The human species has been lucky enough to explore and engage with the environment. But unfortunately, what most of us do is exploit it. To break away from the common notions of a plantation process we at Tat Tvam Asi planned to do things differently. Our concept is pretty simple, “To leave this planet in a better condition than we inherited it.” Organic Farming is so much more than the stereotypical idea of it. It’s a procedure that involves striking a balance between time-tested traditional practices and modern scientific approaches closely in-sync with Mother Nature. A lot is being said about conserving nature but very little has been converted into actions. So here we are, encouraging and engaging in all forms of organic farming. Let’s delve further into what we exactly do.
It all starts with the adoption of all sorts of organic farming primarily on the lines of Permaculture. Might be wondering what exactly is Permaculture? Permaculture which is also known as Natural Farming involves the sustaining of healthy, fertile soils which are done with the help of our diverse Ecosystem. Yes, we let humans, plants, birds, animals, and various other insect species bring them together and employ them to do our farming. This is what builds a strong foundation for Agri-ecology. The secret to our natural organic plantation is the fact we simply follow the principles of nature in a way to prevent disruption. We invite nature to participate as a catalyst in the process of developing crops.
Here is a life cycle of the coffee plant in 3 easy, which a lot of our guests love to sightsee during their farm stay with us. The shrub is planted organically which grows up to 30 feet in height. It then grows into multiple stems through branching, sourcing out from its base. It’s an evergreen coffee plant that thrives at high altitudes (especially arabica coffee).
These coffee plants are shade-loving plants and often require a native tree canopy for its protection. This phenomenon leads to the ecology participating in the growing process and thereby adding some value to the bio-diversity segment. This natural canopy attracts many regional and migratory birds to visit our farms. These birds in turn feed on pests and insects which in turn reduce the heavy dependencies on chemical pest and insect control methods, ultimately leading to naturally grown coffees. Indeed, it’s quite easily said than done. But one who can view the bigger picture on his/her mind (healing nature), never minds working hard.
Our farm is a mammal-friendly farm. It’s a home to many bats, rabbits, and the giant Malabar squirrel, civet cats, macaque, deer, etc. This canopy of native trees provides an ideal habitat and food for a host of species. Apiaries on our farm become our natural pollinators along with the native bee population. And hence, all our coffee flowers are naturally pollinated as well.
We aim to promote ecological awareness and develop sustainable methods of agriculture within the Western Ghats region of India. We have endeavoured to develop this organic plantation along the principles by which Nature is in charge of the land and water resources. The methods we follow are based upon eco-friendly and sustainable model.
- Maintaining a Forest – like canopy above of native trees, and a dense ground cover of weeds between the crops and dense mulching helps to conserve fragile topsoil.
- Step Farming /Contour Terracing on Steep mountain slopes which prevents soil erosion thereby increasing fertility.
- Water Conservation – Our Water conservation efforts are focused on making swale and check dams. A check dam is a small, sometimes temporary, dam constructed across a swale, drainage ditch, or waterway to counteract erosion by reducing water flow velocity.
- Making our own compost from food and other organic waste such a water hyacinth/weeds from estate, indigenous cow breeds to replenish the soil after heavy monsoons.
One of the features of a natural forest that we have tried to conserve here on this plantation is the rich biodiversity prevalent under the canopy of rainforest trees. By leaving uncultivated sectors of natural “weeds” and fauna, we have been encouraging several predatory populations to flourish. As a result, we now have excellent populations of spiders, wasps, dragonflies, frogs, lizards, snakes, and birds, all of which contribute towards building up a diverse and healthy ecosystem.
Chickmangalur Muthodi Road, Kemmangundi, Karnataka – 577131
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