Is Organic Farming / Natural Farming practical?

organic-farming

#261

Hi Prash,

To be honest, after what I wrote later on in the day I felt I might have offended or hurt the feelings of some, and was going to write an apology a few days back. I got this feeling within me I shouldn’t have written that. I only wrote to help prevent youth going into unexpected problems. So I apologize.

You are correct in everything you said, its not easy and it would be better if one gave good guidance instead, and I am not an expert. There are youth with good intentions doing everything they can to teach themselves in a sincere way despite the constraints, like lack of finances, lack of trustworthy genuine mentors, foolish laws that make farming difficult, lack of family support etc.

You are correct the key is selecting good fertile land to purchase. When buying land can you take an experienced farming elder that can help you identify good fertile soil? Someone in this forum said red soil is best. There was a post on how to select good farm land in this forum.

In this article on green manure, it explains how farmers in Sri Lanka test soil fertility.

"The timing of application of green leaf manure depends on the moisture content of the soil. Farmers measure this by digging to a depth of 5cm, and taking a soil sample. They make a clod by pressing the soil between their hands. If the clod breaks up immediately, this indicates insufficient soil moisture. If there is enough moisture in the soil, farmers will start to add green manure.

Farmers also have their own method of detecting soil fertility. They refer to the organic matter content as “soil fat”, characterised by the sticky nature of the soil. If they find that the soil is not very sticky, they confirm that the soil is less fertile, and will use green manures. To test for fertility, some farmers press their feet into the soil – if they can do this easily, they believe it is rich in organic matter content. Otherwise it needs to be supplemented with green manure or farmyard manure."

It said the best green manure for soil remediation for saline soils is ragi and tamarind leaves.

agriculturesnetwork.org/maga … prove-soil

Another article on green manure.

researchgate.net/profile/Ami … c9e183.pdf

Maybe Navadanya in Mumbai can give suggestions?

navdanya.org/contact

This is an organic farm just outside of Mumbai. They give tours.

ecovillage.org.in/activities … tices-gev/

youtube.com/watch?app=deskto … BELY1xzr_8

This is their organic product list

ecovillage.org.in/Gev-Brochures/ … oducts.pdf

In Tamil Nadu the agricultural university has an organic farming website and you tube videos that might give some ideas.

agritech.tnau.ac.in/org_farm/orgfarm_index.html

PLEASE NOTE:

I have no direct personal experience working with most of the links I suggested in this forum. It’s only from my personal readings I find them, so be careful. Some people in the organic or conservation field are more motivated by politics and money, than genuine purpose, they are con artists. This I did experience.


#262

Prash,

There is a member in this forum named anoop. He wrote this article. Click on his name at the end of the article and you can send him an email or you can write to him via his blog. He is from Mumbai and knows a lot.

farmnest.com/Watchouts+for+successful+dairying

This is his blog, it’s very good.

naturalfarmerskerala.com


#263

Prash,

I am no an expert. I would guess that before you take the plunge, find a genuine mentor who has been through it all , made mistakes, knew how to handle crops failing and was okay with it etc. find a farming model that works the best for your unique ecosystem. Costal farming is different from dry land farming and mountain farming. Find a mentor who is an expert in that farming model. Please note many new coming farmers are going through immense difficulty, struggling with difficult laws that make land owning and farming a challenge, and even quit, like cowherd mentioned.

I would read this entire forum to get a good overview. Cowherd said to prevent many problems having good quality fertile land is needed. If it’s not quality land it will take many years to remediate it before you can farm it and so for few years you will have no income. I would add, find fertile land connected to a healthy ecosystem, like good mountain water source, forest system. These ecosystems help sustain your farmland. Forests often provided green manure which was collected from them. Like leaves, twigs and freely growing plants.

cowherd said that one mistake farmers make is assuming their entire crop will stay intact. He said this is false, you will always have some percentage of your crop infested by insects etc, because whatever you grow has to be shared with Mother Nature so she can sustain her ecosystem.

