Organic Farming :: Miscellaneous

1. Role of APEDA in Organic Farming

2. ITK in Organic Farming

3. Homo Farming

4. Maharishi Vedic Farming

5. Agnihotra

6. Amrutpani

7. Companion planting in Organic Farming

8. Quality improvement in food crops through Organic Farming System

9. Biopreservatives


1. Role of APEDA in Organic Farming

Further details can be viewed in the following web address

http://www.apeda.com/organic/

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2. ITK in Organic Farming

Heritage of Indian Agriculture

Almanac-Panchangam

Indigenous Technical Knowledge (ITK)

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3. Homoeofarming

The name 'homoeo-pathy' is derived from the Greek words ‘homoios’ for similar and pathos for suffering or illness.
Samuel Hahnemann, the developer of the modem homoeopathic method of medicine, discovered in 1827 that when a remedial substance was diluted and then shook or knocked and repeated the process several times, the end result was remedy which had lost its toxicity and simultaneously had acquired a stronger medicinal property with a greater curing effect That is why he called this processing 'potentizing'.

Advantages of homoeofarming

  • It is a total and complete organic farming with assured yields.
  • Produces healthy soils, healthy plant life and healthy yields.
  • Improves the condition of humus - helpful to soil bacteria and beneficial soil insects and microbes
  • Restores natural taste, color and flavor of the yields. The cooking quality of rice and other cereals improved very much.
  • Reduces incidence of pests and diseases and thereby the need of pest control measures
  • Poison-free pest control methods.
  • Poison-free fodder and food.
  • No environmental pollution and ecological disturbance
  • The plants are not subjected to shocks due to chemical fertilizers and chemical pesticides
  • Safe to handle by the plant-protectors.
  • No accidental poisoning, suicidal incidents etc.
  • No chance of developing immunity to pesticides by the pests
  • No possibilities of developing new pests, as the pests are not killed.
  • Easy to carry and handling charges are nil. Foe example 200-450 ml (1 kg max) of Tincture per acre is sufficient as against 50 - 100 kg of chemical fertilizers.
  • These are cost-effective (200-300% less than chemicals.) So it is very much helpful to small and marginal farmers.
  • Leads to sustainable Agriculture.

4. Maharishi Vedic Organic Agriculture

Maharishi Vedic Organic Agriculture is natural agriculture free from all poisonous fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, grown by farmers enjoying Vedic consciousness. It is higher consciousness spontaneously in harmony with the rhythms and cycles of nature on the local and cosmic levels and utilizing the Vedic sounds - the sounds of natural law to awaken the inner intelligence of the plants, so that their growth and health-giving, nourishing properties are maximized to uplift the consciousness and promote a peaceful, healthy life for all who eat them.

The goal of Maharishi Vedic Organic Agriculture is to re-enliven Natural Law in agriculture, bringing the farmer, the process of farming and the environment in complete harmony with each other. Natural Law is the unseen intelligence of nature that upholds and nourishes all life. Vedic agriculture will produce Vedic food, the purest, most nutritious and most vital food available anywhere. Vedic food is vibrant in the total potential of Natural Law. It brings the intelligence of nature directly into our human physiology to create a mind and body capable of living higher states of consciousness - the full potential of life.


5. Agnihotra

Agnihotra is a healing fire from the ancient science of ayurveda. It is a process of purifying the atmosphere through a specially prepared fire performed at sunrise and sunset daily. Agnihotra utilizes the combined effect of various factors involved in its science viz., burning of specific organic substances like cow's ghee, rice grains, twigs of plants like vata, audumbar, palaash, peempal and bael etc and thereby injecting the atmosphere with nutrients. The mantra vibrations chanted too have a healing and relaxing effect on the atmosphere and all the living beings. Anyone in any walk of life can do Agnihotra and heal the atmosphere in his/her own home. Hundreds of thousands of people all over the world have experienced that Agnihotra leads to greater clarity of thought, improves overall health, gives one increased energy and makes the mind more of love. Agnihotra also nourishes plant life and neutralizes harmful radiation and it harmonizes the functioning ofPrana (life energy) and can be used to purify water
resource. The practice of Agnihotra is simple, easily adoptable and universal. It may be performed by all irrespective of barriers like religion, sect, creed, nationality, color, sex and age.

