An Ideal Farm – Part I

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:

  1. Fragmented Land Holdings

2. Labor oriented

3. Infertile soil due to Excessive/prolonged use of chemical Fertilizers.

4. Inadequate/Poor marketing of the produce.

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!


The Food Plate

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.

  1. Oil
  2. Vegetables
  3. Spices
  4. Herbs

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.

  1. What category does the crop belong to – Cereals (Grains) or Pulses (Legumes) or Vegetables or Fruits or Herbs?
  2. In which season does the crop best grow?
  3. How much Rainfall or Irrigation is required by the crop?
  4. What is the best suitable region for growing this crop?
  5. What is the kind of soil required for growing this crop?
  6. What is the most suitable climate for growing this crop? (PS: Climate and Season are two different things; hence two different questions.)
  7. What kind of nutrients are required for growing this crop?
  8. What is best way to provide these nutrients to the crops?
  9. Does the crop require pollination?
  10. Is the crop prone to any disease or pest attack? If yes, what are the ways to fight them?
  11. How long is the crop cycle (period from sowing the seed to harvesting)?
  12. How is the crop harvested?
  13. What is the post-harvest processing technique?
  14. 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!

Happy Gardening!

Happy Farming!

From Dust You Came and To Dust You Shall Return

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 –

  1. Properties of different types of soil.
  2. Soil nutrients and ways of supplying nutrients i.e. Chemical and Natural.
  3. Composting and Mulching – Its impact on soil.
  4. Soil revival.
Understanding agriculture

The Journey Begins!

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 irrigation…

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.

The Farming Woes

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!