He also says that  in the natural farming model or zero budget farming model he follows, the goal is to avoid buying outside inputs like organic or nonorganic fertilizers, pesticides and use whatever you can within your own farm to support your farm to prevent high costs and exploitation by outsiders trying to sell you things you don’t need. This is one model that has emerged.

farmnest.com/forum/natural-farmi … l-farming/

Sometimes I feel the best mentors are NOT the organizations, universities, businesses, and highly publicized farmers often quoted. Given the lack of information, I reluctantly refer to them or use their names. But I have not had personal interaction with them to confirm how genuine they are.  I feel many are having more political and money motives and spend more time on publicity than actually farming and learning. They are often inaccessible, and not in good touch with the aspiring youth not taking them seriously, and even misleading them. Sometimes the best mentors are people we never heard of, quietly doing what they do somewhere. Sometimes it could be your own family member or neighbor.

I will keep your concerns in mind as I too seek out more information.


#264

I agree with this. While the ideal state is to minimize fertilizers as well beginning with integrated nutrient management, I have no doubt pesticides have more deleterious effects especially when misused.


#265

Prash,

If you can’t get a hold of anoop, maybe try connecting with people at the Mumbai organic farmers market and perhaps talk to the farmers there and visit their farms? But honestly anoop knows more on the realities than me and will be very honest with you I think.

kavitamukhi.com

If you are farming for your personal consumption to be self sufficient that is one thing, but if you are farming for the general public with very high expectations, differences in taste, different lifestyles and opinions, spread thought the region, often not knowing how to cook, then that is another reality.

I shop at an organic farmers market near me and noticed farmers often made harvesting errors. Often when I took the produce home, it was not edible, either very hard and fiberous, picked immature and overmature, or in the wrong nutritional stage.  They often grew things they didn’t even understand themselves and wouldn’t even cook. They had no idea how their produce turned out after cooking. They never bothered to follow up with the customer. Once I bought cucumbers so awful in taste, I had to throw it. I had seen some farmers bring produce with mold or fungus on it with insects flying around it, or produce all dried up or covered in dirt and they would still try to sell it. I saw many customers avoid those farmers and when the farmer sensed this got very angry and even jealous when he saw them shopping with some other farmer. . This was at my organic market all these situations.

Once I saw a woman tell a grain farmer she disliked one of his products after trying it, she didn’t prefer it and wanted to choose something else from him. The farmer got extremely angry with her and couldn’t handle her opinion. That is why we have middlemen. They protect us, acting like a buffer between the consumer and farmer. Some farmers have very hostile personalities and can’t handle the unexpected opinions from customers. That is not the way you behave towards a female. I have seen few farmers behave indecent towards the female customer.

So customer relations, marketing, distribution, food safety, dealing with human personalities and most of all TRUST are now issues a farmer will have to deal with if he chooses to sell directly to the customer.

There are many nuances and details hard to gain unless you are mentored by the right experienced person sensitive to all this. When you are farming you are growing food for females, pregnant women, babies, children, the elders, people with health matters, allergies, and so you have to be sensitive to these things. So customers are very particular about what they are buying and who they are buying from. But what I have seen is often organic farmers only care for money and if they didn’t get the money would outlash on the customer, totally insensitive to their health needs or personal situations.

Anytime you deal with the general public a whole new world of human interaction will open up to you. Human personalities are more varied and diverse than you think. So farming I think involves a lot of creative thinking, flexibility, sensitivity, focus and spirituality. But I won’t comment on the spirituality aspect here because that is another in depth thing to be discussed.

Remember I told you about navadanya in Mumbai as a place to get good information and to see if you can connect to to their farmers?  This is Vandana Shiva the founder, she talks about the spirituality behind farming. The other farmer is Jaspal Singh. The filmmakers of this film, on the importance of building good soil, told me he is a successful organic farmer from the Punjab. I like his opinion about how if we fertilize food with excess nitrogen, it could alter our cognition. This might not be a visible health affect to the eyes, but can only be understood by observing how a child intellectually develops as one example, or how a human being intellectually develops as he grows. Foods do play a role in aiding our ability to learn better.

