Back in the mid-2000s, there was a backyard horticulturalist in the state of Washington who made a lot of waves across the United States. What’s really interesting about his concept is that it really required very little effort and almost no water to pull off.
Now, this is a big deal because modern agriculture is a very resource-intensive activity. It really is. If you want to produce massive yields, you need a huge amount of land, you need to spend millions of dollars on the right tractor and other heavy-duty farm machinery. You also have to invest a tremendous amount of money on fertilizer, the right seeds and all sorts of inputs.
Now that you have put all these different inputs together, you are then guaranteed, thanks to the science of genetically modified organism engineering or biotechnology, a certain return on investment. That’s how modern large-scale farming is done in places like the United States.
This is a far cry from how things play out in the typical Indian farm. Oftentimes, people don’t even own their land. They have access to community land. If they have access to private land, they are trapped in a very unfair crop-sharing system where 80% or more of the crops are automatically given to the landlord, and they make do with what’s left over.
In fact, a lot of people sign up for such informal agreements not because they want to make money but because they just want to put calories in their stomachs. In other words, they’re just doing it to survive.
These are the people we’re trying to reach out, and we have amazing news for you. By using the back-to-Eden farming methods that were pioneered in the American Northwest, you can make whatever plot of land in India you tend to produce more food, and the best part? It does it on auto-pilot. It’s as if you set things in motion and the farm pretty much takes care of itself.
I know this sounds crazy. I know this sounds far-fetched, but it’s absolutely true because it has worked with many people all over the world. If you need proof of this, just type in back-to-Eden gardening or farming into YouTube, and you would see hundreds of videos of people using this technique.
For Indian farmers, back-to-Eden farming is a bit different. You’re going to have to do everything by hand, and it’s perfectly to use smaller plots of land. Here’s how it works.
What you would do is you would go to the plot of land and clear out all woody vegetation. Try to get permission from landowners of nearby areas where there are a lot of woody plants or trees. Cut down fairly moderately sized and small branches. The leaves, you should strip off and feed to animals if you have them. If you have a goat, this would be great; although cattle would be best.
The branches, you can segregate. The thicker branches, you can turn into charcoal so you can make some money immediately. The thinner branches, you should shred. We’re assuming you don’t have a shredder or a wood chipper. That’s okay. You’re just going to have to take a machete and then the crush and shred these pieces manually until you have enough to cover the small plot of land you have access to.
By covering this plot of land with tree mulch, you are essentially layering slow-release organic fertilizer on a certain area of land. Moreover, make sure that you layer some manure or some organic soil at the bottom. Plant your seeds at this layer and then water the seeds only to the point where they are well established. Once the plant is established, you can stop watering.
After this, magic happens. There is really no other way to describe it. Why? The garden pretty much waters itself because the mulch layer retains the moisture. You don’t have to water it anymore so this saves you a lot of labor.
Moreover, weeding is very easy because the weeds would have to navigate their way through all the wood chips. When they come up, they’re very weak, soft and easy to pull out. So, you can easily pull these out and feed them to your goats. It’s ideal that you have some sort of livestock around. You can have chicken or goats. Ideally, you should have goats or cows. Gather their droppings, dry them and compost them for a couple of weeks and then put them in the layer under the wood chips.
If you do this consistently, your land becomes fatter and fatter, and the yield of whatever you’re planting grows. The best part is water management because you’re not breaking your back drawing water because this garden pretty much waters itself after a certain point.