All the posts in the featured series talk particularly about Indian Agriculture Scenario.
We all dream about an ideal farm.. Ideal way of doing agriculture.. and then we just shun the thought thinking its just a dream.. Well.. I just decided to give it more thought and pursue it through..
An ideal farm is a farm that at first addresses all the drawbacks/concerns of current farms/system and secondly, adds value to the whole system, thereby making it an all together new system.
So when I wanted to conceptualize my new farm there were four major concerns that I wanted to address. The Photos to your left talk about the concerns and the photos to the right talk about the solutions. Click on the images for description:
- Fragmented Land Holdings
Fragmented Land Holdings
Huge Land in one stretch
2. Labor oriented
Depends hugely on Human and Animal Labour
3. Infertile soil due to Excessive/prolonged use of chemical Fertilizers.
4. Inadequate/Poor marketing of the produce.
Farmers fetch very poor price for their produce
Farmer-Consumer Direct Channel
Yes, you got it right. So we are talking about a fully mechanized farm which is huge in size (runs right till the horizon.. or at least I imagine it that way) carrying on organic/natural farming and supplying organic produce directly to consumers!
More about it in next post!
Happy Gardening! Happy Farming!
Let’s discuss different types of crops here. How do you start studying about crops?
I found out the best and the easiest way – Have a look at your food plate!
Lets say for example you’re having a rice bowl (Pulav/Biryani/Fried Rice)
So now you know the main ingredient is rice. Then we make a list of all other ingredients that may have been used.
So each day we study one of the above ingredient. Let us first start with Rice. While a generalistic search on google or YouTube asking “how is paddy/rice grown” helps, its always better to know certain parameters within which such activities take place. The following is a suggestive list of questions that will help you study the crop.
- What category does the crop belong to – Cereals (Grains) or Pulses (Legumes) or Vegetables or Fruits or Herbs?
- In which season does the crop best grow?
- How much Rainfall or Irrigation is required by the crop?
- What is the best suitable region for growing this crop?
- What is the kind of soil required for growing this crop?
- What is the most suitable climate for growing this crop? (PS: Climate and Season are two different things; hence two different questions.)
- What kind of nutrients are required for growing this crop?
- What is best way to provide these nutrients to the crops?
- Does the crop require pollination?
- Is the crop prone to any disease or pest attack? If yes, what are the ways to fight them?
- How long is the crop cycle (period from sowing the seed to harvesting)?
- How is the crop harvested?
- What is the post-harvest processing technique?
- Lastly, how is it delivered to your place/super-market?
Its a great idea to google up the images or have a look at the video showing how the farming of actual crops is done. Perhaps it is also a great idea to visit a farm in the particular season if it is feasible.
The more crops you study on these lines, the more you realize that all the grains are, more or less, grown in a similar way. Also, you’ll know that all the legumes exhibit similar properties and growing methods. So is the case with Vegetables, fruits and herbs.
I hope the post helps!
It all begins and ends with Soil. She Provides. She Nurtures.
Whether you want to learn about Gardening, Farming, Philosophy, Spirituality or Psychology – soil is the best place to start with. You understand her and she will understand you. You take care of her and she will nourish you. You love her and you are loved forever.
Talking from an agricultural point of view- we start with studying different types of soils, their basic traits and nutritional composition.
Soil is made up of billions and billions of micro-organisms, insects and worms. It is very important that we acknowledge and appreciate their existence. They are very crucial for ‘our’ existence. Yes, you read it right. OUR existence.
Soil, in the absence of these microbes is called a dead Soil. Whereas a soil that is abundant with these microbes, insects and worms is called a living soil.
So here are four main things that we need to study in detail when it comes to soil –
- Properties of different types of soil.
- Soil nutrients and ways of supplying nutrients i.e. Chemical and Natural.
- Composting and Mulching – Its impact on soil.
- Soil revival.
Understanding Agriculture was the first crucial step to becoming a farmer. So here I was completely baffled as to where to do I start from.
Does it begin with understanding crop cycle?
Does it begin with understanding soil?
Is it the region, climate and rainfall?
The different agricultural practices…
How and where do I start?
Now that’s the beauty. You know the journey has begun when you don’t know where to start from. The state of uncertainty is what defines the journey!
The upcoming posts are about how I started to learn about different aspects of farming; My research and the sources of my research. If you have similar interests, I hope it helps.
So here I was with a decision to do farming. But let me tell you, it was not an overnight decision.
As a Gardner I knew a lot about the current agricultural practices, especially the chemical farming side effects. So I went ahead educating people, conducting workshops, explaining them about organic and inorganic farming, etc
Till one day, where I started to blame the problem on somebody else – especially the Government, Farmer and Consumer. What was I doing? I knew the problems, I knew the solutions and here I was doing nothing but telling people about the problems. That was a wake up call.