Navadanya
No-10, Mayfair Housing Society, Oberoi-Raviraj Complex, Off Andheri Link Road, Vastu Ln, Shastri Nagar, Andheri West, Mumbai
+91 22 6679 0081

symphonyofthesoil.com/learn- … tag/india/


#266

Hello Jasmine,

  Thanks for the reply.

  Yes there are numerous challenges that I will have to face (and even facing now) to make this a success. But now that I have made up my mind and see my life the way I want to I wont stop for anything. Yes a mentor, a support would be required, and I am looking for someone of that sort. Also I am trying to contact as many gurus on Farmnest and as many people like me in Mumbai who are looking for a similar life. I am really really grateful to Cowherd and Murli who are guiding my path. I am even planning to visit Savejis farm in Umargaon. Also want to attend a course with Subhash Palekarji. These visits will help me acquire knowledge and gain confidence in me.
    I have gone through this thread and have really been inspired the way Cowherd Sir thinks and writes. Also people like you who spare their valuable time to reply back. I am really grateful to u and everyone on Farmnest who are helping build by dream
Thanks a ton

U can check this link where I have already written what I am planning to do
farmnest.com/forum/new-trends-in … d-guidance


#267

-I looked into Govardhan Eco village outside of Mumbai a bit more. It seems its more of a retreat for foreigners from the West, especially for heads of businesses who want to take spirituality lectures to help them run their businesses. Hence eco village has built some nice accommodations for them. A kind of corporate retreat for some. Swamis make a lot of money when they target their teachings to CEOs intentionally, because well, they have money. But call it an Eco Village, who will ever know what you are up to? Just a guess…I don’t know the real story…

Sometimes I feel there are some ingenuine people who studied how to talk the talk and walk the walk of organic or natural farming for some other questionable  motives, using idealism to trap people into something else so they can make money off of them. The way tourist traps work. So be careful of such traps.

-I would think there is a strong relationship between fertilizers and pesticides, because fertilizers might be the cause for weak plants and thus pest attacks and thus, pesticide use.

Cowherd suggested that fertilizers are the cause for insect infestations because they are causing plants to develop weak tissues. I would think excess nitrogen contributes to amino acid formation because if the excess nitrogen changes the protein content in millets, to a low quality protein, and protein is what builds human muscle tissue, then I would assume nitrogen also might play a role in building plant tissues too. Protein is also what’s responsible for building up our immunity power. Usually if a person has a health matter, they are suggested to eat a high protein diet which their immune system needs to fight viruses or bacteria. So I would assume the plants often grown commercially have weak immunity power due to how they are grown, how they are spaced due to over crowding and growing only one thing not diverse things at a time,  what seed they came from, etc. If plants are having pest issues, that already is a red flag the plant isn’t grown right by the farmer.

Cowherd observed that in his banana trees I think the ones grown without chemical fertilizers had stronger stems or trunks and less likely to break or fall over during storms which can really affect his crops given he is in the mountains I think and so plants might be planted on steep slopes so they really need strong roots to stay put. In his coffee plants he observed the suckers were stronger than the conventional coffee plants. Strong suckers I would assume means stronger rooted plants that can sustain during storms. You need strong plants to handle the weather, so if you live in an area that gets strong storms, growing naturally will be a practical choice so that you don’t loose your plants to the weather.

Pests usually attack weak plants and stay away from strong plants. So if a farmer is having pest issues, it means there might be some weakness in the plant. It is not having immunity power. Why eat food from weak plants? I would assume the amino acid profile of stronger plants like greens and grains is better in stronger plants that resist pests on their own and so its a better protein source for humans to eat to build up their own immunity power. So from a human nutrition point of view, especially the nutrition of pregnant women, developing babies and children who need to build up their immunity as they grow, naturally grown food is practical. You cannot use an old village man who drinks whiskey everyday and doesn’t get affected by anything as the standard for village health. Think about the health of those in the development stages like babies and children. Are we feeding whiskey to the children? My rule is if you can’t feed it to a baby or child you shouldn’t be consuming either.

