May was a surprisingly good month for trekking there was only one day when we could not offer a full program, although the High knuckles trek 22km from Base camp to the top of the Knuckles Mountain 6112 feet which is a hard trek was not as popular due to the overcast weather blotting out the views from the top.
The weather has been our greatest challenge and friend this month; we have had heavy monsoon like rain for the last month with tremendous thunder storms. This has caused problems with the electricity supply which ironically gives us a problem with pumping fresh water as Welikanda means “sand mountain” we have no natural supply of fresh water we are dependent on mains water and bottled water for drinking . The heavy rain has meant our water catchment tanks and grey water tanks are full which will come in use full once the rains abate. There has been serious flooding in other low lying areas!
The positive side is the land is saturated so planting the spice garden has been optimal.
Our main project has been the new spice/coffee garden about 1 acre of once badly overgrown hillside which has fantastic views over the Victoria Lake by the side of our drive. Spice garden Pictures
As a Northern European (I have lived in Denmark for the last 17 years before moving to Sri Lanka full time) have a passion for good coffee which is extremely hard to come by in Sri Lanka There is an American ..Hansa coffee in Nuwara eliya who is growing good coffee Sri Lankan Coffee otherwise it is imported coffee from Italy which is crazy considering that Sri Lanka was and still is a coffee growing country, so I am trying to provide our guests with a really good cup of freshly roasted home grown organic coffee in the future.
The combination of spices, pepper, Cardamom , cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, lemon grass, citronella, grown alongside the coffee will not only give our guests a chance to see the different plants but taste the fresh products which is so much more aromatic than our supermarket variety.
We are also growing vanilla which is a more long terms and difficult crop as it is an orchid and we have to hand fertilize the plants. We have planted Cocoa as well!!
We have been helped not only by our gardeners Yogi and Uncle but with invaluable advice from the local government agricultural advisory officer as well as some free plants.
Please follow our progress on facebook or with the weekly blog
All the best Michael !