organic farming in the city of udaipur

"grow local, eat local, energize the local"

 

What is organic farming?

Organic farming is known in India as desi farming.   It is the process of growing food (fruits, vegetables, grains and pulses) in ways that are natural and in balance with the local ecology.  In contrast with industrial-chemical agriculture (Green Revolution), organic farmers use natural seeds (not genetically engineered, hybrid seeds), natural fertilizers like animal manure and bio-waste (not petro-chemicals), and natural pesticides like neem (not chemical poisons). 

 

Why should we do organic farming in Udaipur?

Citizens of Udaipur have many reasons to organically grow food in their gardens and on their rooftops —

1.  for ourselves: Organically grown fruits, vegetables, grains and pulses do not contain toxic chemicals that cause cancer, cardiac depression, vomiting, allergies, and many blood/organ diseases.  By organic farming, we use our minds and bodies to grow healthy food for our families and neighbors (and also save money!).

 2.  for Mother Nature: Organic farming helps to regenerate the earth, because it is in balance with Mother Nature — unlike Green Revolution agriculture, which has destroyed bio-diversity, produced ‘super pests, eroded soil, wasted water, and polluted heavily.

 3.  for our villages: Villages near Udaipur today are struggling, because the unsustainable City continues to take resources — land, water, forest, people — from them.  If citizens of Udaipur begin to meet some of their food needs, then villagers will be able to put time, energy and resources into regenerating themselves. 

 4.  for our city:  Organic farming can benefit each family in the city, with healthy food and with new learning opportunities.  Growing our own food re-connects us to our sthani parampara and helps to revive it. Udaipur’s citizens can be leaders in India and the world, setting an example of how self-sufficient, resource-conserving, and healthy a city and its people can be. 

 

How can we do organic farming in Udaipur?

- Seeds: We will use desi seeds, not genetically-modified/hybrid seeds (which need fertilizers, pesticides or vast quantities of water). 

- Soil/Fertilizer:  We will use the rich earth of Udaipur and make our own fertilizer with a compost of the organic waste materials of our homes: fruit/vegetable peels, food scraps, grass clippings, fallen leaves, dried flowers, animal dung, etc.

- Water:  Since Udaipur has been suffering from drought for these last several years, we will have to be sure to conserve water.  Families can gather water for their plants by recycling waste water in their homes — water from bathrooms, kitchens, and clothes-washing which is not contaminated with detergents or chemicals. 

- Connections:  We will make new connections, to other families and local farmers, to seeds, dirt, insects, birds and water.

What follows are some images from rooftop, terrace, and ground-level organic farming efforts by different families in Udaipur.   We hope these pictures give you a sense of what is possible, and inspire you to begin to grow organic fruits, vegetables and herbs at your own home.

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