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Kalpavruksh farm

Mr. Save started ‘Kalpavruksh' farm in south Gujarat in 1953 year. At that time the use of agrochemicals was just starting to spread in India . Like most farmers he abandoned his father's traditional farming methods and adopted the conventional or chemical farming methods. First he believed that chemical farming was a superior and scientific method. His farm was even used as demonstration farm and scientists of Mumbai and Poona followed his results. But as he was very fond of experimentation he carefully analyzed what happened. At the end of third year he realized that he was spending more and more to get less and less. For that reason he decided to experiment with Organic Farming and started on a small plot, on which the use of chemicals was totally stopped. Initially there was a further drop in production but farm profits were higher than before due to savings on costs of inputs. Each year he converted more acreage into Organic Farming. Steadily, both the soil and the production improved. External inputs of organic matter were gradually reduced. Now, his farm is already 44 years completely free of chemicals. By carefully observing nature he developed a system of Natural Farming which is very productive while conserving the natural resource base.

‘Kalpavruksh' is situated in Umbergaon region, the costal zone of South Gujarat, traditionally known for its orchards of Chickoo (also called sapodilla or sapota) and Coconut trees. The land is nearly flat and receives about 2000 mm rain from the South-West monsoon from June to September. The soil has become very rich in soil life, humus and plant feeding nutrients. Due to the many earthworms and other micro-organisms the soil's structure has become very porous providing excellent drainage, moisture holding capacity and aeration. The maximum depth of water is around 10m.

‘Kalpavruksh' farm is about 14 acres, of which 10 acres are under tree crops, 2 acres for Coconut nursery, and 2 acres for field crops like rice, pulses, vegetables, etc. which are mainly used for home consumption. Main market crops are Chickoo (about 350 trees) and Coconut (about 350 trees). Yearly, about 20000 Coconut saplings are raised and sold. Smaller numbers of banana, papaya, mango, jack-fruit, guava, areca-nut, custard apple, kala jamun, white jamun, drum-sticks, curry-leaves, pepper, passion fruit, etc. are planted in between. Further 2 cows, 1 bull and 2 calves are kept.

Labor requirement is relatively low and well distributed over the year. The main part of the work is done by Mr. Save and his son. Harvesting, washing and sorting of Chickoos is done by 3 employed girls. Approximately 90% of the revenue of the farm comes from Chickoo and Coconut. The other 10% a.o. from banana, curry leaves and honey.