Back in March I wrote about how we had applied a medicinal poultice to the crowns of our three coconut trees, because insects were spoiling the young coconuts. And whether because of our efforts or not, the next crop was superior. Now our newish gardener has declared that the coconuts need another dose. He's from the countryside and knows farming - certainly our garden has never looked better - so we have obeyed. In addition to what we had applied in March: rock salt, mothballs, sambrani (a kind of incense), turmeric, and edible camphor (used here in some sweets), we have now added asafoetida and a fragrant bark called (I think) vaasambu. Lakshmi, Ethiraj the gardener, and a coconut-tree climber worked to pound the ingredients between two stones in the ugliest part of our house, the area behind the kitchen:
The coconut-tree climber has an interesting looking container hanging from his belt to hold his machete. the rope over his shoulder is his climbing sling. He wrapped the pink cloth around his head to make an informal turban, shinnied up the trees, cut off excess leaves (how does one determine this, I wonder?), cleaned the crowns, applied the poultice and shinnied back down again. Now let's see.