If villagers have better immunity than city people, I think partly this is due to the different maternal practices in the village. When females are pregnant in the village, immense measures are taken to make sure her immunity power (which passes onto her milk) and that of her developing baby is built up. She is often fed various medicinal foods like unique herbal greens, crafted by the elders that I usually don’t see city women consuming. These are probably grown in private home gardens not sold to commercial market.  Often when I hear advice from village women as to what to eat, they say use naturally grown food at all times, because it will be less harm to babies and children. So building a healthy human population, with strong immunity power within the early important stages of pregnancy and child development, natural farming is practical. It can determine the child’s immunity power for life. I think this can be partly possible if we build up a strong plant population with strong immunity power of their own that in turn will sustain our own immunity as well.

If plants are always getting pest attacks then clearly that is a red flag the farmer is doing something wrong as to how he is growing and feeding that plant. If a child is constantly getting sick all the time, then clearly the parents are doing something wrong as to how they are growing and feeding that child.
So I think there is a strong link between fertilizers and pesticides and that fertilizers might be one cause for pesticide use.


#268

In this PDF version of the green manure article from Sri Lanka, bottom of page 11 shows the green manure combinations chart which did not get published in the web version of the article.

agriculturesnetwork.org/maga … rticle_pdf





#269

Often when we think of green manure we think it comes from cover crops grown from seeds, but actually many green manure leaves come from trees and forests, connected to the farm. This is an example of how farming was tied to an ecosystem and to culture. Hence agri culture.

I looked up the green manure sources listed in the chart from Jaffna and to my surprise these are plants that have deep importance and auspiciousness central to Tamil culture!  For example,

One is milkweed. This is errukam poo we offer to Ganesha and Shiva.

Another is poovarasu maram, Indian tulip tree, which wood is used to make the thavil instrument in Carnatic music and mortar and pestle used in tamil cooking. For those who grow banana it says poovarasu maram leaves are good and in high demand.

Another is  panai maram, palmyra palm tree, which was used to make medicinal jaggery, baskets, and even Pittu steaming baskets

Jackfruit is also another auspicious tree in which the wood was used to make the veena instrument used in Carnatic music.

Neem tree is also one of medicinal value.

Who would have thought these auspicious plants and trees were the traditional sources of green manure! Our ancestors were very wise. So I encourage people to plant these auspicious trees and utilize their leaves as a source of free green manure to you.

flowersofindia.net/catalog/s … 0Tree.html

flowersofindia.net/catalog/s … lower.html

flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Neem.html

flowersofindia.net/catalog/s … 0Palm.html

flowersofindia.net/catalog/s … fruit.html

Have a plant you want to look up? Refer to:

flowersofindia.net


#270

Green Manure comes from tree! may be true, the practical issue is it is labouriouse. So it works in only small farms not for big holdings. Labour intensive work is cutting, intertransporting etc.
When we have green manure crops intertransporting is zero, chopping as easy as ploughing a field.

Another point is, you cannot use tree branches(brown ones) because they have C:N ratio of 500-700:1. In green manure we dont allow any stems to get brown. So C:N ratio is maintained less than 80:1


#271

sri2012,

The article says
"The practice of incorporating green leaf manure is different from green manure grown in situ. Thespesia and Gliricidia are grown in live fences, and jackfruit, neem and palmyrah are grown on barren lands. The leaves are cut and brought to the farms in bundles. There is a charge for transportation. However, “…the benefits of its use are innumerable” said one traditional farmer. Thespesia is in greatest demand, and is sold at US$ 20-25 per load (a bull cart). Before incorporating it into the soil, Thespesia is allowed to wither for two days. It is kept in the field in a heap and then covered by banana leaves. This helps for partial decomposition, reduces the carbon to nitrogen ratio and makes it easier to apply."

