About us  
Nandish, Paddy Farmer, Karnataka
Nandish who hails from a traditional farm family in Karnataka, chose to take up farming as a full time occupation after his father’s sudden demise and did not attend university. His farm in Churchigundi village near Shikaripur in Shimoga district of Karnataka was his university, his place of learning from nature. Since 2000 Nandish has been experimenting with natural organic farming and he has evolved a system of paddy farming which is both enjoyable and profitable. His mother, wife and daughter support him in all his efforts and the family gets several visitors to their home and farm each month.
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Arijit Bhuyan, Small Tea Grower, Assam
Interview with Anjali Pathak
Q1. Tell us about your journey from working with Williamson Magor to becoming a small grower in Golaghat in a nutshell.
 AB: I am a third generation tea planter. My grand father Late Harihar Bhuyan had set up a tea estate in early thirties in Borpathar fifty kilometer south of Golaghat. My father Late Sarat Chandra Bhuyan stepped into his father’s shoes and managed the estate efficiently which had a processing unit. However in the bad days of Tea in sixties the estate was sold as it became economically unviable. Tea always beckoned me as it had always been in our blood. Therefore soon after I post graduated from Delhi University I thought of joining tea. There had been a few vacancies for Assistant Manager with Williamson Magor; I applied and  got selected. The journey amidst the green bushes began as if the almighty had predestined it for me. However all this while I was learning about tea production with chemical inputs which had deteriorated the environment to an almost irretrievable point. I wanted to reverse the trend. After much contemplation I decided to quit and start on my own. A new journey began  to become a small tea grower. A new story began – the story of Bogamati Organic Tea Estate.
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Purushottambhai Patel, Gujarat

Purushottambhai Patel is a small farmer who owns 7.5 acres of land in village Shekhadi , near Petlad in the Anand district of Gujarat. Through his vision and hard work he has managed to convert his land into a cornucopia of plenty. He adopted organic farming in 2000 and was certified as organic by Jatan Trust in 2007.  Through multicropping, dairying and direct marketing of his produce to urban consumers he now earns a good income. Three of his sons have chosen to follow in his footsteps and assist him in the farm chores. He lives on the land with his family and as there is good road access to his farm, his customers and admirers visit him frequently.

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Shailesh Gor, city farmer, Gujarat

Shailesh Gor, a builder and civil contractor who lives in Bhuj, Kutch  wanted fresh cow’s milk -herefore he bought 2.25 acres of land near Bhuj so that he could keep his own cows. This was in 1995. The land is six kilometers from Shailesh’s residence in Bhuj, at Madhapar, and cost him five lakh rupees per acre.  Although Bhuj has a local vegetable market, the vegetables sold there are trucked in from long distances and become droopy by the time they reach the consumer. So Shailesh decided to grow his own vegetables as well.

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Gede Jutawan, vegetable and fruit farmer, Bali, Indonesia

The journey of Gede Jutawan, a young man from a traditional farming family in Bali, from poverty and hardship to becoming a successful entrepreneur as a fruit and vegetable farmer, is nothing short of miraculous.   Today, Gede owns a fertile 2.5 hectare organic farm in Mayungan called Bali Rungu or “Bali Cares”.  Gede was born in a farm family in Mayungan which is about 3 km from Baturiti and about 40 km. north of Denpasar. Though blessed with good soil and rainfall, many farmers in Bali had adopted chemical farming in recent decades leading to soil depletion and dependency on chemicals. Gede’s family was always non-chemical because they had so little land and produced only to eat, trade and sell in their village. Most farmers grow just 3-4 crops and sell them to a middleman at a distribution point in their vicinity. The middleman takes the produce to the city markets and corners the major profits as well. Gede’s family made about 3,000,000 rupiah ($333) each year from vegetable sales before he started farming organically.

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Bhagchand Ramola, Vegetable Farmer, Garhwal, Uttarakhand

Born into a traditional farming family of Garhwal, Bhagchand Ramola of village Majhgaon in the Saklana valley has prospered through an innovative approach to vegetable growing. Majhgaon is 40 km. from Dehradun and 60-70 km. from Mussoorie. Before being exposed to organic farming, Bhagchand was practicing chemical farming but his crops were decreasing each year and so was his income. A woman farmer who was receiving seeds from Mussoorie Gramin Vikas Samiti (MGVS) told Bhagchand about their outreach program. Subsequently he approached MGVS for support and started receiving seeds from them.

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Peggy and Jon, Pun Pun farm, Mai Tang, Thailand

Pun Pun is a ten acre organic farm, seed saving centre, and sustainable living and learning centre being run by Jon Jandai and Peggy Reents in Mai Tang, about two hours from Chiang Mai town in northeastern Thailand. Pun Pun means "one thousand varieties" in Thai language. The community of about 15 people who live on a permanent basis at Pun Pun farm strives to find more ways to live a self reliant lifestyle by growing organic food, building their own natural homes, and experimenting with low tech appropriate technologies. They seek to bring back the tradition of seed saving amongst farmers and growers by collecting, propagating, and exchanging indigenous and rare varieties. They seek to live simply and continue to learn. Pun Pun is thus a self-sustaining farm not a commercial one. The main aim of Peggy and Jon is to live a good, wholesome life while working the land organically, and encourage others to do the same according to their individual circumstances.

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Pradeep Bhattarai, Nepali Village Farm, Shukranagar, Nepal

Pradeep Bhattarai is a 24 year old farmer who lives on a family farm along with his father Balaram, mother Durga, sisters Pramila and Protishya and grandmother. The Bhattarai family's farm, also known as Nepali Village Farm is situated in Shukranagar, near Chitwan National Park in the terai region of Nepal. Chitwan National Park is a big tourist attraction for visitors. Nepali Village Farm is 2.5 hectares and has been growing various seasonal crops like corn, rice, wheat, buckwheat, sesame, and many vegetables like potato, garlic, onion, tomato, cabbage, cauliflower, beans etc. for subsistence. The surplus is sold as organic produce in the local market.

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Sophea Tek, Organic Entrepreneur, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Currently, the organic sector in Cambodia contributes to less than one percent of agricultural production. Some cashew farmers and black pepper growers have been certified as organic as they are exporting their products. But the vast majority of farmers use chemical fertilizers and pesticides to grow their crops. The scenario around Phnom Penh is changing as the demand for organic food amongst expats, tourists, hoteliers and even the local Cambodians is increasing

The increasing demand for organic vegetables in Cambodia's capital city Phnom Penh, led Sophea Tek to venture into the organic field in 2009. Sophea did an MBA from a local university and after a year of market research, he invested $30,000 of his own money and set up the Green Organic Farm in 2009 in Kandal province near Phnom Penh. This 3 hectare farm grew various types of lettuce and herbs .

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Swami Raghavananda, Home Gardener,Gangotri

Freedom and natural living in the high himalayas

Swami Raghavananda has been living in Gangotri since 1998. He came to Sivananda ashram in Rishikesh in 1984 from Kashmir and moved to Gangotri four years later. Gangotri is a place of pilgrimage for devout Hindus as a temple dedicated to the Goddess Ganga stands here. Eighteen kilometers upstream from Gangotri lies the Gangotri glacier from where the river Ganga originates. Gangotri stands at an elevation of 10,000 ft. from sea level and has a harsh climate with winter temperatures dropping below zero. Spring comes to Gangotri in May with the melting of the snows. The doors of the Gangotri temple are also thrown open to pilgrims in the month of May, closing for the winter  just after the festival of Deepavali.

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