We started out in 2012 with an approximately 800 sq. mt. farm plot located in Taleigao (Goa), which was lent to us by a generous neighbour who wants to promote organic farming in the village.
In subsequent seasons we increased our growing of vegetables to 2 new farms – a 1 Hectare mixed farm Santacruz (Goa) and another 1 Acre plot in Taleigao. At both these new farms we worked with the owners to help fill the knowledge gap during the set up process of the farm, and get to use their space for our continuing growing experiments.
You can have a closer look at the farms using the links below:
Almeida Farm (Taleigao, Goa) – images from the 2nd season
Pinto Farm (Santacruz, Goa) – images from the 2nd season
Taleigao Farm 2 (Taleigao, Goa) – images from the 1st season
Our growing season begins in November and goes on till May every year (typical winter and summer). The monsoons however, are usually a period of rest and rejuvenation both for us, and for the land we cultivate.
The purpose of our own growing experiments is three-fold:
- It lets us learn more and gain experience in growing vegetables in larger quantities than we have in the past
- We have the opportunity to introduce some new vegetables that don’t traditionally grow here to local farmers
- Our surplus produce is sold to recover some of the investments that we have made
- We develop a more diverse farm business model which is part of our coaching for new organic farmers through our workshops
As you will read elsewhere, our current location isn’t permanent.
The farm is managed by Hanish, a young man with an interest in agriculture. About 70% of the work is actually undertaken by them, with our intervention being largely centred around guiding them, managing and creating the processes needed, selecting and sourcing inputs like manure, seeds and organic pest repellents – and of course finding a market for our produce.
Most of our own learning has come from reading, learnings from other farmers, agricultural scientists and officers and our own experiments on the farms, supplemented by books from the Other India Book Store and other research sources. But we’ve benefited from invaluable advice and assistance provided by too many people to mention here. Experience however, is the most important teacher of them all.
More Photos: Taleigao Winter Farm 2011-12