Farming in harmony with Nature

~ “Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”
- (Thích Nhất Hạnh) ~ 

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Earth | Water | Fire | Air | Aether

 

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 with modern day knowledge, our practices are slow, deliberate, and eco-centric – working to enrich the land, not taking away from it.

 

Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Aether – the five elements or panchmahabhuta that constitute everything on this planet –  are intricately interconnected and exist in a delicate harmony. When humans do farming, this harmony is often disturbed. So farming, in our view, is understanding, respecting, and maintaining the harmony between these five elements.

 

Nurturing four beautiful indigenous cows and making fermented manures are for us the key elements of keeping the nutrient cycles intact and enhancing the biological fertility of soil. Fermented teas as sprays, celestially harmonious sows, saving our own seeds and re-planting them, carefully 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.

 

Produce from this land includes fruits such as mango, love apple, cashew, banana, papaya and pineapple, herbs such as moringa, sorrel, a variety of mints, lemongrass, etc., heirloom varieties of tomatoes, indigenous vegetables such as kawdi, suran, karanda yam, etc., spices such as turmeric, ginger, black pepper, and grains such as tur, finger millet, and native rice varieties like Dangi, Kasbai, etc. Using our farm produce, we also create and offer kombuchas, tisanes, fruit preserves, brines, and more.

Any producer working with the earth should be thinking of each element involved - not just the farming part, but also the selling process. Take ‘packaging’ for example. We do our best to use natural materials growing on our land to package our products. Fresh produce is mostly wrapped in teak leaves or banana leaves, banana fibres are used in place of string, rice and grains are packed in cotton bags, and all our fruit preserves, kombuchas, tisanes, etc. are packed in re-usable glass bottles. Plastic crates are used only for shipping and plastic bags are not used at all! Of course, this makes our job difficult at times, but those who buy our produce have not only accepted this non-conventional way of packaging, but also supported and encouraged us to uphold these earth centric practices. 

Personally, I believe intent is key. What drove us to farming? The desire to eat clean food myself and share this with my family. What comes to you is an expression of this intent – pure, nutritious, and always respecting the earth.

 

The farm has been sharing its produce with Bombay since 2007. 

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