Category: Farm Design

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

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

AgroForestry Basics

Came across this comprehensive presentation on tree based farming. “Agroforestry practices, cropping patterns, fodder giving trees, Nitrogen fixing trees, list of economically important fast growing tree species, trees that have gained wide spread acceptance among the farmers, list of long standing, hard wood trees that have good market value are discussed in this presentation”. Slide

Dryland Horticulture

Saw this video by digitalgreen…recommended by our friend Narasinga. Offers some valuable tips to create a green oasis even when water is scarce. The way agricultural land prices are sky rocketing, dry land horticulture seems to be one of the more viable avenues for aspiring farmers.  

Photography and Agroforest

Recently, a visitor asked us a question many people have asked us: How do we plan to grow different crops in between rows of trees in our farm that create shade? I stumbled on a metaphor that seems to answer the question and also provides a way of understanding farm design. Farm design could be

Quarter Acre of Livelihood – Update 1

25 cents (11,000 sq ft)  seems like a space that is small enough and big enough for our home needs and some sharing. The soil being what it is, we do not expect to be able to grow every thing.  The list below is some thing we arrived at after some trial and error. A rough layout

Fencing Again

Because of some neighbours generously using our land in spite of repeated requests not to do so, we just finished fencing the southern and eastern boundary of the farm using the ‘traditional’ stone and barbed wire. Took a lot of time and a whole lot of money. We didn’t quite expect to be sowing so

Thuvarai Magic

The big and sturdy Thuvarai (Toor as in Toor Daal, Pigeon Pea, Cytisus Cajan) has been one of the greatest gifts of and for our land. While Casurina trees have reduced soil salt and Castor has penetrated its roots deep down to get water for its neighbours, it is Thuvarai that has transformed the soil

Irrigation: Drip, Spray and Misty!

We were lucky to purchase a farmland that has a water source (a bore pump) with the water table at around 80 feet and free, state government sponsored electricity. Our current irrigation system depends on these two. We hope to regenerate a well in our land that is dry at present and produce most of

Principle#9 – Design in Modules

Initially, the idea of taking care of a big piece of land was overwhelming for us. We had a lot of questions that started with, “How are we ever going to…?”. But having the land divided into one acre parcels for irrigation brought some comfort. We only need to turn one valve in a day.