Agnihotra is an ancient science given in Sanskrit language at the time of creation. Sanskrit was never anyone's mother tongue; it is a language of vibration. We can make changes in the atmosphere with Sanskrit mantras and fire prepared with specific organic substances, tuned to the sunrise/sunset biorhythm. The fire is prepared in a small copper pyramid of specific size and shape. Brown rice, dried cow dung (manure) and ghee (clarified unsalted butter) are the substances burned. Exactly at sunrise or sunset mantras are spoken and a small amount of rice and ghee is given to the fire. There is not just energy from the fire; subtle energies are created by the rhythms and mantras. These energies are generated into the atmosphere by fire. This, in addition to the qualities of the materials burned, produces the full effect of this healing Homa (healing fire).


6. Amrutpani

Amrut is the heavenly drink, which refreshes the gods and has the power to resurrect the dead. In the same manner, Amrutpani invigorates the living soil and converts a dead soil into a living one. Amrutpani is liquid manure prepared by Ahimsak Rishi-Krishi Despande technique. Like Panchagavya, Amrutpani is also used to improve the soil fertility.

Preparation of Amrutpani

200 litres of, Amrutpani is needed for one acre of farm land, which is prepared as under:

Materials required

1. Quarter kilo of ghee (clarified butter) from a desi (indigenous breed) cow
2. Half kilo of honey
3. 10 kilo of fresh dung from a desi cow
4. 200 litres of water

Process

Thoroughly mix quarter kilo of ghee into 10 kilos of cow dung. Blend half kilo of honey into this mixture and add 200 litres of water stirring all the time. The mixture thus obtained is Amrutpani.

How to use Amrutpani?

Sugarcane, turmeric, ginger etc. should be planted after dipping into Amrutpani. In the case of crops where the seedlings are transplanted, the roots can be dipped into Amrutpani before planting. While watering sugarcane and other crops with canal or well water, Amrutpani can be mixed in the main watering channel stirring all the time. For rain fed or monsoon crops the seeds need dressing. When the soil is damp, it should be drenched with Amrutpani. Between the rows and not directly on the plants.

While planting seedlings of crops such as chilli, tobacco or fruit trees, the small amount of water, which is needed to wet the area around the plants, should be Amrutpani. Excess of Amrutpani is always beneficial and will not harm the young plants.


7. Companion planting

Companion planting refers to the practice of planting more than one crop in the row or planting a different crop between two rows of a like crop. It is theorized that or aroma of certain plants are inhibitory to some diseases or insects. Companion cropping can effectively use garden space and is particularly useful with small gardens. If companion cropping is used, select companions with care to avoid shading or excessive, competition for water and nutrients.

Vegetable Companion crop Antagonist
Asparagus Tomato, parsley, basil  
Beans Potato, carrot, cucumber,
cauliflower, cabbage, sum
Onion, garlic, gladiolus
Brinjal Beans  
Bush beans Potato, cucumber, corn,
strawberry, celery, summer
Onion
Beet
Crucifers
Onion, Kohl rabi
Aromatic plants, potato,
celery, sesame, chamomile,
sage, peppermint, rosemary,
Pole beans
Strawberry, tomato
Carrot Peas, leaf lettuce, chive,
onion, leek, rosemary, sage,
Sesame
Celery Leek, tomato, bush beans  
Chive Carrot Peas, beans
Com Potato, peas, beans, cucumber  
Cucumber Beans, com, peas, radish Potato, aromatic plants
Leek Onion, celery, carrot  
Lettuce Carrot, radish, strawberry  
Onion and Garlic Beet, strawberry, tomato,
lettuce, summer savory,
Beans, peas
Parsley Tomato, asparagus  
Peas Carrot, turnip, radish, cucumber Onion, garlic, gladiolus
Pole beans Com, summer savory, sun Onion, beet, kohl rabi
Potato Beans, com, cabbage, horse Pumpkin, squash,
cucumber, sunflower
Radish Peas, nasturtium, lettuce,
cucumber
 
