What is Desi Gau Based Natural or Traditional Farming?
- Our traditional farming community was centred around our local breeds of Desi Gau & Nandi
- Desi Gau/ Nandi prefer only Gau Char (i.e. open grazing on grasslands for their food). They remain healthy consuming their preferred grasses, directly from the grassland on their own.
- They choose the grass and the quantity based on their special body needs which changes from time to time. It is also seen by keen observers that, specially Gau feeds on grasses based on health needs of her Gau Sevaks, also. So that her dung, urine or milk becomes a medicine for the Gau Sevak.
- Desi Gau/ Nandi’s cow dung/ urine is excellent source of positive microbes for soil rejuvenation and farming purpose. Using Jeevamrit you can make and keep 30 acres of land fertile per animal.
- Desi Gau/ Nandi’s cow dung does not give a bad odour.
- Based on wisdom passed from generation to generation, it has also been observed that a Desi Gau/ Nandi creates positive energy vibrations in a radius of 5.7 miles (3 kos), which is helpful for flow of prana that promotes life and living foods.
Why Natural Farming?
- Traditionally Farming was not looked upon as a means of securing purchasing power i.e. currency (mudra).
- Traditionally Farm Land use was not decided based on commercial as well as market demands/ needs.
- Farming patterns were based on the natural laws governing land and the farm animals.
- Farming was always something that was out of any system of commerce. One can say that Farmers were always too rich to need money. Money was only a means to secure a living (food, clothes, & housing) by trading communities who were not growers of any food, or makers of any artefacts. Farmers were not only self-sufficient but also would harvest excess beyond their own needs, to gift their excess produce to others.
- As a result, the farming pattern on the land was based on family, community and village needs for self-consumption. Consequently, it was polyculture and bio-diverse. There are several advantages of such farming patterns vis a vis mono-cropping practised over the last few decades.
- Poly-cropping offers natural weather resilience to the various crops that support each other in case of irregular weather phenomena
- Poly-cropping, specially complementary cropping offers better nutrition to the various crops and to the soil.
- Poly-cropping, specially multi-strata agro-forestry with alleys, allow for cows to graze on the field not only for the grasses but also the fallen leaves. This allows for more cows on an acre of land. The dung dropped during open grazing would convert into compost and the grazing would create its own tilling action. It would also be no-effort farming, as against the mis-guided chemical/ commercial farming of the last few decades.
- Poly cropping with complementary crops and fallen leaves used for covering the soil would retain moisture in the soil and as a result requires less inorganic infusion of water.
What is the role of Agnihotra Mantra in traditional farming?
Jeevamrit is considered as a powerful tool for natural farming. However, if Jeevamrit’s role in good natural farming is 20%, then Agnihotra’s role is 70% and everything else would fall within the 10% bracket. There are three aspects – Mantra, Yantra and Tantra. Although Kaliyuga is treated as a yuga for Yantra, that doesn’t mean Mantras don’t work or are not needed. In Satyuga, the need for Yantra ie tools is subdued and use of Mantras is more pronounced. However, even during Kaliyuga, use of Mantras can bring powerful impact. All this is important if one understands that we are trying to have living foods that are high on prana and not just increase quantity of produce at the cost of making it poison. In fact, the chemical farming was able to demonstrate increase in yield in initial phases, as the soil was rich due to centuries of natural farming and forestry. Consequently, if returning to natural farming is coming across as something that’s dropping the yield, it’s because the soil has become devoid of microbes, earthworms, air and moisture. Also, the farmers have lost the natural farming knowhow or still trying to model natural farming around commerce or increase profits.
Problems with commercial and chemical farming?
Here is a list of all problems with commercial and chemical farming –
- Commerce as designed currently is a game to maximise purchasing power through currency which is international in nature due to the banking network.
- Commerce is not a game that the farmer controls. Rather commerce is designed to control the farmer and make him to something which is opposed to common sense, natural laws, time tested traditional practices of farming, cooking and eating.
- Farmer’s participation in commerce leads to more mining like operations of sucking the juices out of the land to maximise purchasing power, using which they purchase things (“modern” education, bikes, cars, tractors, factory made clothes, cosmetics, chemicals etc. that further suck the juices out of their natural lives.).
- Farmers can use several natural means to keep their bodies cleansed like soil, desi Gau Mata’s/ Nandi’s gobar, herbs like soap nut, etc., bio-enzymes, etc. However, you can see villagers using two/ three times more soap on their body when you visit villages and see them taking community bath in their village ponds.
- Similarly, Prakritik Gurukulam is better suited for village children as they can focus on learning natural farming, natural housing, kutir udyog, value system (varnashram), gau sewa, caring for farm animals other than vedic knowledge.
- Similarly instead of bikes, cars and tractors that create dependency on centrally available fuel, and used for transporting their produce to markets, villages can continue to use horses that run using natural fuel of nature and bulls for ploughing their fields. All these ideas are suppressed using various propaganda and narratives such as animal cruelty and modernisation. What good is it to modernise when the food that you eat is laden with chemicals and devoid of prana.
