It’s time we Re-Farm : Soil-2-Sky
It’s a no brainer and an adage – we are what we eat! But, we never practice this and it has only remained with us in books as an ancient wisdom till now in India. While the world has been at it for over half a century, the Farmers in India still know just – Urea, DAP and MOP. This madness of running after bumper yields year after year on the basis of these N, P and K providing inorganic chemicals has only lead us to the wall. We are at a juncture where farm yields in India keep dropping y-o-y basis, input costs are increasing and more imported fruits are in the market than Indian for their taste and mostly for their appearance. And all this is at the cost of a deteriorating Human Health and a massive increase in diseases. Can Indian farmers not produce that tastier, that better looking, that nutrient dense and vitamin rich farm produce that can also have a positive effect on human health than negative.
Hippocrates, the Greek Physician said this more than 2000 years ago :
Let Thy Food be Thy Medicine From this we can only make out that good health requires good food. If good food is good health then good food can only come from good soils. Healthy soil produce healthy food.If soils are only going to be fed inorganic Fertilizers like Urea, DAP and MOP then the food grown is only going to give us Cancer, Diabetes and Hormonal diseases and this will continue in perpetuity. So the Question comes – how do we grow good, nutrient dense food that can benefit the human health, animal life, the environment and our beloved Mother Earth. It all starts from the Soil all the way Up, from “Soil – 2 – Sky” – cleaning up the mess created by us for 1000s of years. For this we need to begin – Re-farming…!
Re-farming is :
1. Re-farming is understanding nature and mimicking its ways in agriculture.
2. Re-farming is working with nature’s food cycle.
3. Understanding how soil affects health and Re-farm our soils.
4. Re-farming is understanding how soil life affects the environment.
5. Re-farming is building our soils, our health and our environment.
This has been done in countries across the world and its time we preach, teach and get this executed in Indian lands working with Indian Farmers for the benefit of 1.3 bn lives.
Understanding Nature & Mimicking its ways : The pace of nature is slow, it is patient – specially when it comes to change. Any disruptive changes in any of its systems and it collapses creating more damage than the benefit we were expecting. Nature’s way is Slow Food. Plants use the energy from the Sun + CO2 from the environment and produce sugars. These sugars are food for the micro-organisms in the soil. Every plant feeds these micro-organisms through sugars it produces via the roots and in return the micro-organisms provide food/nutrients necessary for the plant to survive back via the root channel. This doesn’t happen instantly, this process is slow.
The plants eat when they are hungry as the micro-organisms provide the food 24 x 7. There is a storage tank created for this food so plants are never without food or water or O2.Unlike conventional agriculture when fertiliser is pushed through the soils or leaves we are pushing this food into the plants. The plant will only absorb what it needs at that time and rest leaches away into our water polluting it.80% of inorganic fertiliser gets leached and with that millions of rupees go down the drain.Instead if we manage the life beneath our soils, grow more of the beneficial fungi and bacteria then these become the food storage tanks for our plants which helps them become resilient, fight off diseases and in the end produce the nutrient dense food that makes human lives disease-free.
Working with Nature’s Food Cycle : Nature’s food cycle is diversity. Diversity in crops, diversity in soil biology helps maintain and sustain the food cycle from the smallest fungi to us humans at the top of the Food Chain. How soil affects human health : When we push inorganic fertilizer into the soil, it ultimately reaches water and pollutes it. There it forms a dangerous chemical cocktail which leads to hormonal disturbances and major diseases in humans.
A small example is when Fluorides become excessive in water. It leads to Diabetes because, fluorides destroy the hormones required to metabolize sugars. How soil affects animal health : Milk is the most importance source for Calcium and Proteins. If our ruminants are fed with grass growing on polluted soils, only polluted milk is going to come out for us. We need to Refarm the Animal Husbandry sector if we want to better human health. The same goes for the Animal feed, particularly poultry.Animal health comes second only to soil health.
How soil affects the environment : Burning crop stubble or excessive ploughing causes disturbances in Nature. Burning leads to CO2 getting directly into our atmosphere. Ploughing breaks the soil structure disrupting lives and habitats of the micro-organisms. All this leads to a leaking Carbon bucket, a hole in the ozone layer and only adding diseases to into human lives.
Nature’s way is no-till, forests are no-till, Nature’s way is composting, thats how Carbon is stored and re-cycled in the most judicious way enriching human health.Composting at Farm is the only way, the Nature’s way. Composting farm waste is equally important as composting food waste. Our municipalities will not pick our dump forever. One day they will stop picking up our trash and will ask us to either stop using it, recycle or compost it.Its time, we, individually start composting at home – everything that can be – without an excuse.
This will lead to reduction in pollution – land fills end up in our water and that leads to cocktails and a cocktail of untreatable and at times non-detectable diseases in humans and animals. Building soils, health & environment : So if you go back to the Food Web and look at it closely, what you get is :Healthy Fungi make – Healthy Soils – which make – Healthy Food When food is healthy, life will be healthy – both of humans and animal alike.There are enough products available today if we want to :Build diverse Fungi colonies in our soils – add Sujeev Tricho X.
Build the beneficial bacteria in our soils – add Sujeev BM.Use Organic Inputs for our soils – Kelp, Humic, Minerals.Compost fresh manure for immediate use in farms – Sujeev BM.Compost using earthworms – VermibedsCompost our food waste – Bioculum & Sujeev BM. Compost our home waste – Bioculum & Sujeev BM. Make our own compost tea and use as a biofertilizer / bio control agent. There is enough knowledge out there on Google, Youtube, Instagram.
Many schools to learn all this, many trainings being imparted and many seminars being held. All you have to do is follow any one of them or give us a missed call on 022-39560561 to learn : How to make your own compost at home from kitchen and garden waste at 18 paise per Kg.
Make your own fungal / bacterial brews for farms and gardens at under Rs.20/Ltr.Organic Farming, Eco-Farming, Regenerative Agriculture, Permaculture, Nutrition Farming, Sustainable Farming are all ways to Re-Farm our soils, health and environment.
Nature leads the way, our way is only to follow…we need to Refarm & Reclaim our lands, our lives.After all being at the top of the Food Chain, it is our responsibility, isn’t it ?