So, some trees are just apart of the natural fencing to a farm. Its part of the farm property itself. Your live fencing can provide you green manure. You get double the benefit. The banana leaves are used to cover the green manure to help with the carbon to nitrogen ratio. Though labor is involved, one farmer felt the benefits were innumerable. Keep in mind these are trees sacred to tamil culture, and are often found with or very near to tamil family homes. Moreover if you are farming in a dry land or barren land ecosystem, these leaves are a blessing and will naturally be utilized.

I will look into this more…


#272

It says " reduce c:n ratio" but what extent? branches needs almost 2 years to reduce below 20:1.  2 days! I strongly doubt this.

I will give anology,  a kitchen waste which has 25:1 will take a week to reduce to 10:1 when you aplly microbial inoculants like EM or IMO

Lets take leaves have(lets forget brown branches now) 80:1, wihtout any microbial inoculants just covered in banana branches for 2 days!!!
We need more test results to believe this.


#273

sri2012,

I don’t think the article implies the use of brown branches, it clearly states leaves, but I did read here that leaves along with twigs were used. The article is not saying it decomposes in 2 days, it’s saying the leaves are left to wilt for 2 days then covered with banana leaf. It might take 2-3 moths to decompose I think. The article clearly states that in the strengths and weaknesses chart pg. 12. that 2-3 months is the decomposition time usually.

The authors of these academic papers list their emails if you have questions. I wrote to one and he replied back to me the same day happy I read his article. His email is gmikunthan@gmail.com .

Here bottom page 1.
“Green undecomposed material used as manure is called green manure. It is obtained in two ways: by growing green manure crops or by collecting green leaf (along with twigs) from plants grown in wastelands, field bunds and forest. Green manuring is growing in the field plants usually belonging to leguminous family and incorporating into the soil after sufficient growth.”

researchgate.net/profile/Ami … iewer=true


#274

[quote="Jasmine"]
-I would think there is a strong relationship between fertilizers and pesticides, because fertilizers might be the cause for weak plants and thus pest attacks and thus, pesticide use. [/quote]

Dear Jasmine,

When a plant is absorbing nutrients they are in the Inorganic form, so truly speaking it really doesn’t care if it is in a Organic or Inorganic setting. If a balanced nutrition is provided every plant would be healthy and would have good immunity power.

From what I have heard and seen while meeting farmers, the most obvious reason for increased pest attacks is the excess usage of Nitrogen in the form of urea. Nitrogen does contribute to vigorous growth but weaker plants that cannot fight back. These are the ones that are susceptible to sucking pests, fungi, etc.

The reason for this excess usage of urea is the pricing, at Rs. 300 it is the cheapest and the one that shows immediate results for almost every crop that is out there. Farmers love to see their crop grow fast & be lush green, at the slightest hint of yellow appearing they add another dose of urea without even considering the fact that it could be something else that is causing the problem.

I have seen most farmers, Agricultural Officers, etc. only talk about primary nutrients NPK, they do not know or even consider how useful the secondary nutrients Ca, Mg & S is to plants. It does not help either with our govt. classifying all the nutrients other than NPK under the Micronutrients.

As long as we humans eat or drink in moderation & maintain a healthy diet we remain healthy, the same applies to plants, as long as you give it a balanced nutrition in moderate quantities it will stay healthy and might be less susceptible to diseases.

But I will have to say that in the current scenario of our agricultural industry it is difficult to provide a balanced nutrition because it is revolving only around NPK esp. in AP & Telangana, I don’t know about other states.