- Since generation after generation, our disconnect with Nature has increased, today’s generation cannot relate to what is being said here, as they have no benchmark of what prana laden living foods are and how it feels feeding on them.
Bottlenecks in resuming Natural Farming?
- With most farmers in villages having switched to mono-cropping & chemical farming, cows cannot graze openly.
- Natural Farming is part of Natural living and is a group activity. With most villagers having switched to trader mindset the support needed by each farmer from the community has vanished. Previously, farmers would have a lot of time, and now they are busy on top of having a trader mindset. Earlier, farmers would do their farm work and then give their excess time to others for common activities like building a mud house and it would be reciprocated without any accounting. Now that support is not available as widely. So farmers have to go for hiring labour for such activities increasing their cost and making them even more trader mindset and switch to cash cropping to pay those costs.
- Earlier times, all inputs needed in a farm were either from the Nature or from the family/ community and it was freely available. Not so, now. Farmers depend upon Companies for their seeds and that too, they get hybrid/ GMO seeds. So, farmers have lost their grip on thousands of varieties of desi seeds. They have sold their native cows (which has largely gone to the slaughter-house and this wave is on) and have instead kept Jersey/ HF breeds, if at all. Male cows (Nandi) have reduced in numbers due to focus shifting to Milk as the reason why people need cows than support system for natural farming. Male Cows (Nandi) have also depleted in numbers due to Artificial insemination which is another way the native breed has been diluted with Jersey/ HF breeding. Farmers have given up on their bulls in favour of Tractor which is also increasing in horsepower since soil is becoming more barren requiring greater tilling.
- The modern lifestyle which was pushed on people by making it a status symbol also prevents people from switching back to zero budget natural farming. Many wannabe Natural Farmers face rejection from family members who have aspirations for a modern lifestyle that requires money which leads them to cash cropping.
- There is a lack of training on Natural Farming as many a places the traditional wisdom of natural farming was not passed on to the next generation.
- Soil quality has eroded due to use of chemical fertilisers and farmer’s have to continue to use fertilisers in order to get any yield. Soil Restoration requires desi cows for cow dung, that needs open grasslands. Both of these are a struggle and grasses would take 3-4 months to grow.
6 month support program for resuming Natural Farming
- We have to start with an enclosed area as an open grazing land by growing all the choices of grasses and trees (for leaves). This is better than having the cows tied to a post in a Gaushala and feeding grass to them.
- Fortunately, there are Desi Beej Sangrakshaks as well as Native Cow Sangrakshaks and it is possible to get both of these. It may be possible to get a gift of Desi Cows. Otherwise one may have to purchase for 8,000/- to 10,000/- each. Which could come unto 1,00,000/- for 10 cows. In the situation, the cows need to be fed for 3-4 months using external food, then that requires cost. Desi Seeds may be available as a gift or else a package of 70-80 seeds for a kitchen garden may need unto 3,000/-.
- Many villages still have common land areas, though grasses may not be available. So grasses and a food forest can be grown over time, which can also be used for the cows to graze, in future.
- In order to manage the cows he will needs Gau Sevaks, and for help in the farming, the farmer may need to spend some money for the next 6 months on labour, though it will be encouraged to spend that money as a gift rather than as labour cost, if we are to promote gift sharing again. It is estimated to be Rs. 1000 per day totalling to 30,000/- per month. This would include food for the cows for 6 months, the cows could be fed from the land in 3-4 months.
- The farmer may need to draw some money per month for 6 months to transition out of of his current job and expenditure for running the house. We have budgeted it to be 20,000/- per month.
Post Program Socio-Ecological Benefits?
- The kitchen garden will make the farmer’s grocery purchase into zero, and he can feed off the land for his family as well as have excess harvest to offer free food to others to convert them to natural farming.
- With the 8 Desi cows & 2 Nandis, he can help 3000 acres to get restored through Jeevamrit. This can help convert the existing grasslands and the existing forests into food forests, offering food to villagers and wild animals, respectively.
- He can train more farmers into Natural Farming using his model farm.
- He can provide Pancha-gavya products to others.
- He can offer Agri-tourism experiences to city dwellers and donors to enjoy the harvest. For this he can build natural mud houses which are in vogue these days.
- He can also support a Gurukul which would less depend upon money donations if natural food is made available for the Acharyas, students & staff. This would encourage the parents of the students studying in the Gurukul to provide Shram Dan to the Natural Farmer as well as the Gurukulam.
- With this progress, the adopted Natural Farmer can then progress to build a full fledged homesteads farming cluster with more mud house cottages and food processing units like Kacchi Ghani for cold pressed oils.
What’s in it for you?
- You can visit the Farmer’s place and you can live a natural life style and experience eating natural foods cooked naturally in a wood fired mud stove in earthen vessels, with all ingredients off his land except Salt. Visits can be short term or long term or for life. Natural Life Style would mean that you earn your food for the day by performing some labour on the field, and find other ways to contribute to the farm.
- On short terms visits, you can bring back with you whatever fresh harvests that is transport friendly and other handmade local products that are earmarked for abundance sharing.