I am not a great farmer or gardener; in fact far from it; fumbling along with more enthusiasm than know-how. When we had some indoor plants in our Mumbai apartment years back, they would regularly die and I heard my better-half tell someone who came home, with a poker face, that the pots was an art installation about “stages of plant death”.  I have graduated from a few pots in the balcony to a garden and a farm, my farming skills haven’t improved significantly. My enthusiasm and energy trumps better sense; I pluck weeds; dig the ground, harvest, whatever, all organically and did manage to grow pulses, oil seeds and millets. I could in the process pluck the crop instead of the weeds or harvest something which is not yet mature, or something else, again giving my better half to coin  my farming efforts as “do something farming” ( instead of the famous “do-nothing farming” propounded by Masanobu Fukoka , the father of modern day organic farming).

(Picture from the beautiful and incomparably poignant children’s book titled “The lion and the bird”)

Having said that gardening is what taught me to respect farmers, the enormous skills they possess , the resilience they have and the patience they display in dealing with the vagaries of nature, the uncertainties of seasons and the hard work they put in, without a break,  to grow food for us season after season…year after year.

So on this World Environment Day, coming up on June 5th   let us resolve to grow something. I believe that kitchen gardening, growing some herbs or some greens, planting a few fruit trees is a responsibility all of us have to undertake . There is really no choice, we have to learn and we have to do it..we could start with herbs like pudina and lemon grass and greens like palak and parippu keerai …easy to grow and maintain. All this while trying to eat organic and use chemical free toiletries and cleaning materials , so as not to burden the earth, whose toxic load is increasing thanks to humans!

Bio basics is getting our first set of organic seeds from one of our favourite seed producers, Sahaja seeds. They are based in Karnataka and most of the seeds are from Karnataka farmers, however we believe that the seeds would work in TN also. Those of you who are thinking of starting a garden could get a bunch of seeds and try those. Please don’t give up on organic farming/gardening and farmers. Support organic farmers, support organic farming and grow and eat organically! 

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