Mission, Vision and Fancy Footwork

Recently, a friend asked me what my mission was with respect to the farm. Had never thought about it in that way. Usually, the “mission statement’ comes up at the start of an endeavor. I had the advantage of being asked this seven years after living on the farm. I mentally looked back at what we have advocated with respect …

A Newsletter called Seeds+Transformation

Happy New Year! Our good friend Nipun from ServiceSpace asked us to edit a monthly newsletter on stories related to sustainability. It is called Seeds+Transformation and it is sent out at the beginning of each month. The last 12 issues are archived here

Hooglekulture

Hoogle Kulture: Onions

We discovered Hooglekulture couple of years back and have been fascinated by its possibilities. According to one definition, “Hugelkultur is nothing more than making raised garden beds filled with rotten wood.” These are our second and third sets of HK beds.     We did not want to wait for the decomposing of the wood before planting and planted 7 …

Turmeric of the Year

Turmeric is a popular crop in our area grown from May to Feb. The rhizome, or underground stem, is harvested after 10 months. The variety we grow is called “Erode Turmeric”, Erode being the name of a district famous for turmeric cultivation and trade. As we set out with the long and thin bladed hoe, the weather was cool, trees …

Quarter Acre of Livelihood (for chickens :)

A month back, after harvesting the sun hemp, we proceeded to seed all the raised beds in the 25 cents with a variety of seeds weighing about 10 kgs (22 pounds). Many of the seeds were tiny so we decided against making clay pellets for faster completion of work. Also, we are not very good at making these pellets so …

Companion Planting 1 – Summer Tomatoes Among Castor Trees

Attempting a series on companion planting that has worked well on the farm both accidental and otherwise. I think a successful combination of plants should meet at least three of  these criteria.. Reduce pest attacks Increase or maintain combined productivity Reduce human labour especially weed control Increase carbon content of soil Reduce water requirements This particular combo of Castor ‘n’ …

An Ode to Cow Pea

On June 14th this year, with the infectious enthusiasm of 3 kids and 3 ladies, we cleared out a small patch just in front of the house and planted some cow pea and corn. The total area was about 100 sq ft of which the cow pea to corn ratio was 60:40 In 30 days, these plants grew to occupy …

Looking Back at Monsoon Season 2013

With the mercury rising like it’s second summer, I look back with a teeny bit of nostalgia at the flowers, veggies and fruits that delighted us in the last 3 months. Thanks you friends and family for everything from sending us seeds to actually putting them in the soil. Slideshow…  

Green Manure As the Solution

Through our friends from Goa, we came to know of a farmer named Nandeesh, in Karnataka. Inspired by Fukuoka, he has been farming naturally since 2000.  His 20 acre farm includes paddy and trees. Nandeesh specializes in green manure and has used over 100 varieties of these for different purposes. He also has this nice presentation put together on indiawaterportal …