In our effort to
maintain rich bio-diversity and also strive for self sustenance
plant life at our farm has been deliberately planned to be as
varied as possible. Large part of 8 acres (appx. 6 acres)
is planted with trees of various species. We feel rich mix of
trees are essential for sustainable farming. Planting of
different trees was also our first step towards creating a
We have a mix of trees that can generate income
over the long run (eg. Coconut, Mango, Sapota), timber variety
(Teak, Silver Oak, Acacia, Rosewood), to attract birds (Nerle,
Banyan, Peepal, Indian Fig) and some just because they either
sounded new or felt we were seeing less of them elsewhere. We
now have about 2500+ saplings covering about 100+ species. More
details about trees at Vanashree here.
Grass, to us, is an
integral part of our eco-system. This is not just fodder for our
cattle, it also prevents erosion but most importantly
sustains numerous insects, birds and animals. Though most of the
cereals also come under grass category we have deliberately
avoided discussing them in this page.
Our vegetable patch
is more like a large kitchen garden, as we are not trying to
grow them for commercial purposes. Most vegetables are grown in
a patch of about 2500 sft. There are times when we end up having
just 1 or 2 vegetables for the entire week but we compensate
variety with quantity during those times but we are certainly
happy about eating what is grown by us.
Rice, Wheat, Ragi and Maize along with
various pulses form critical part of
cereal cultivation. Though pulses strictly don't belong in
cereals class...since cultivation of cereals and pulses are
inter twined. Rice, Wheat, Ragi and Maize are 4-5 month crop
depending upon the variety chosen. Ragi has always been
intercropped with various pulses. Going forward we have decided
to experiment intercropping even rice, wheat and maize with
pulses. Pulses are one of best and most effective natural
nitrogen fixers. They being neighbours to rice, wheat and maize
are likely to aid in supplying of nitrogen.
Any plant you come across have flowers.... some
with vibrant colours and very attractive. Some with not so
attractive but still serving the same purpose as the attractive
ones. Whether wild ones or cultivated, attractive or not so....
they seem to tell us loud and clear that they are all same.