Earth | Water | Fire | Air | Aether
Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Aether – the Five Great Elements or Pancha Maha Bhuta that constitute everything on this planet – are intricately interconnected and exist in a delicate harmony. Most of our individualized actions, including agriculture, tend to disturb this harmony. Our view is toward embracing, understanding, respecting, and maintaining the elemental harmony.
At Vrindavan Farm, all the work – nurture of the land, trees, fruits, & herbs, is by hand – the hands of the Indigenous folk of our community, & ours. Combining indigenous wisdom, modern day knowledge and messages from the earth, our practices are slow, deliberate, and eco-centric – working to enrich the land.
Nurturing four beautiful indigenous cows, the Mother of our land, keeps the nutrient cycles intact and enhances the biological fertility of soil. Fermented teas as feeds, celestially harmonious sows, preserving heirloom seeds and native crop diversity, crop rotation & companion planting, using simple stone bunds and biomass to aid water retention are just a few examples of how we have weaved in some new ideas into ancient, time-tested methods – slowly building a self-sustained, diverse, healthy, and holistic food forest. Through practice, we aim to spread within our community a return to the ancient art of harmonious farming.
Harvests from this land are seasonal. Including fruits such as mango, banana, chikoo, papaya; herbs such as moringa, sorrel, mints, lemongrass; heirloom salads such as tomatoes, lettuces, arugulas, kales; wild foraged foods such as tender bamboo, kawdi; indigenous vegetables like yams (suran, komchi); spices like turmeric, mango ginger, black pepper; grains like tur; and native rice varieties like Mahadi. Using our farm produce, we also create and offer kombuchas, tisanes, fruit preserves, brines, and more.
Packaging and what we send back into the system is a huge focus for us. Our fresh produce is packaged with forest leaves such as teak and banana fibre or wild ocra for twine. Simple, re-usable cotton bags are made inhouse. Fruit preserves, kombuchas, tisanes, etc. are packed in re-usable glass bottles. Of course, this detail increases the effort at our end, but consumers of our produce have not only accepted this non-conventional way of packaging, but also support and encourage us to uphold these earth-centric practices.
Founders Note I moved to live on Vrindavan farm in 2009. Having grown up on the beautiful produce of India, I began to miss papayas and mangoes that oozed flavour, rice whose aroma greeted my return from school, and vegetables that were seasonal. Over the years, we have slowly grown the farm with the intent of returning to slow, beautifully produced, nutritious food. The intention was to feed myself and all those the farm could extend to. To sow seeds of good practices in our community. To return to the forefront, the beauty that is agriculture. - gaytri bhatia
The farm has been sharing its produce with Bombay since 2007.