Thanks,
Madhav


#275

ragaaorganics,

You say you work with Telangana people who are not interested in organic farming. So I did some reading on the Telangana area.

the Deccan Development Society represents organic farmers specifically located in Telangana and are listed in the India organic website. Why can’t your Telangana people work with these Telangana organic farmers? And they have their own organic food shop and organic restaurant seen in that film I posted. In fact I am pretty sure that film is from Telangana and there were no chemical practices shown.

indiaorganic.net/institutions/dds.html

It clearly states these Telangana farmers " All practice a unique multi cropping system that is ecologically sound and economically sustainable on small landholdings averaging to about an acre."

Their website clearly communicates they are against pesticides, against BT seeds, especially BT cotton, strongly for native indigenous seed preservation, and for vermicomposting.

In a research paper about these Telangana organic farmers it clearly states:

“Uncultivated greens were present mostly in farm fields where manure was applied or where chemical fertilizers were not applied. Very few greens were seen in fields treated with chemical fertilizer, as they perish when they are young because of the burning effect. In fertilized fields only half of what used to be available was present, with greens available for picking only after one or two irrigations. However, farmers felt it was not safe to eat these greens and they were generally not collected.”

So Telangana farmers are clearly aware there is a strong link between chemical fertilizers and human health by refusing to eat these greens. It’s also clear these farmers are not willing to eat what is often sold to us.

I even saw a film on these farmers in which a woman stated she doesn’t need to fertilize her fields for 8 years. She used manure and the manure lasted her 8 years. They also did cover crops or green manure, in which the leaves fall off, break down and give “strength” to the soil as one farmer stated.

Even if they are not a majority group, at least there are some positive possibilities here for learning. 


#276

Ragaaorganics,

Here is a list of organic farmers in Andhra Pradesh your village people could work with or visit.  You can even show your village people this short film in Telugu. But please note, I have no direct experience working with these people or most links I sent to confirm how genuine they are.

ofai.org/wp-content/uploads/2011 … radesh.pdf

timbaktu.org/our-programmes/ … c-farming/

Here are their organic products, you can show these products to your village people. They are sold throughout Andhra Pradesh. Dinesh Kumar who I mentioned before, is the original founder of this group, but he has started his own private initiative I think. I have interacted with him a bit over email and he and his wife seem like very dedicated people. They specialized in land restoration due to deforestation.

timbaktu-organic.org/customerproduct.html

timbaktu-organic.org/customersbuy.html

indiaorganic.net/individuals/dinesh.html

youtube.com/watch?app=deskto … 5QsK1D5LoY

youtube.com/watch?app=deskto … 3fHG-JOl_A


#277

Dear Jasmine,

I never said that nobody in Telangana was doing Organic farming, I only said that their percentage is very very low or minuscule. I have been to Zaheerabad several times and met hundreds of farmers, but not a single one of them mentioned about this organization, but next time I go there I will make it a point of visiting their store and will also get more details about their farming practices.

About the Unique cropping system that is being mentioned, I have not seen it in my visits to Zaheerabad. The main crops in this region are Ginger, Turmeric, Potato, Onion, Banana & Cotton, it is all being produced in the conventional manner with almost no inter cropping. There are some farmers who intercrop Ginger with Banana or Corn for the added shade.

About Greens there is some misinformation, from what I have seen Greens are grown all around Hyderabad city. Except for the few professionals who have recently gotten into Organic farming all other farmers that I have seen are doing it the chemical way. They usually take about 6-7 cuttings from each crop of Palak. They add DAP at the time of Sowing and then use liberal quantities of Urea after every cutting. You should see the size of the leaf that comes to the markets in Hyderabad, you can immediately identify that it has been farmed with fertilizers. There are others who use drain water to cultivate these, as this water has some Organic matter in it they use less amount of Fertilizers.

One thing I will assure you is that whatever these articles state the ground reality is different, the percentage of farmers who are doing 100% Organic Farming are minuscule. I have interacted with quite a few educated farmers who agree that Organic is the way to go ahead but they will not go forward with it as there is no mechanism in place to encourage them and lead them thru the various intricacies involved in farming & in selling their produce.

