It was brought home to me again, yesterday, how relentless vegetable farming is and how much it takes for the farmer to supply us good food day in and out. Without realizing that yesterday was Aadi-perukku, a major celebration for the farmers, we were waiting for our supply. That’s when reality struck us, the delivery service had a holiday, most farm workers had taken off. Velusamy, one of our lead farmers was out in the fields harvesting for us, while his wife was making the Payasam. R, our field manager discovered that our fruit farmer Arun didn’t have help with the harvest and rushed there with a temporary worker. Finally, the harvest was done, R, who missed the Aadi perukku feast at his home ate at Velusamy’s place and started for Coimbatore with the fruits and vegetables. Today despite a partial bandh we reach the vegetables to your place due to our ever reliable delivery person Raja.
Most of us are able to take off for festivals, family functions and holidays; however, Velusamy and his brethren have to work on most holidays as vegetable don’t stop growing and a break in delivery would lose them their market. Let us salute these indomitable farmers and their families for feeding as day after day!
However, the situation in Indian farms is grim. The farms that feed us have become the killing fields for the farmers. Farmer suicides have crossed the heart-rending figure of 3,00,000 and continue unabated. One of my colleagues back from Mandya, where many sugarcane farmers killed themselves in the last month. Ninge Gowda was the first, he set fire to his sugarcane fields and burnt to death. It is indeed a sad commentary on our society when our farmers feel such despair.
At this juncture your being part of Bio Basics ( or any other organic venture), which is one among the many many nano social ventures trying to provide a sustainable livelihood to farmers and safe food to consumers , is noteworthy and we would like to thank you on behalf of us and our farmers like Velusamy, Arun, Govindaraj, Thangavel Ayya.
All of us also owe our gratitude to them for feeding us healthy food, come hail or sun or rain or fest… week after week….Let us not forget Wendell Berry’s famous statement which rings true more than ever: EATING IS AN AGRICULTURAL ACT!SHARE it! ... and spread the good word!