Natural farming, as the name suggests, involves the use of only natural materials for agriculture. This is one of the most sustainable method of farming as the things which are needed for the growth of the plant are available around the root zone of the plants. Also known as “Rishi Kheti”, natural farming makes use of vedic principles and believes in non-violent farming method. Thus it is based on the five principles of
- No Tillage
- No Pesticides / Hebicides
- No Chemical Fertilizers
- No Pruning
- No Weeding
In this method of farming, instead of using machines for tilling the land, microorganisms, earthworms and small animals are used for the same. The logic behind this is that, while machines can plow up to 20 centimeters, earthworms can dig up to 7 meters of land. The result – you get a well tilled soil which is brimming with nutrition due to the presence of earthworms’ excretions.
Another advantage is that as the grass seeds in the soil do not come to the surface, you will face no weeding problems.
No Pesticides / Herbicides
This is closely linked to the ‘no tilling’ aspect. Natural farming believes in the fact that herbicides are harmful not just for the weeds, but effects the health of humans. Thus instead of killing the weeds, they are used for mulching. The best example for this is the use of clover and rye in the farms to prevent soil erosion, supresses pests and serve as an organic fertilizer.
No Chemical Fertilizers
As chemical fertilizers are harmful not just for the plants but to the environment as well, natural farming is strongly against its use. Rather natural fertilizers like neem oil/ cake, Pancha Gavya, Fish Amino Acid etc. These natural fertilizers provide the soil with all the important nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorous, calcium and other elements. As compared to the chemical fertilizers, not only are they cheap but also far more effective.
Along with these things, natural farming makes use natural inputs like oriental herbal nutrient, fermented plant juice, indigenous microorganism to enhance the fertility of the soil and improve the yield. Oriental herbal nutrients include water-soluble calcium from eggshells, phosphoric calcium from animal bones and seawater as well as lactic acid bacteria (exactly which is found in yoghurt).
Fermented plant juice, on the other hand, is made by fermenting parts of plants in brown sugar. Indigenous microorganisms are collected from nearby fields and forests with the help of a lunch box with steamed rice. As these microorganisms have survived and adapted to the local place for several decades, they are not only safe and cheap but also effective in improving the health of the soil and the crops.
Benefits of natural farming
So in case you are still wondering on why you should take up natural farming, then here are some major benefits of this sustainable mode of production:
Poison-free and high of nutrients
As no chemical pesticides and herbicides are used in this farming process, you can stay assured that your vegetables and fruits are not loaded with harmful chemicals. These chemicals make you a target of cancer and cardiac problems. Along with being free of poisonous chemicals, natural farming gives you crops which are high on nutritive values. They are rich in all the essential vitamins and minerals and thus boost the natural immunity of your body. This surely is one of the best ways in which you and your family can stay disease-free.
Better taste and longer shelf life
Naturally grown food has better taste as compared to those grown in the conventional manner. Brix score which is used in testing the quality of fruits and vegetables before they are exported, always ranks these products on the top scale as they have the right sugar content which in turn improves the nutrition of the plants.
Also as the cellular structure of naturally grown plants are superior as compared to the conventional ones, they can stored for a longer period of time without being susceptible to rapid rotting. This way you also save money as you do not have to buy vegetables as frequently as you do at present.
Lower input cost and drought resistant
As everything used in this farming method is natural, the input cost is minimal. Thus this method is totally budget friendly and being drought resistant you can easily make it a part of your home garden.
Thus natural farming is perhaps the best way to grow crops, without causing any harm to your body as well as our environment. Switch to natural farming and see a positive change in your health.