THERE ARE MORE PREACHERS OF ORGANIC FARMING THAN PEOPLE WHO CAN REALLY HOLD THE HAND OF AN INTERESTED FARMER AND TAKE HIM THRU THE ENTIRE CYCLE OF ORGANIC FARMING.

Unfortunately I am one of them, because of my own limitations I can only preach but cannot do anything more than that.

Thanks,
Madhav


#278

ragaaorganics,

I agree with you. Consumer demand is dictating everything…and corporations are dictating to consumers as to what to demand. There are many traditional foods we never hear of because our elders didn’t teach us how to cook them. After parents began to work corporate jobs, the traditional system of cooking and farming knowledge that parents taught their children was broken. Now children are placed in front of the tv and the tv is raising the child, not the parent. So the traditional knowledge got lost.

In the traditional intercropping system
About 6 to 20 crops were grown at the same time in the same field. One reason is, if one or two crops failed there were many other varieties of crops to kick in and act as a backup. It was a multiple line of defense. Like computer security professionals often say, a computer needs multiple lines of defense to protect itself from attacks, like anti virus, firewalls etc. 

The amazing thing is for some reason out of no where certain green plants would gravitate to these crops, and these were edible greens high in medicinal value and nutrition. I heard of one ayurvedic expert or siddha medicine vaidyar talk about this.  The farmer never planted these himself, they came on their own. These are the greens I am referring to. Not commercially sold greens. Western society demonized these medicinal herbs and called them the word “WEED” . But according to siddha medicine these were not weeds these were medicinal herbs that chemical farming destroyed because the fertilizers would burn them. They were also a source of nutritious fodder for cows.

The indigenous Indian breed cow dung (not import breed, not hybrid breed, not artificially inseminated breeds, cows that naturally grazed) was so effective, it attracted these medicinal herbs to the fields and the fields did not need to be fertilized for 8 years after application. It lasted for eight years.

In many western academic and government research databases and articles I have casually read, it shocked me to learn how they have highly detailed records of the traditional Indian agricultural system.

I strongly think these western academics studied this system to identify its strengths in order to destroy it. As Manoj Kottaaram of Kerala correctly said in his interview the British had very detailed records of the traditional Indian agricultural system documenting their high yields in order to tax them, to exploit their success. Often when western academics visit India today, it is not to write appreciative books about Indian culture, it is to study how they can destroy the Indian society and the government funds this racist research. The word for this racist academic research was called by professor Edward Said, “Orientalism”

soundcloud.com/krishna-visvanat … nic-farmer

“In 1978, the Palestinian-American scholar Edward Said published his influential and controversial book, Orientalism, which “would forever redefine” the word;he used the term to describe what he argued was a pervasive Western tradition, both academic and artistic, of prejudiced outsider interpretations of the East, shaped by the attitudes of European imperialism in the 18th and 19th centuries. Said was critical of this scholarly tradition and of some modern scholars, particularly Bernard Lewis.”

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orientalism_(book

Because corporations control all the sources we get our knowledge from, like the media, research institutions, social organizations, government scientific centers, universities, we rarely hear about our own indigenous history that was demonized by the western academics, who were influenced by corporations that funded their research, and kept such research away from the general public so they wouldn’t know about it. They had crystal clear records of the ancient Indian agricultural system, knew this was a superior system, feared its power and promoted false information about it, in order to destroy it. They made everyone a psychological slave to a false knowledge system based upon garbage science not real science. This how “orientalism” works.


#279

in a mono cropping system, in which only one cash crop is planted, where is the backup plan if something fails or two things fail or three things fail? In the traditional intercropping system 6-20 plants might have been planted, serving as a backup in case one or few failed.

