Category: Farm Updates

What Thrived in the Drought

2016-2017 was an epic year for the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. We faced the worst drought in 140 years. So all around us, drilling for water upto a depth of even 1100 feet has become the norm. Our motor suspended at 500 feet could not pump water any more because water tends to flow

Farmers Retreat

This year’s retreat of natural farmers in Coimbatore, Pollachi and Attapadi area was facilitated by Nipun Mehta of ServiceSpace.  It was nice to share space with 25 plus friends for a day of in the humble community center here. A few friends had come from out of town to join us. In the morning session,

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,

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

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

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,

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…  

Quarter Acre of Livelihood – Update 3

Earlier Updates on the same subject: Update 1, Update2 In Feb 2013, our friends from Tiruppur, Anand, Selvi and their farm-boy son Akshay came to help us with making 9 cents (approx 4000 sq ft ) of land cloes to home ready for growing. 7 years ago, 4 ft of top soil from this area

Quarter Acre of Livelihood – Update 2

Wanted to update the status of different elements laid out in the earlier post. A rough layout of the different elements. Space for growing green manure for seeds. After 3 seasons, it seems quite easy to harvest sun hemp for seeds. Can’t say the same about Daincha. Space used: 100 sq ft Provide permanent space

Organic Certification

For long, we have resisted organic certification. When some of our farmer friends asked us to simplify what the 63 pages of APEDA certification meant, it sent our heads spinning. When we learnt the cost of such a process, all we wanted to do was to keep a long distance from certification. And then, we