A two day hands-on organic farming workshop was arranged by ‘Annadana’ on 8th and 9th of Sept 2012 at Ishana,Gopathi farms,Bangalore.One of our supporters, Heather Formaini, generously sponsored two women to attend the programme. Both are from Dalimba village and are part of the Community Health worker programme.
Ratnamma (55) is a committee member of the Community Health worker (Gelathi) programme while Kamalamma (45) is the Anganwadi (Government Pre-school) helper in the village. They both own some land as well as a backyard where they can implement the skills and knowledge acquired from the workshop. The workshop has taught them seed saving techniques, making organic manure and organic pesticides.
Their account (translated from Kannada) of what they learnt at the workshop are below.
“The classes were very useful as I learnt how to use traditional method to prepare insecticides to spray on the plants. By doing this we could save money and avoid danger. They taught us how to prepare manure at home which can be used for plants like ragi, rice, and even vegetables. They also taught us how to prepare the seeds before planting.
They taught us how to plant the seedlings, how to remove the weeds, so that we could get a good crop. They showed us how we can grow vegetables by covering the weeds by mud. They even told us that by using cow dung we can make gobar gas which can be used for cooking purposes. “
“When I went there we were introduced to variety of plants. Then they showed us how to make preventive medicines for plants at home. We have to put lot of greens at the bottom and cover it with cowdung, do this several times and leave it for a month. Then turn it over and leave it for another three months. At the end of this it will have become dry and powdered. When that happens, we were told that it can be used for plants as manure.
By using cow’s urine, they taught us how to make insecticide to spray on plants.They taught us how to treat the seeds before planting. We were told not to expose the seeds to the sun but to keep them in shade as sunlight spoils the quality of the seeds.
We have started to make use of these methods in our fields. In the end, I learnt how to remove weeds, how to plant the seeds and plants, which I am very happy about.”