Madhu’s Seeds

Madhu’s Seeds
Mustard Seeds Darjee
Illustration by Ram Darjee

An essay for spring published in  New Hampshire Home‘s back page feature “At Home in New Hampshire.”

Madhu’s Seeds

by Terry Farish

Madhu Bhandari tells me, “When I bring the greens home from the garden, that is the best thing.”

I am in her home in downtown Concord where she lives with her husband; her children, including her grown son Nilhari and daughter-in-law Devika; and grandchild, Neeja.Devika sits with us and translates for Madhu, who speaks Nepali. Dressed in turquoise trousers and a white shirt, Madhu is “wearing pote,” glass pote beads around her neck that say she is married.

“What kind of greens?” I ask.

“Mustard,” she says. She plants mustard seeds and harvests the leaves three times in a New Hampshire growing season in Sycamore Community Garden.Not in rows, she explains. That makes the seeds dry out. With the mustard greens, she makes gundruk— fermented mustard leaves that she keeps in a baggie all year long for gundruk soup. Read more