The Organic Way

images

The ICAR-National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning (NBSS&LUP) has identified areas in our country that hold high potential for organic farming. This literally works very well as a ground rule for HERD Organic Farms because the fact is that as per the geo-spatial digital map showing organic carbon stock in the soils of all states, this region of Maharashtra is indeed good for natural organic farming.

HERD Organic Farms is keen to facilitate and dedicate efforts for organic agriculture. The farm team collaborates in the organic processes for cultivation of crops, production of organic manure, undertaking crop rotation, product selection and dissemination of organic farming methods. Farm hands are taught to learn and adopt organic farming techniques, production of green/ organic manure, and use of natural pesticides and herbicides.

The past three years have seen HERD Organic Farms emerge as a trusted source for organic food. With up-to-date documentation on sustainable agriculture practice and soil health, the farm team, led by farm manager Mr Anil Khare, collaborate with organic farming practitioners and academic fraternity to fill gaps in our knowledge. HOF envisions improved health for the soil and its people with due conversion of organic agricultural methodologies.

Operations had begun in March 2015 with the aim to create a model-farm to act as a teaching-learning center for organic farming. In time we hope to scale up efforts to become an example to be followed by farmers in the region. We hope to inspire particularly those farmers who remain uncertain or unconvinced about the concept. We want them to look upon organic farming as a viable venture. It is hoped that they would eventually be persuaded to go the organic way.

Our goal is really to contribute to healthy living for everyone. This is why our major focus is on developing and nurturing in-house organic components so as to strengthen the concept of creating a model organic farm in the region.  With the emphasis on using cost effective methods for organic farming, we also use high-tech innovative ideas on the farm.

We take every opportunity to spread awareness of the benefits of organic produce and the dire consequences of eating unhealthy chemical laden foods. On the farmland we make our own manure and pesticides in a bid to retain soil health. We also ensure organic health of pollinator populations. Our home grown organic pesticides do not have impacts on pollinator health. In fact the diverse food crops benefit such pollinators with increase in food sources.

Actually the organic inputs prevent soil pathogen and keep the soil health in perfect order as proven by the soil tests we undertook. HERD Organic Farms continues to collaborate with the organic growers community to help ensure that the unique realities of organic farmers are better understood and considered by the larger fraternity and possibly to influence the future of organic farming in the region.

We keep intensifying our efforts to benefit both the land and the people. We truly believe the words of Anna Lappé, author and educator – “When we fight for organic food, it connects us to every living creature on the planet, from birds to frogs and pollinators—all those harmed by toxic pesticides”. We look ahead to another year of increased organic produce.

Advertisements

Beejotsav Festival 2017 – All Things Organic!

rice

HERD Organic Farms undertook organic farming to test its viability first hand. We are keen to find out ways to improve agrarian incomes and enhance livelihood options for a waning agricultural economy. We want to see that organic farming is a sustainable and profitable occupation. We work on farmlands lying 60 km from the city, hand in hand with rural farmers of Maharashtra covering initially an experimental 42 acres of land. In time we hope to inspire neighboring farmers to join in with organic farming practices through collective action, after we have established a fair supply chain.

HERD Organic Farms hand-holds all efforts to promote organic farming and is open to the idea of supporting like minded partnerships – formal and informal. We are developing good practices in strategic traditional farming areas that can be emulated by other farmers. We are also planning to evolve into a resource organization for effective knowledge management at the organizational level. By documenting our farming practices we hope to develop resource material and also to provide consultancy services.

It is now that time of the year again when we pitch in with Beejotsav to bring together organic farmers, producers, retailers, advocates and this time round chefs and cooks too for Beejotsav 2017 as we all band together to celebrate all things organic at the annual organic farmer’s festival in Nagpur. We will be putting together a wide range of organic produce for organic lovers of the city. For the first time visitors can enjoy eating organic cooked dishes that will be show cased as healthy specialty food. The event is a partnership between keen organic enthusiasts, farmers and getting good support from organic food lovers.

The celebration which is dubbed as one of its kind in Nagpur is the biggest in Vidarbha and widely known to feature different organic products ranging from seeds, grains, vegetables, fruits, to organic fresh, cooked food items as well as plants, organic cloth and a lot more that we will have to wait to discover! Organic inputs from over 40 exhibitors will be in place by small farmers, NGO’s, village people’s organization, and supporters and advocates for organic produce. This is the fifth year in a row that Beejotsav Festival is being held in succession. It has grown in strength from past years and involved lot more people than before.

Beejotsav 2017 will have you appreciating exquisite muslin fabric which is included in the list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. This will be another first for the festival to be introducing organic muslin that is as yet being created in mud houses without use of power of fossil fuels and maintaining the same superior quality. Each piece of Muslin is a masterpiece to behold and visitors will be delighted to see and buy it. So apart from eating healthy, visitors will also get to buy and wear healthy too! Tula India will also be exhibiting its eco-friendly apparel line in Beejotsav 2017.

Started initially with the intention of highlighting concern for traditional seed conservation methods, Beejotsav 2017 now takes on much more under its umbrella. However privatization of the seed sector and poor regulation over seed control has led to valuable seed varieties being lost to the greed of the corporate sector. This creates unrest for traditional cultivation and farming practices and so seeds remain a critical resource under threat.

Beejotsav stands by the concept of seed sovereignty and security as a prerequisite for livelihood security of marginalized farmers. Also various traditional varieties of crops like oilseeds, pulses, cash crops, fruits, vegetables are becoming extinct and inaccessible. Beejotsav works towards reversing this trend toward extinction by highlighting local crop varieties that ensure maintenance of the diversity.

Beejotsav 2017 festival will therefore begin with an invocation to traditional seeds on the first day of the organic fair! It will be a sight to behold as traditional seeds will be venerated in age old rituals. Come one – come all, to celebrate all things organic, all things sustainable and all things healthy! Come have healthy fun at this annual exhibition cum sale of wholesome, healthy and natural farm produce.

IMG_1880