We notice that many farmers dont have borewells and pumpsets but are small land holders. They depend on rain water for their sole earnings. And when rains fail, their lives becomes hopeless.
This got us thinking as to how to get a crop in spite of poor rains and also some crop that can increase the income of the farmer.
We also have one piece of land in our farm that is very rocky and poor which we would like to take under intensive cultivation. Any amount of watering in this piece of land is not sufficient.
Irrigating practices have to change as the farmer today wets much of the land by flood or sprinklers where as what is required is only root zone to be wet. This is achieved through drip irrigation methods, but what to do in case of poor soil condition.
So we started exploringh one concept that I would like to discuss here.
One of the posts by Mr. Atul Kalaskar about hydroponic capsicum has a photo where he is using pots or bags to grow the
capsicum for 9 months in greenhouse.
- Can we not apply the same to open field cultivation with using medium that is mixture of sand, compost and good soil procured from somewhere else?
This way you need just small percent of soil compared to what you would have needed to convert the whole land into fertile.
So using nursery bags to grow vegetables commercially, what do you think?
- Drip irrigation can be used where water remains near root zone longer. Or you can manually irrigate the plant as water requirement is considerably reduced.
- Soil condition is immaterial, you can have best premix in the bag.
- Cost of bag may not be big considering that land and land activities are not required.
- The plants can spend almost 50% of their time elsewhere in close spacing, like they keep ornamental plants in nursery. Then you shift to field with proper spacing For example: Watermelon can be kept for almost 45 days from seed stage in nursery and then shifted to field when the creeper starts to grow or brinjal can be maintained in nursery for 60 days before sending into field. You save time, you can take more crops in 1 year.
- Since each plant has root zone of its own, we can develop some mechanism where farmer can take his bullock cart and fill water in some 500lt drum and then use hose pipe to irrigate each plant, assuming each plant requires just 1 lt per 2 days, you can irrigate 500 plants in 1 go, then go refill and come back and repeat the process. Water can be filled from some local pond dug up in his land, or from some bigger ponds.
This way any farmer can grow profitable crops instead of depending on cotton or maize and rains for their livelihood.
A long post but I wanted to get opinions from my friends here who have come up with lots of creative ideas before.
Some questions to be answered
- Is it feasible to grow commercial crops in bags?
- What kind of bags to use?
- What impact does size of bag have on different crops? We might have to study root develpment of different crops to come up with this.
- HAS ANYONE TRIED THIS BEFORE?
Many thanks for reading and reaching this points. Please share your thoughts.