A Peep into Organic and Natural Farming
A Peep into Organic and Natural Farming – visit to Mallupatti: (An initiative by the Dawn Eco Club)
When we entered Mr. Shankar’s farm in Mallupatti, I felt very happy. Shankar sir and Vijayalakshmi ma’am were very kind and sweet to us. Close to their home, they have grown several different kinds of hibiscus, rose and other kinds of flowering plants. There was also a beautiful Buddha statue. The garden was spread across 10 acres and looked like a “mini-forest”. The scenery was beautiful. We saw chilli, cauliflower, radish and other vegetable plants. We also saw a lot of Bamboos being grown everywhere. Ma’am told us that bamboos purify the air.
We also saw Peepal trees (Arasamaram) everywhere. We learnt that they were planted 55-60 years ago. The trees were extremely huge and tall. We also saw Mahogany trees grown in a square shaped garden. We were told that the wood from these trees is used to make plywood. These trees take 10 years to grow and also require very less water. We also saw 6-7 check dams. I spotted a safety bore well and was told that it cost one and a half lakh to construct. We also saw several sandal trees and teak trees. Apparently, these take 25 years to grow.
When we asked about weeds, Shankar sir said that weeds could be good. All plants need nitrogen. These weeds provide the plants with Nitrogen at the root level. So he said that he doesn’t plough or till the land a lot. Once the weeds die or shed leaves, these turn into manure. Weeds also keep the ground from losing water through evaporation. However, weeds need to be plucked in agricultural fields as they will cover the places and the crops will not get sunlight.
After this, we saw Eucalyptus trees which are used in the paper industry. We saw malai vembu trees and neem trees which are also used to make plywood. In addition to all these, the farm also had palm, gooseberry(amla) and coconut trees. They also had cows.
Later we visited his friend’s place which had a swimming pool and lots of decorative plants. Ma’am said that they make their own panchagavya and manure. They also put all the waste from the coconut trees in a long 2-3 feet pit. This is used to store water which is later given to the nearby trees. After completing the trip, we went back to Shankar sir and asked him a lot of questions. He patiently gave us a lot of information. We learnt that, chemicals should not be used in fields because the crops growing in them will absorb those chemicals. We will eventually fall sick if we keep eating food from such crops. Overall the trip was a fun and educational experience.
– Article by
M. Sangatamil , VIII A1