Soybean Compatible with all crops  
Spinach Strawberry  
Strawberry Bush beans, spinach, forage Cabbage
Sunflower Cucumber Potato
Tomato Onion, parsley, asparagus, marigold, carrot potato, fennel, cabbage
Turnip Peas  

8. Quality improvement in food crops through organic farming systems

Producing crops using fertilizers and chemicals has come to be known as conventional agriculture. Environmental concerns, possible pesticide residues in foods and declining energy resources have breathed new life into alternative forms of production such as organic farming. Foods that are organically farmed are seen as more natural, healthier and perhaps of higher quality. Organically grown foods are cultivated without synthetic pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. A food that is described as 'organic' simply means a food in its purest form, grown or produced without chemical aid. Organic farming keeps harmful chemicals and pesticides out of the food we eat and beverages we drink.

The chemical approach for increased production has many drawbacks and hazardous consequences and mankind has to pay a heavy price in terms of carcinogenic, mutagenic and reproductive defects. Compared to 50 years ago, today's regular fruits and vegetables contain astonishingly less vitamins and minerals.

Example: Today cultivated potato has lost the following percentage of nutrients. The injudicious use of pesticides and herbicides has been found to cause an increase in the incidence of cancer and other serious diseases through the toxic residues in the edible plant parts. According to Environmental Protection Agency, pesticides are rated as third-highest risk factor for cancer incidences. Organic foods are required in a number of alternative treatments, including alternative cancer therapies. It is widely assumed that any benefit derived from organic foods is due to an absence of pesticide residues. Many foreign countries have directed their attention to the study of organic agriculture and organic foods.


9. Biopreservatives

In today's food industry, chemical preservatives are commonly used to maintain raw material quality, to ensure safety and stability of the products during their extended shelf life. But consumers world over prefer food products that are natural, additive free, have less salt and acceptable shelf life with assured quality. However, the use of chemical preservatives to inhibit growth of spoilage bacteria in modem food systems has been recognized as deterrent to health. Thus this has necessitated the need to exploit the natural biological substance from plants, animals and microorganisms, which are safe for human health and are capable of producing substances that act as preservatives, called 'Biopreservatives'.

Herbs Parts used Antimicrobial compounds Action Microbial spectrum
Garlic Bulb Allicin (2- propenyl 2- penthiol sulfinate) Bactericidal,
antibacterial
B.cereus, S.aureus,  Candida, Salmonella
Onion Bulb Allicin Growth inhibitor bactericidal E. Coli, Shigella, Enterobacter, Pseudomonas,
Oregano Leaves Thymol Inhibits growth and toxin
production
S. typhimurium, A.flavous, Pediococcus spp., Pathogenic and nonpathogenic
fungi.
Ginger Rhizome Gingerin Antimicrobia Bacillus, micrococcus
spp., Staphylococcus.
Cinnamon Bark Cinnamic aldehyde Inhibits mould growth and mycotoxin production. A.parasiticus, Staphylococcus and Bacillus etc.
Clove Bud Euganol Antifungal/ antimycotic B.subtilius and Aspergillus etc.
Vanilla Leaves Vanillin Antifungal& antimycotic Aspergillus, Pathogenic and Nonpathogenic fungi.
Tea, Coffee, coca Leaves & seeds Caffeine Antibacterial, antifungal Aspergillus, Penicillium, Salmonella,  Bacillus etc.,

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Source

Selvaraj, N., B.Anita, B.Anusha and M.Guru Saraswathi. 2006. Organic Horticulture creating a more sustainable farming. Horticultural Research Station, Udhagamandalam.

 

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