IN SCHOOL

An organic way of life

Have you always wondered what organic farming is all about? Students fromGood Earth School, Kancheepuram districtpresent a beginner’s guide...

Organic farming is not just about shunning pesticides, fertilizers and other artificial means of growing crops. It is also a way of life.

To begin with, organic farming involves using green manure. Leguminous plants (for example: peas, beans, lentils) are grown, ploughed and left to decompose for 15 days. This improves the fertility of the soil.

The nitrogen present in the root nodules is converted into nitrites, which improves the quality of the soil.

Another technique usually involves two primary steps. Straw, cow dung and leaf litter are mixed with cattle urine. The mixture has to be kept moist for a few weeks, after which the manure is obtained.

Then there is farm yard manure. It is basically prepared using cow dung, cow urine, waste straw and other dairy wastes.

The mixture is allowed to decompose over a period of time. Every month this manure is mixed with the soil to enrich it.

Panchakavya, also known as “the mixture of five products”, is a concoction of products from the cow. These include dung, urine and milk which you get directly from the cow and curd and ghee, which are obtained using the milk. This combination acts as a growth promoter and increases shelf life, quality and aroma of the crop.

You can also carry out the process of mulching. Here dry leaves in the plot are left to decay, especially during the summer months, so that the soil is able to retain the moisture which it gets from the leaves. This in turn acts as manure.

Bio-pesticides can be made by what is available around us in nature. One such pesticide can be made by mixing neem oil and water in right quantities.

This mixture is sprayed on the crops and is used as a natural pesticide.

The other methods of organic farming include crop rotation, which involves growing of different types of crops in the same land in a sequential manner; and multi-cropping, where two or more crops are grown in the same piece of land during a single growing season.

Organic farming or gardening can be adopted in schools, even if in a small way. It can minimise food waste and reduce dependence on electricity. Organic resources such as biogas can be used.

It also makes the environment around us healthier and better. As we move towards a sustainable society, organic farming is the way forward.

(Located in Naduveerapattu village, Tamil Nadu, the school implements organic farming to satisfy its needs.)



An overview

Organic farming is not just about shunning pesticides, fertilisers and other artificial means of growing crops. It is also a way of life.

In organic farming, you use green manure.

Depending on the type of manure, materials such as straw, cow dung and leaf litter are used.

Organic farming not only gives us nutritious food, it also keeps the soil healthy.




As we move towards a sustainable society, organic farming is the way forward.



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