Every living being needs food to eat, water to drink and air to breath. There is no exemption for this natural law. Of course, sun light and space are also necessary for a healthy life. But these two items are just taken for granted.
Plants provide the humanity with food. They are central for the rainfall we receive and very important for purifying the air we breathe. Only when the plant is healthy, can we get healthy food. Also, plants absorb the carbon-di-oxide from the atmosphere to prepare glucose and release oxygen, which is so basic for the survival of other living beings. As such, all the basic needs of a living being are supplied by plants only. Not only food, water and air, plants provide economic, environmental and ecological support too.
One thing we have to remember is, that the most valuable thing in our life is SOUL. Nothing is more valuable than this. To protect the soul, we need a healthy body. To gain a healthy body, we need good and nutritious food. We can get good food, only from plants. Though meat and fish could be other forms of food, yet the primary link in the food chain is plant or its products. So it is clear, that without plants, no food is available for any living being.
Mr. Masanobu Fukuoka, the father of Natural Farming, from whom I took training on Natural Farming, used to say “I don’t believe that rain comes from sky or sea. It comes from TREES only. So, we have to understand, that water is also given / brought by plants only.”
In my farm, I have five tier system of well placed and well spaced plants, to utilise the natural resources to the maximum. Coconut is the major crop. Below this, I have arecanut, cocoa, nutmeg, bread Fruit and some medicinal plants like aloevera, pepper etc. It is carefully planted so that no one plant suffers from lack of sun light. The farm is a Natural Farm, and so, all the plants support each other and give better yield. The problems of water utilization, weed control, pest management are all solved without any difficulty. From my experience I understood that the right choice in mixed plants guarantee the growth and multiplication of predators also, in addition to the development of healthy soil.
The extent of my farm is 50 acres. And in all the 50 acres, mixed cropping pattern is followed. Value addition of agricultural produce is done to get more income from my farm. Women in this farm are engaged throughout the year, as they have some work to do daily. If it is a mono crop or seasonal crop, there will be big intervals often.
Society is benefited, by effective micro climate created in this area. The temperature inside my farm is reduced to a great level, because of the dense population of different plants and trees and also with live fencing. The effect of micro climate is such that my Solar Dryer, which I use to dry coconut, cocoa, pepper etc., has rendered useless owing to cool temperature within the farm. While my farmer friend uses the solar dryer all through the year, I am able to use it only in hot summer and not in other seasons.
The congenial micro climate in the farm helps faster multiplication of microbes and earthworms. It also nurtures good and beneficial relationship between plants, pests and pathogens. The expenditure for the pest and disease control is minimum, which increases the net income of this farm.
“Turn to Nature, otherwise, you will be turned”, said Masanobu Fukuoka many decades ago, which applies to the present even more than before.
Er. Madhu Ramakrishnan
Santhosh Farms, Pollachi 642 114
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