It’s all started on 5th july Friday night when I started to Kiruba Shankar’s Vaksana Farm, which is located in a village near Tindivanam. That night I reached the bus terminus where I met the “The Weekend Agriculturist”, a team of enthusiastic people who gave me many surprises throughout the weekend.
With a little hello and handshakes, I was introduced to some people in the group. We got one bus and within an hour the bus stopped for dinner. Surprisingly we had tasty and yummy parotas and dosa, which tempted us to eat more. We totally forget that the bus was waiting for us. By the time we finished eating, our bus driver started honking for us and conductor started to call. We somehow finished and got back to the bus.
Then we reached the bus stop, Kiruba’s dad came to pick us. We reached his farm house by 11. As soon as we entered the house, we all started to admire his beautiful house. Built in Chettinad style, it had pillars, an open hall with many vintage collections, cleanly arranged kitchen and bamboo sofas. The bathroom was so beautiful that we were taking photos of it. Yes, it was so unique and we were appreciating Kiruba’s idea. Then we got pillows and mat and we were ready to sleep.
As instructed, we got up by 5.30am and Kiruba took the team for a morning walk through his farm. As we started, Harish (The Weekend Agriculturist Team Member) broke some neem sticks and distributed to all. He also taught us how to use it. Yuk, it was not so tasty J . Then Kiruba was explaining various things about his village culture, what kind of irrigation they used to follow, his farming plan, etc. He also showed a huge well that he named as “Amudhasurabi”. After various instructions and morning lessons he showed Laskmi (cow) and assigned our first work there. Yes, he asked us to cut some grass to feed the cow. Some of us ran to the filed, cut some grass and gave to Lasksmi. Then we got our tools to dig holes to plant trees. We dug some 5 to 6 holes and by the time we got delicious Keppai Koozh for breakfast.
While eating, we all started to introduce our self in brief. There I was shocked to listen about some people speech especially from “Sri Kannan” (who talked on how he is bridging his village people to corporate people by contacting HR and other details) and “Rady”. (Wow, he was the hero in that Group. Highly talented and multi-skilled gentleman).
Then we got our brand new sickals (tool to cut) and baskets (annakudai) and went to harvest Keppai. In all enthusiasm, we entered the farm and before starting to harvest we heard one big NO from the garden keeper saying we should start from the other side of the farm. (Some auspicious or sentimental not sure). So, we all went to the other side of the farm and divided ourselves in two groups and started harvesting. It was new experience and we completed one side of the farm.
Then we bought lunch from hotel and had a small nap after eating. We again woke by 5 and worked in farm for another two hours and by the time it became dark and we got fresh vegetables from market. Rady prepared our delicious and yummy dinner. Others were helping him in cutting vegetables, holding candles and light since there were no current. We had dinner in candle light, strong cold breeze, and heavy rain spiced with plenty of interseting conversations.
While sleeping, some were asking to tell stories or sing songs. Then “Saravana Kumar” who came front to tell his own story and poem. His passion on Tamil language and knowledge about Tamil culture awed me. His poem about Kadal Kadhal (Lovers in Beach) portraying all the current happening in Chennai. His poem has also been published in various web portals and his first book is getting ready. Then we all slept happily after listening to one funny story from him.
We all woke by 5.30am and went for walk. This time, we went to other part of village and took some photos sitting near well. Then we all went back to the field to build bed for plants. Thanks again to Kiruba who took a lesson on how much space should we maintain while planting trees and what width should be maintained so that water can pass along and many other details. Rady was the hero again who did most of the work and helped many of us. Even Harrish, Tamil, and others gave suggestions on how to do this work.
We were struggling with wet clay and our tools were getting struck in the soil making us more difficult to work. Then one old person came to the farm and gave some tips to Rady on how to remove the clay from the tools. Wow, we all were just and spectators and that old person taught us how to clean them and work efficiently.
Since it was Sunday, there were some of Kirbas followers who also visited the Farm. One such visitor who came was one old grandmother. She helped us in cooking our lunch and I could see so much happiness on that grandmother’s face. She might have thought about her old days or some happy moments not sure, but she was just happily sitting there and seeing us work. Then, we all ate after hard work in the field. Thanks to Saravana Kumar and his friends who actually made the main course for the lunch. We all had a heavy lunch, then there was small “Social Media” session from Kiruba.
After all the sessions, some started leaving the farm and even we were packing to get ready. Then Kirba requested us to wait till his Dad came because that day was his birthday and Kirba had planned a surprise celebration. His Dad, Mom, and Snowy (puppy) came to the farm and we all were talking and playing with that cute puppy. After some time myself and Kiruba went to the farm and Kirba asked me to harvest his first watermelon while he was capturing the first harvest. All were so happy to see the first fruit from the Farm. We brought the watermelon and used that as birthday cake for his Dad. His dad cut the fresh watermelon and we all shared the sweet and fresh organic fruit. I think this is the best birthday celebration for any farmer. Then we all started and came home.
- Agriculture is very important for any nation and for county like India, it is the backbone still. Youths have to take up agriculture
- Importance of organic farming
- One cow is enough to enrich 3 acre of land
- Even one feet distance is enough to plant some varieties of trees
- The manure must be covered and must put on the sides of the plant
- Water and manure should be present one feet away from the plant
- Difficulties of Farmers
- Need some tools and machine to minimize manual effort
- Social Media’s power can be unleased to change this state of India.. and pull more peope towards its tradition.