I love driving & usually have immense stamina to drive hours at a stretch. However, the driving this month did push me out of my comfort zone. There were pending plumbing issues, running around to nail the MSEB guys for electricity connection & a long pending & painful issue to get an access road to the farm. When I am driving I love to listen to music but its been really frustrating to deal with the MSEB guys or even just getting the right people together to get the access road done. My mind was not at ease to enjoy music & the long drives were getting a bit tedious. I was also getting agitated with myself….. till finally i told myself that I needed to calm down..
But as it always happen with me, when i am down in the dumps….. usually i get directed towards something better & that’s exactly what happened. I tell you there is some method in the way the universe functions. When friends had come, Salil had suggested that all resources of the land should be on top of the land (uphill) & not below (downhill). He mentioned that for eg: here your water source is below the land & now to irrigate the land you are pumping water uphill, storing it on top & then bringing it down below etc in the process somewhere a synergy is lost….. so he suggested me to explore possibilities of exploring (rain)water storage uphill…..
Well… he did get me thinking & i had started looking up stuff to read & understand these concepts…… then i bumped into podcasts on permaculture so i downloaded them on to my pen-drive to listen to while driving. Suddenly the 3 hour drives again became not only fun but something to look forward to. I realised that there is a whole world out there to be learned & unlearned, especially after hearing about the author of Rebel Farmer, Sepp Holzer. He did not learn his techniques by reading theories out of a book. He learned through direct observation and experimentation with nature.
Here is a bit of what he says :
…….a natural form of agriculture that is based on one’s work with the cycles and interactions in nature. ! A business in harmony with nature is not only ecologically correct, it can also be economically very successful “Learn to speak with nature, they learn to estimate correctly. Natural thinking, living and working is not only the basis of management, it’s an attitude that runs through all areas of life and exclude nothing. It’s about accepting responsibility for our contemporaries and for all living beings with moral courage and stand up for the preservation of a livable world! It is necessary to be ahead, to think ahead, instead of chasing all criticism. “ask your land, your water, your animals, whether they feel good under your guidance.”
Suddenly i feel i am thrown out of a hole or something. There is so much to do on the land like developing patios, planting by the hill and understanding more about raised beds, water gardens, ponds, humus retention basins, dry and wet habitats, micro climate zones, agroforestry (integration of trees and shrubs in agricultural use), fishing, aquatic breeding, animal husbandry, may be introduce some ducks into the river, chickens for sure and grow lots of medicinal herbs. And as Salil said particular emphasis should be placed on the hydrology of the landscape, because water is life!
One of Sepp Holzer’s important component is the regulation of so-called “pests” – the regulation of populations of organisms causing harm. It’s about developing self-sustaining systems, a “symbiotic” land management that allow each individual to design his personal survival strategy……..
He also warns never to do something exactly the same as it was done somewhere before, but start small and experiment to learn what works best where you live.
He also never mentions his yields, he doesn’t keep those figures, he grows so much food that he harvests what he needs and lets the rest go back to nature……
The other day i had gone to meet Nitya about introducing chickens & she was also convincing in her thoughts, when she said do try & catch energy resources as high in the landscape as possible among many other principles of permaculture which she shared with me.
Well, as a concept or as a theory it sounds really convincing, but how will we put it in praxis is going to be a challenge. For eg: apart from the river water, we also have a geo thermal borewell with a present water level at a depth of 16.4 ft, which is also situated in the lower rungs of the land.
Lets see how things evolve in the coming months !
Btw whats the job of the farmer ??
The job of the farmer is to grow good soil !!
Peace, love & keep creating humus.