In the midst of a fast increase in the number of High-yielding variety foods, organic food is all that took this Gujarati couple to leave their successful careers in San- Francisco and return back to India.
Vivek Shah a Masters in Printmaking left his job along with wife Brinda and started a new work-flow with organic farming. The prime reason for them to walk this journey was health concerns. He states- “living in San Francisco made us a lot more aware of our surroundings. Being full-time professionals ourselves, we started realizing how our lifestyle was fluctuating toward becoming unhealthy due to our schedules.”
They enrolled themselves for a course in farmiculture which gave them abundant motivation to start with their organic farming cultivation. He says- “And yet, one of our biggest struggles was, we didn’t know where the food we were eating every single day was coming from.”
They bought land on the outskirts of Nadiad, Central Gujarat in order to plan a farm which would not only fulfil the needs of their kitchen but will also take up commercial operations.
Apart from organic fruits and vegetables, organic banana chips are produced side-by-side but the hind side using organic oil- there should be excess banana production though. Vivek Shah says- “ In our farm, we grow crops like Bajra, Wheat, Potato, Banana, Papaya, Jamun, Coriander, and Brinjal. We have also made ponds on our farm and have grown special plants there which clean the water. This way, our crops are irrigated with clean water.”
The organic farm also has rainwater harvesting for harvesting the plants with a capacity of over 20 thousand litres. Vivek said- “ We have a rainwater harvesting plant of 20 thousand liters. Once it is completely filled, it can sustain the irrigation needs of our farm for three years on its own.
The biggest challenges in farming are a pest and inject therefore both Vivek and Brinda have decided for multi-cropping and inter-cropping. Brinda stated- “ To prevent an attack from pests and insects, we use multi-cropping and inter-cropping. In addition, we also grow tulsi and lemongrass.” Instead of burning the farm waste, it is processed to make compost.
The couple has set up a home that is organic in totality with ingredients ranging from cow dung, soil, and stone. The soil to build the earth was collected from the farm itself when they dug a pond. The pond they mentioned will soon be made complete with the presence of fish and ducks.