Anuj Wadhwa, a Chronobiologist from Delhi, had little idea about seeds, fertilising or the watering process – even though he did have a small vegetable patch in his backyard. A gardener took care of all that. Once, when he casually asked to look at the seed packets the gardener was using, he was shocked to see the following words on them. “Treated with poisonous chemicals. Do not consume directly,”
The warning sent alarm bells ringing in Anuj’s mind. If this is happening right in his backyard, what could be the state of the grains, vegetables and fruits imported from other villages or states?
Anuj began his research immediately. In time, especially after long conversations with other urban farmers, Anuj to establish a natural farm of his own and today understands everything there is know about poison, organic farming and keeping our food pure.
Nowadays, he, along with fellow urban farmer Deepak, are helping others ace the methods they learned after plenty of hard work! If you are in Delhi this weekend, then learn natural farming that you can do right on your rooftop!
What is meant by natural farming?
Natural farming comes very close to the concept of permaculture, where the farm includes nurturing biodiversity instead of cultivating crops. We got in touch with Deepak to understand his method of farming.
“We will actually be discussing what is considered to be pests. Weeds and termites, for example. Many farmers that I have spoken to ask how they can get rid of them without chemicals. What I show them and will also be covering in this workshop is how they are actually beneficial to your plants,” says Deepak who will facilitate the workshop.
He further says that by planting yellow-coloured flowers – like marigold, sunflower and mustard in your farm, you can attract insects. Some insects are pests but others like bees are helpful, who help in pollination.
Natural farming mimics an ecosystem and with the help of different natural elements, lets your crops flourish. And, you don’t need acres of land to practice it. You can do it on your rooftop. All you need is a 100-200 square feet of floor space. Follow this link for more details about the location and book your slot in the workshop.
Deepak’s journey from Egypt to India:
When I asked him about why he decided to get into this field, Deepak laughed and admitted he never imagined himself travelling around the country and teaching people the process of natural farming.
“In fact no one from my social circle in Delhi imagined me doing this. Today, I am a completely different person from what I was four years ago. I was in Egypt at the time, working as a manager. I would often observe an ambulance passing on the street nearly every minute. This perplexed me. I did some research of my own and understood that the chemicals in food are the cause of many health issues. That’s where I found my voice. I wanted to help people eat healthy in our country. So I came back,” he explains.
This happened in 2015 and for the past four years, Deepak has been learning organic farming, permaculture and natural farming and returning the favour by teaching them to hundreds of farmers across India.
His latest base is in Delhi where he has set up natural farming systems. This weekend, he will teach you too! Click here to book your place now.
What to expect in the Delhi workshop:
One amazing thing that Deepak teaches his farmer students is to fertilise 3 acres of land with the dung of one cow. “In the natural system, grasses grow around trees, cows eat it and defecate. This, in turn, becomes fertiliser for the trees. Today, we have compensated this natural process with chemicals. In my method of natural farming, we will go back to the traditions and utilise nature’s system to the fullest,” says the urban farmer.
He adds that since an urban home may not have a cow, he has a different alternative for them.
“It is a mini-farm in a basket! For all those who are sceptical of diving right into cultivating a farm, this basket can be the perfect start,” Anuj tells TBI.
Deepak adds that this basket can later be used to throw wet waste like banana skins, orange peels etc, and make them into bio-enzymes for compost and added to your rooftop farm. All of this will be taught in the workshop.
And then of course, you will get the hands-on experience of walking through the farm, understanding the symbiosis between animals, insects and plants and getting to know how each helps the other.
Spend just 6 hours in this workshop and Deepak guarantees you will be encouraged to start a farm on your rooftop! Click here to book your place before the slots are full.
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)