When insects are eating up plants it is actually trying to help stop an imbalance in nature that growing only one cash crop causes. If you look at an ecosystem, the key is energy balance and diversity helps maintain that balance. In Carnatic music, do they sing only one note? No. They sing a diverse combination of notes that creates balance or the right energy vibration. It is not too loud, it is not too low. Sages mastered which combinations in music work best and called it raga. Sages mastered which plant combinations are best to plant in farming, this is another kind of raga known as intercropping combinations. It is a visual raga of plants which we grew and ate. It created balance within nature, so nature is not thrown off. It is also called by anthropologists of ancient South Indian agriculture “ecosystem agriculture” because it is agriculture , growing plants the way they are naturally seen growing in the environment, like in a prairie land. Its farming according to how nature naturally directs things.

This concept of balance is seen in the rajasic, tamasic, sattvic, principal. Mono cropping is rajasic, too much of something, it created excess, or imbalance, which naturally leads to tamasic, stagnation. It is not balanced. So nature sends the insects as a hero to stop this imbalance that can throw off the ecosystem. The insect is trying to communicate to the farmer, hey you are doing something wrong and I am here to fix this imbalance by removing these crops. The hero was demonized by western academics as “PEST”.  And brainwashed people into buying expensive products they didn’t need to eliminate them.

Whether natural or chemical, what pesticides do, even neem I think, is to attack or interfere in the reproductive system of an insect. Now what type of effect this would have on a girl during her monthly cycle time, or a pregnant female? So by intercropping and building up plant immunity power, the idea is to avoid using pesticides all together, even if it is directly derived from the plant itself, the idea is to not use a pesticide but a deterrent. It keeps the insect away but will not harm the insect. This was the preferred practice.

The traditional Indian agricultural system carefully crafted by the sages, was a visual raga of plants that produced a harmonious sound or energy.  Agri culture is our culture.


#280

ragaaorganics,

I agree.

  1. How to educate someone to make the transition from chemical farming to natural farming?

  2. How to financially support him during the transition process?
    (especially while he remediates his soil or while he selects fertile land).

  3. How to market the naturally farmed food directly to the consumer?

  4. How to educate the consumer in properly utilizing that food so it achieves the best health effect?
    (How to prepare it, cook it, eat it properly?)

I actually focus more on the last question because a lot of traditional cooking knowledge got lost.

In this forum I just expressed a few ideas …

  1. Instead of using chemical fertilizers use green manure from cover crops, green manure from tree leaves, manure from Indian native breed cows, build up soil fertility by remediating it with cover crops and manure to give immunity power to plants. I also showed a cover crop solution finder chart and website. If soil has good fertility, its possible no fertilizers are needed for 8 years or at least for few years. This some elder told me.

  2. There are people who volunteer to sell naturally farmed food directly to the consumer. Restore in chennai is one such group. Farmers market run by public donations is another. There are organizations trying to help farmers during the transition period, offering training, money, and marketing of their products.

  3. There are volunteer groups teaching the public on how to cook traditional foods. Nallakeerai in chennai is one.

  4. But there are actually farmers who just know what to do and didn’t give Into this chemical craze. They could simply teach other farmers who lost that knowledge how to do things again the traditional way. 

But actually when I speak to some people, they just buy directly from farmers who have good name spread by word of mouth. They don’t care for packaging, marketing etc. they just find the farmer as to where he lives and just buy it direct from him.

But if you are about marketing another product for villagers to buy,  even if its called “organic” , naturally they won’t accept. But if you are teaching them to be self sufficient without needing to buy anything, then they will be more open.

I think the videos from Timbaktu collective I posted did mention all these problem issues.****** No one is denying what the reality is, but the reality is messed up and I and others are in the process of addressing it and people should not antagonize and pull down this process of trying to address it****+********

I once heard an interview by Carnatic musician DK Pattammal. She said that she was fine with not having a large audience attend her concerts, she said all she wanted was a small audience of genuine listeners attend. I think this is why Carnatic music is still alive today, because of this attitude. Her focus was more on teaching students and her school of teaching is considered one of the more accessible schools to learn Carnstic music from today.  I mentioned yes the people doing the intercropping might be a minority but there are possibilities for learning from that.

I will keep your concerns in mind.