Farming, apart of being with nature. is also a profession. Just like any other profession one should try to enjoy at every moment. The moment one thinks of a balance sheet on farming , the charm is lost for ever. Which also means that one should not adopt a capital-intensive system of farming….
In the meanwhile i am stepping aside & doing a dirty job i.e: a small reality check on my balance sheet….
The major expenses for the year has been with the rice fields, levelling, bunding & tilling, employing people for transplanting etc.
Levelling & bunding had to be done….. it was a one time expense, it’s over & done with, but its the tilling & transplanting expenses while taking a rice crop which is occupying my mind. Apart from the monetary aspect….one also notices great damage to the soil in the process of tilling & also there is a significant loss of top soil…
I am searching for answers, but so far i have not achieved much clarity of thought, the heavy rainfall in the area is also something which desist me from blindly adopting natural farming techniques, but hopefully by May 2012 i will have the courage & clarity of thought to stop tilling & also do direct sowing of rice, on one field for sure !
Fukouka san took many, many years of intensive dialogue with his soil, with his plants, with his surroundings before he adopted Natural farming techniques……. He does inspire me because he seems nearly perfectly happy with his lifestyle while deeply respecting all other living things around him. He does not promise riches or popularity. He promises nothing. He just lived a happy, inspirational life. He opened a new door to me, that of non or minimal intervention on nature. Just like a little girl to whom he is saying, just wait and see, its magical, it works all by itself……..
Looking at his work, i am often confronted by my own spiritual bankruptcy….
One needs to go to a different level altogether, it’s a search for answers & clarity, in understanding the soil, the plants, how they grow, the synergy, the surroundings, in the process remove many more of my blind folds. It’s a search which might take a few years more. It’s a puzzle, which has to be solved… the answers are there, hidden somewhere, but i am not able to see, feel or read it.
As of now, i can say i am confident of preparing the soil for fruits, pulses, oil & vegetables with very negligible monetary expenses & with minimal disturbance to the soil & more importantly after each vegetable crop, the soil infact becomes richer…….
But i am not able to push that confidence or clarity over to growing rice or wheat. Its all a bit confusing at the moment at an intellectual level with so much information available with a single click….. natural farming, organic farming, natueco farming, zero budget farming, SRI techniques & many more & each one of the above practitioners promising us the best. But (un)fortunately i like to adopt methods which promise nothing.
I guess the hard way is the only real way to learn! Make your own mistakes. Don’t tread on set paths. Find our own methods!