae and Beauveria bassiana are used as a foliar spray or drench to control insects (especially caterpillars, beetles and weevils). Pseudomonas fluorescens is used to control fungal infections like anthracnose and smut diseases on the aerial parts of the plant such as leaves, flowers and fruits. The good news is that all these are now available in Goa from different companies under different brand names and people have begun using them in Goa.

It is not difficult to raise seedlings of onions and even to produce onion seeds in Goa. The Sunday webinar series by the Agricos Alumni Association Goa will restart on January 24, 2021, with a session on onion cultivation by Liza Pinheiro, Prency Fernandes and Saloni Patil. This weekend is a peek preview that is live.