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Dear New Farm,
I am an organic farmer and always on the lookout for knowledge,
prefering to be a student all my life. I restarted organic
farming at our family farm in 1992 after a gap of 28 years.
My father was a great organic farmer and staunch supporter
of organic farming. He was a philosopher as well and predicted
my path 15 years before I restarted the organic farming.
We at the farm are trying to farm according to Ayurvedic
ways, which is also the basis for Biodynamic farming. It would
be very interesting to go through ancient Indian ways of farming
because the entire country of India has been divided according
to the Panchang (celestial moments). All our festivals are
held purely on the calculated effects of our galaxy, sun and
moon. We have our native biodynamic calendar printed in every
area for that specific region. We have different types of
farming specified for all the areas. Anyone willing to explore
this is most welcome to come and stay at our farm to conduct
studies on this topic.
My findings are no different than any other observant and
attentive organic farmer. I always try to study the Big Book
(nature). Besides other findings, I have found that so- called
weeds are our most beloved friends; we should respect them
and their contribution to the ecosystem in totality. We should
also observe them especially during the switch- over period.
The weeds change with every passing year till the soil comes
back to its original natural geographical level. In India
we consume lots of weeds and know their medicinal properties
as well: eg., ‘Chinopodium’. My second observation
has been that in organic wheat, no Phalaris Minor [canary
grass] is there. This weed has been a menace in India since
the PL 480 days. Personally speaking, I have nothing against
it, because I feel this weed takes most of the harmful poison
away from our soil that has been brought in by the chemical
fertilizers. My request to the scientists is to stop promoting
fertilizers and start promoting farming. It is high time,
and it is a shame that we have started testing our athletes
for steroid but ignore our very Earth and atmosphere where
they eat and breathe.
Harpal Singh Grewal