New Farmer (formerly Yogi Farms) began as an experiment in which I (Yogita Mehra) and my partner (Karan Manral) have been involved for the last five years (since 2011).
It began with personal concerns that we had about the quality of food available to us through the markets and then evolved when I began working more closely with farmers as part of my work at an NGO.
After many experiments and interactions with farmers at Chorao Island, Goa (see www.thechoraofarmers.com) I discovered a deep desire to learn to grow my own food, a skill that is sadly being lost amongst the farmers themselves. As “new” occupations are adopted by the younger generation of their families, as they themselves age and as the modern attitude towards farmers tends towards apathy or contempt, the motivation to continue on the farm becomes harder to find. Some small experiments with growing food in various garden patches gave us the confidence to consider taking this up actively ourselves.
We decided that we’d like to not just learn this traditional skill ourselves, but also try moving toward it as our primary occupation over the next few years. This journey, yet incomplete has been and extremely enjoyable experience for us. Hopefully this will result in our having our own farm soon, and the skill to do this well enough to sustain ourselves.
New Farmer, is a forum by which we:
- Grow food organically (for ourselves and some surplus for sale),
- Share our learnings with India’s new organic farmers (through workshops)
- Promote a greater awareness about healthier food