Even as I speak, there is a lot of noise in the background. The time is 8 am, and I’m sitting by the side of this hill. Stone-quarrying is taking place on the other side. I can hear its loud explosions. Maybe you cannot. Rock-blasting using explosives goes on till noon. The sounds caused birds to fly away from here but now they are returning. Besides, I can hear the sound of crickets too. I don’t know whether they will get recorded. I mention all this to tell you about the changes that happen in an area.
People often ask me whether forests can be had around the house. My advice to you is to cultivate one, leaving a one-metre gap from your compound wall. The gap is to ensure that leaves, fruits and dry branches do not fall into your neighbour’s plot and cause problems. It is customary for people of our land to plant coconut trees near the walls, but never trees like the mango which allow birds to perch. The advantage of planting small trees is that it can help avoid quarrels with neighbours. But the owner of a four-cent plot may not be able to have this gap because the house itself may take up three cents. But trees can be planted in the remaining area, provided care is taken to prune them and maintain their height at a convenient level. A rose farmer will know that pruning promotes growth of new shoots, and this causes flowers to bloom. All trees, however big, can be pruned in a similar manner.
Here, we have a one-metre wide strip of land. We constructed a cement trough, filled it with the potting mixture recommended by Miyawaki, and planted saplings. After six months, they will reach a height of three metres or 10 feet. There is room for further growth, up to 2 or 3 more feet, and they can be pruned from above. This, we hope, will help create a kind of green wall. You too can do the same, taking care to nip the leaves. A ladder will be of great use, in this regard. Between these trees, we have grown vegetable and medicinal plants, following the Miyawaki principle of planting four trees within one square metre area. This is my experiment with growing a Miyawaki forest in the narrowest space available. My belief is that it will be successful. I shall continue to show you how it progresses. If you are interested, you may do the same in your plot and tell us of the results.