Healthier weekends and farming activities are here in Bangalore and it seems that 2016 has opened up in the greener scheme of things for city workaholics and busy-bees. Understanding food and the farmer, composting kitchen leftovers, innumerable uses of waste and bringing the natural farm experience in a relevant way to Bangalore has never been bigger than now.
On January 17, Hariyalee (Aditi Farms) and A Green Venture carried out a farm to folk experience where super fresh and spicy greens. veggies were tossed in a healthy salad giving the natural outdoor experience a special twist which gave way to discussions, conversations and appreciating the work of the farmer and heirloom seeds. Dr. Prabhakar Rao a unique natural farmer expert specialises in bringing back heirloom seed varieties, having successfully grown over a 100 native varieties at his farm sourced from around the world including the country. He brought oodles of knowledge, fun facts on heirloom and DIY kitchen gardening to life on this day with a real farm experience for folks breaking down myths, modern technology and bridging the gap between the farmer and consumer. He demystifies green growing at home, getting individuals to learn and embrace the extraordinary desi seed variety which combines health, sustainable living for city folks. “Plants have natural immune systems, given the right catalyst they can take care of themselves, improve soil and give you the best results”. With demo’s shown on this day in jeevamrutham, garbage enzyme, seed planting, Prabhakar showed just how healthy veggies and greens can be grown super easily at home with vedic and natural methods.
He explained the difference between natural and organic farming, the amazing desi cow kamadhenu which is revered in culture and tradition because of the magic manure, what heirlooms are about and bringing them to home gardens, reviving forgotten and doable farming solutions like garbage enzyme, getting planting right and building immunity to keep those pesky pests away.
After starting the day with salad plucking a session on the natural farming used here we asked our participants what they thought and one of the mentioned,”This is was an awesome experience, having a Sunday like this is so fantastic and rejuvenating. I would definitely like to have veggies like salad varieties and tomatoes growing at home, it is great to have this experience and learning and an amazing way of spending a Sunday.” Dr. Prabhakar says, “It is very simple what I do at the farm, taking cow manure which has many microbes and multiplying this with the help of jaggery, manure and cow urine so the formulation is highly rich in microbes. This is then diluted with water and added to the roots of all my plants once in ten days. This takes care of everything, from growth to nutrition, immunity building and pests stay away as well. This is the kind of agriculture was practiced thousands of years ago, highly valued and vedic in nature.” The soil in Aditi Farms is was rough and sandy which is a stark contrast to the amazing greens Prabhakar has growing as seen in the photographs here.
The many plant varieties like Stevia is an ideal sugar replacement and highly recommended for diabetes grows in abundance. Varieties of basil can also be seen, the plants especially the green leaves can be identified with the smell which is quite strong, like the mustard leaves which can pack a punch if you are not too careful. Many of the participants were left red-faced after bravely biting into a large leaf, “Best for salads and they make great wasabi paste too!” said the expert. Cherry tomatoes were happily plucked and eaten on the spot by eager participants who worked up appetites with the farm walk.
The traditional desi cow today is found in its purest form which is less than 60% of of the actual one. “Due to interbreeding of the precious creature over the years we are left with a mixed gene pool even in the most traditional cow. Instead of protecting and conserving the species giving the unique value we chose to do otherwise”. “Notice the picture of the traditional desi cow which shows our Hindu goddess Lakshmi at the extreme hindquarters. This only shows this form of the cow which represents prosperity, wealth which is what the manure of the animal brings in sustainable farming”.
Despite this, Prabhakar has found a method of making the jeevamrutham potion so rich in microbes as mentioned here that his plants and veggies literally do not require anything else. The colour, sight and smell especially basil and mustard leaves can be felt before harvesting and is quite unforgettable. One of the participants, “This is something that city people would love to do, a healthy alternative to the entertainment in cities, awesome for the mind and body and super rejuvenating for everyone, I would love to do this regularly and get closer to better food choices”.
The lunch on this day was of course delicious, with various greens, leaves and flowers being whipped and tossed with salad dressings and fruits. It was eat-all-you-can heirloom and natural salad buffet that everyone had plucked with gusto. Delighted individuals savoured the day’s refreshing experience of farm to folk right here in the city of Bangalore.
Interested in coming across to Aditi Farms for a natural farm experience? Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you on the next one planned in coming weeks of 2016! Map location of Aditi Farms (within city limits, 8 km from The Art of Living)
Our second farm visit is on March 6, 2016 get all the details here