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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