5.16.2011

Annadana Soil & Seed Savers at Ishana, Gopathi Farm

Upon a recommendation, I gave Sangita Sharma a call about helping out at Ishana Gopathi Annadana Farm in Bangalore. Sangita is a passionate eco-activist and is a trustee of Annadana, experts in soil regeneration and seed saving, which has farms in Auroville, Kodaikanal and Bangalore. Annadana provides educational workshops and materials on low cost integrated sustainable farming techniques. Sangita also writes a blog called My Right to Safe Food. Her farm on the outskirts of Bangalore had only in the last nine months been converted into a seed-saving farm and their progress was impressive. Before arriving here I spent several sweltering days at Sai Baba's ashram in Puttaparthi. Since taking photos was not permitted in the huge high-security ashram, I don't have any good visuals to post from my visit there.

A display of some of Annadana's recently harvested open-pollinated seeds

Geetha and Sangita posing with seeds...

Above is a graphic that I designed for Annadana's education program. (Not my photos)

Nagaraj weeding rice paddy

Gopala watering

Sagar, Nagaraj's son

At Annadana, they regularly plant cover crops. These beds were sown with sun hemp, chick pea, cow pea and sorghum.

A few days later seedlings had emerged...


chard

Venkatanna a handicapped farmer with his fresh harvest of beets and radish

To maintain the varietal purity of seeds at Annadana, some plants are covered with nets so their flowers will not cross-pollinate with those of other rows.

Here's Sangita throwing some truth bombs at a cooperative of farmers who came to visit from Andhra Pradesh.

Here's Sangita distributing seed to women farmers.

Rice...


Lettuce going to seed

A view of some of the fields at dusk

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