Picture and video essay of Mapletree farms March and April 2020

Our big red onion bunch

I want to summarize the year in pictures with blog posts that serve as reminders of our success and failures in the adventure called no-till organic farming. This year we finally made Mapletree into a collection of small farms to better manage the teams and be more effective at what we do.

Also, the year 2020 marks the implementation of my dream. No-till (no-plow) agriculture for the entire farm. I have been dreaming about no-till for a very long time and since we broke up Mapletree into small independent farms ranging from 3–5 acres, no-till became finally possible.

The picture essay this month contains a lot of pictures and serves as a picture record of the farm activities. It also has some pictures from March. At Mapletree we have seen all kinds of difficulties of running a farm and we believe its time to help other farms struggling to make ends meet while doing organic farming.

Using chemicals in agriculture is death to the health of the environment, death to the diversity of species, destruction of nature’s intelligent mechanisms by human intrusion(there will be another blog to demonstrate this), death to farmers who work in the farm and disease to consumers of this chemically grown food. There are a bunch of people who do not have a clue about organic farming and have decided to push chemicals as a profitable industry. They believe that Organic farming is not sustainable and publish false propaganda. There can be nothing further from the truth. Organic No-till farming is the only sustainable way to farm. We have documented records to prove this. The worldwide organic Industry is more than 100 billion dollars and is sustaining very well. Mapletree farm stands as the answer to all of those critics who are part of the chemical farming community and water and cocopeat based hydroponic farming industry. They have decided to forget the basic fact. Soil is the basis of all life. Because of no-till, we have started using one-sixth the water of regular organic farms and other farms because the soil retains much more water. We need not irrigate for more than 15 days after a decent rain. Most of our plantings have no disease and have started giving record yields. Come to our farm to find out more. We have plans to build the ecosystem with native hedgerows as well.

To plow soil is death to soil (there will be another blog to demonstrate this). Mapletree farm is a 100% no-till farm. No-till is not new to India. Narayana Reddy, Baskar Save, AP Chandrasekar, and many such smart farmers did not do much tillage at all. Masanobu Fukuoka grew record yields of rice paddy and legumes with no disease in his no-till soil. No-till farming does carbon sequestration much better that tillage based organic farming. Soils improve in terms of soil biology in a very big way and fungal networks in soil increase to high levels. Plants are much more healthy as shown by their pigmentation because they have high nutrient content. If you eat from this soil, you can fight disease just like the plants do at Mapletree Farm. They do not need organic pesticides as the soils keep improving and the ecosystem builds up. They can fight insect attacks and diseases because of their high immunity from the rich soil biology feeding it. Your immunity will increase by eating from these plants.

This writing is applicable to farmers and farming because they need a lot of courage to continue farming
From Left to right: A small part of our big team, Chellappa, Sridhar, Shankar, Poolpandi, Sankar, Ilango
Kaliraj Senior, Our harvest and inventory manager
From L to R: Mariappan, Suresh jr, Sankar, Kaliraj Senior
Sweetpotato seedlings
Our value-added products team — Birender and Tikkaram
Our Chief of operations Baranidharan Sivaprakasam trying his hand with BCS740 tractor with help from Maharaja Pandian @ farm2

Thank you for reading this picture and video blog — Shankar Venkataraman, CEO and Lead Farmer at Mapletree Farm.



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Shankar Venkataraman

Farmer, author, farming teacher, public speaker. Areas of Agriculture and technology in Agriculture.