It is our duty to get up and do something about the problems we think we can fight. In that split second, this became my cause. This became the purpose of my life. To fight the farming woes!
You know exactly where this is going. Bonsai was just the beginning. Beginning of an entire new series of questionable gardening practices. I said “questionable” and not wrong.
Lets start with pinching. A widely approved and accepted Gardening Practice. Pinching plants is a form of pruning that encourages branching on the plant. This means that when you pinch a plant, you are removing the main stem, forcing the plant to grow two new stems from the leaf nodes below the pinch or cut. (Source – GardeningKnowHow – You can check the entire article on pinching here)
As you would have noticed, I have emphasized the words ‘forcing the plant’. My question is, why would you do that? Now before you say because it branches out and becomes bushy and produces more leaves/buds/flowers/fruits etc. All I want to say is it would have eventually done so. When the main stem has grown enough, the plant will branch out. All the pinching is just done to hasten the process. Why? Why can’t we allow them to grow at their own pace and in their own way? Is it so necessary to mold everything to our convenience?
Let us go a step further, with pinching we at least had a reason that it would produce more. What about Topiary? Why do we go about chopping plants/shrubs/trees? Just because it is appealing to the eyes? We chop them right till the time we get the desired shape and then we go on chopping to maintain that desired shape. All I wonder is, does nobody find it brutal?
Lets assume that I have an authority over you or I am powerful than you. Imagine me telling you exactly how you should look. Your weight, height, skin color, hair.. everything. I decide and I impose it on you. How does it feel? If you have attained the kind of weight I want you to have, I stop feeding you. If you’re underweight I feed you unceasingly. I chop your hair to the length I desire and tan you enough so that I get the desired skin color. How does it feel? Well, you didn’t die and I am feeding you as well, so whatever I am doing is right, right?
We have come a long way from autocracy to democracy just to support the fact that every human being is equal. Lets take a step forward to support another fact that every living being is equal.
There has been a overwhelming liking towards Cacti and Succulents these days. I just don’t understand why! As far as I can see, people love them only because they really don’t need to be watched over. They are fine if you water them once in a week or 10 days. They are fine irrespective of whether you place them indoors or outdoors.
My point is if you’re looking for that kind of convenience, gardening isn’t the right thing. The entire purpose of Gardening is to develop a relationship between you and plants. And what kind of relationship are you building if you’re watering your plant just thrice in a month?
Cacti is meant for the areas where nothing else can grow. Why would you keep it at your home when you can grow a lot more beautiful set of flowering plants? But again this is just my opinion. You don’t have to agree! And there are always exceptions like the Aloe! Its a succulent but its proven quite beneficial as it is used to treat cold and cough, its used as skin and hair care. But it still doesn’t explain the growing fad for Cacti.
After Cacti, its about Bonsai! I just hate the concept of Bonsai. How can somebody prune roots? That is just so gross! Those are trees which, under normal circumstances, grow to a height of 12-50 feet (or even more) depending on which tree it is. How can you just prune its roots, limit its food (nutrients) and stall its growth. It makes me cry. Imagine stalling your child’s growth by not giving it food. Just some liquid so that it is alive and seeing them not grow at all or grow only to a height of 2-3 feet instead of 5-6! How does that feel?
Do I need to put a disclaimer saying the pictures used in this post are for illustrative purpose only and do not belong to my garden?
When I started this blog, it was only about sharing my Gardening experiences and a few other Gardening tips and tricks that I had picked up! But something didn’t feel right. Or rather it felt right all throughout until past few weeks.
If you need to know how to grow something you have wikihow. You don’t need to look into #reemasgarden. Then what makes this blog different? How do you know its me.. Reema.. and everything on this blog is authentic?
This question has been haunting me for days and I finally feel I have found an answer. Our flaws make us human! That’s what I have realized and that is all that I am going to speak about for next few days. I want to get candid. I want to tell you all about my mistakes, which I now term as Experiences. I want to tell you all the non-physical/emotional/psychological aspects of Gardening that I have experienced.
One thing I now know for sure is that there is a limit to the physical aspects of Gardening but not to the emotional ones! In more ways than one gardening does turn you into philosopher or Spiritual person or probably both!
Strong-headed opinionated woman.. I have always been.. But I never thought I would let you know that. I didn’t want my blog to be an opinionated one. But then I don’t want my blog to be fact sheet/ database either. So here’s me!
I wish You all the very best! Remember, you always have an option to unfollow me! 😉