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  • Writer's picturetribepermaculture

Success story from Anjaneri,Nasik #Client Diaries

Updated: Sep 13, 2022

"Atharva Farms has been a humble abode in the lap of nature not just for our family by also a lot of tourists looking for a retreat in the lap of nature. But every time we visited the farm, we couldn't ignore the amount of unutilised land we had due to extreme slopes and the increasing amount of soil erosion taking place every year. We needed a solution which was sustainable in every sense and could benefit the ecosystem as a whole. Permaculture was just the ideal fit to restore the land, work collaboratively with the village community to bring out the change and also spread awareness to our urban tourists on what it truly mean to lead a sustainable lifestyle.

Tribe Permaculture helped us achieve that and a lot more. From restoring unused spaces through various natural infrastructure, and improving the health of soil, to educating us on the same, they made sure we are equipped to carry forward the work they've set in motion.

Mango trees at Atharva Farms started fruiting around 3-4 years ago. But until the last harvest, we almost never got the expected yield in terms of quality and quantity. Although the Mangoes looked healthy on the outside, they were often infected with fruit flies from the inside. We were never happy with the output in spite of adding chemical pesticides and fertilizers as suggested by some farmers. But something changed drastically last year when @tribepermaculture taught us how implementing some techniques of regenerative farming on the farm would just be the right kind of solution for obtaining sustainable yield. So here's what changed at the farm since Tribe's intervention:

Photo 1: Harvested Mangoes

1. Mulching: We mulched the soil in the entire farm using Rice Straw. This keeps the soil moist always hence reducing the need for excessive watering. The decomposing straw hosts abundance of life (earthworm, healthy bacteria and fungi) underneath it's layer, which improves the health of soil. Mulching prevents sunlight from reaching the ground and prevents growth of unwanted weeds which otherwise compete for nutrients with the main crops.

Photo 2: Rice straw mulch

2. Diversity: We added a LOT of tropical grasses and companion plants between the Mango

trees. Tropical grasses like Lemongrass, Citronella and Vetiver emit strong smell which repel insets and pests. We added some nitrogen fixing trees which helped in replenishing and balancing the nutrient losses.

3. Soil building: We spread a layer of cow dung manure (dried) and millet husk beneath Rice Straw which acted as food for the life that was going to thrive in the soil i.e to increase nutrients.

Photo 3: Moist soil under the mulch

Photo 4: Exposed and eroded soil at places where no mulch was used

A lot has changed since then. This year, the harvested Mangoes were not just abundant but extremely healthy, tasty and had a longer shelf-life. NO CASES of fruit fly attacks were found this year. I think this is the biggest win for the farm! Moreover, we did not use any pesticides and fertilizers in the soil ever since we promised @tribepermaculture to commit to regenerative practices :)"

-Sakshi Gore, Atharva Farms.

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