Pandurang Shitole (Shitole Kaka)
Conversations with Rajendra Bhatt – farm expert on “the path of toxins from farm to body”
His thoughts on modern style of food consumption, the lifestyle and resulting issues we face need to be shared to all
Geeta Tai is a well known name in the Farm experts group. Retired as an accountant in Defence office in Pune, she has been an organic farmer, supplier to consumers, trainer to farmers and a knowledge resource for traditional food. She learnt farming at Urli-Kanchan at Gram Rajya Trust with Chandra tai Kirloskar. In 1997 she arranged a 150 farmers training at this trust with many experts including Shri Subhash Palekar. To connect these hard working farmers with consumers and get a fair price, she made a consumer supported agriculture group wherein consumers were educated to buy and eat all the produce from the farm; thus developing a strong selling model for farmers. She even started a shop for organic produce in Aundh, Pune. She is a part of the Khalad farmer’s ‘Abhyaas Gat’ that shares and documents all farm learnings at regular intervals.
Shree Shirish Pawar
An ardent follower of Great Masanobu Fukuoka. It is a pleasure to see VANITAJI breaking the shackles along Shrishji. This wonderful couple has created magic at 15 Gunthe farm at Shivaji Nagar, near Kadegaon (Karad) – District Sangli.
Around 1995 the journey started. A young wannabe farmer visits the BALIRAJA office and sees a copy of ONE STRAW REVOLUTION – Masanobu Fukuoka. This moment revolutionized the person. He bought the book with small money left in his pocket, which is just adequate to buy a bus ticket back home. He starts reading the book and gets hypnotised. He develops an unending thirst to meet the great MASANOBU SAN.
By that time he was holding three acre farm from his father and ancestral line. He started experimenting on the lines of MASANOBU SAN. First 7 years did not yield results. The confusion reigned. But then he started rephrasing MASANOBU SAN. Slowly his farm started responding to the ideas.
Shirishji had made wildest imaginable efforts to reach to MASANOBU SAN. The list is long and weird. Driving on a motorbike to MASANOBU SAN in Japan, Reaching Japan via China and so on… The strong will ended with MASANOBU SAN’s death.
Last 15 years the farm has not been tilled. Broadcasting and Mud-balling has changed to piercing technique. Multilayer Multi-cropping is at its peak. He does not use animal based fertilisers and pesticides. Mulching by biomass is used to the maximum. No vegetation within the boundaries of farm is allowed to go out or get burned. Every single piece of vegetation is recycled into soil.
In those 15 Gunthe, all possible nutrients are generated and harvested by cultivating right crops. All genomes are preserved and carried forward by self. No market intervention is allowed. A small and beautiful self-sustained lifestyle is designed. In this endeavour VANITAJI is taking more than equal part to make this model practicing reality. Shirishji and Vanitaji are living FUKUOKA LIFE STYLE, a very rare sight. This is not farming, it is living on the guiding principles of FUKUOKA.
Shirishji appeals to SOIL that “your real child is weed, but please allow your adopted son to grow for me”. The adopted child is rice, jowar, corn and so on… and Soil responds in abundance.
Dr. Rahul Marathe
Dr. Rahul Marathe is a Pune city based entomologist, owner and young entrepreneur at “Mitrakida”. He is working for more than two years in rearing of beneficial insects. Beneficial insects are predatory insects in nature and feed on other insects only; hence safe to use. This is a natural and safe alternative for pesticides and insecticides. The farm produce is 100% poison (pesticide) free and helps the grower to get good value for his product.
At Mitrakida we have Green lacewing, Tricocards, Praying mantis, Transverse Lady bird beetles and Entomopathogenic Nematode (VajraM) formulation. Consortium of these insects works well in gardens and farms.