On 8th January, 23+ families came to Organo Et School farm campus to experience the sunrise farmscape, get an overview to natural farming methods, and enjoy the joy of harvesting.
Nature Awareness Activity
We kick-started the activity with a round of introductions and an immersive guided activity to become more nature aware - be the sun on our skin to the wind across our face to the faint call of birds in the vicinity and more. Families were required to remove their shoes and feel the soil under our feet. After this brief but impactful activities, the farm coaches for the day were introduced - Ms. Shilpa Teja, a practising Permaculturist, Mr. Venkatesh Nallimalli, our farm manager, and Mr. Nagaraju, our farm supervisor.
Harvesting - leafys and joy - together
Each family got one large farm patch with two leafys flourishing in them. Half a patch had spinach and half a patch had coriander. Families who came to our farm harvested spinach and coriander with incredible satisfaction and were actively guided by farm coaches on the what, why, differences and how of pruning palak and uprooting coriander.
Along with their children, the families happily took out the scissors to cut the harvest. As some children found it hard to do this, they took the help of their parents. This activity brought out the inner child in each of them. We also had families with 3 generations working together and harvesting the greens.
Breakfast at the Farm
Harvesting was followed by breakfast, served by Organo Antharam’s F&B team. All the families had warm idlis, chutney, sambar, payasam and fresh lime juice.
Using jeevamrutham as a fertilizer has been a part of Indian agriculture since ages. Ancient Indians have figured out that cow dung and cow urine when mixed with few ingredients will improve the microorganisms in soil thereby increasing ability to nurture and build immunity in the plants.
After breakfast, all the families gathered in a circle to make this special bio fertilizer that has all the qualities to boost the growth of plants. Each family sat in front of one small bucket with all the necessary ingredients to make this fertilizer. Explaining the importance of “Jeevamrutham”, Mr. Venkatesh Nallamilli made all the participants add the ingredients like cow urine, cow dung, besan, jaggery and soil in the bucket in required proportions. Later, they mixed the ingredients with their hands till everything dissolved. Parents encouraged the hesitant children to put their hands into the bucket by explaining its importance.
A Surprise with the Soil
We planned a soil activity as a surprise and one of the parents asked what was going to happen next. We said there is going to be a plantation of papaya plants beside our netted house. They all got excited and moved towards the netted house. When all of them gathered at the place where the plants are going to be planted, our farm team demonstrated how to plant the saplings gently in the pits made for them. He showed how much vermicompost is required to be used while planting and advised not to fully cover the plant with mud. All the parents, children and grandparents sat on soil and planted the papaya trees.
Reflections and Queries
After these activities, OES Director Mrs. Meena Murugappan wanted all the participants to reflect on the day and share their experiences. The parents and children shared how this event made them feel and shared what they learnt. They also asked queries about natural farming, upcoming OES programs like Be A Farmer Click to register and Kinder Gardeners click to register and growing their own food in kitchen gardens. Mrs. Meena told all the parents to slowly start growing their food at home, she advised them to start with leafys and slowly progress towards vegetables and finally one day become a producer of their own food. It is necessary to grow food in our own surroundings to ensure what we and our children are consuming is safe food.
Morning well-spent at the Farm
Families were welcomed to send their queries to our Whatsapp number after the event. Musing over the learnings of the day, some parents left the farm and headed home. Others harvested the remaining crop in their pathces to take home.Overall, there was a sense of joy after spending their time meaningfully at OES Children’s farm. This festival turned out to be a spectacular start to the year!
We recognize that for any positive impact to be sustainable, it must be long-term and inter-generational. Organo Et School strives to empower people to embrace eco-living mindsets, behaviors and habits.
Organo Et School is a learning initiative set up by Organo in 2017 and has been facilitating field visits and workshops for Schools and Interest Groups. Organo Et School has had over 25+ schools, 6500+ students and 3000+ adults participate over the last 5 years.
You can find our upcoming workshops here → https://www.organoetschool.co.in/registration
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