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Haat Ke!
EarthCare Books and Shaymoli organise organic market evenings. GO!

Terrace Farming
Workshop on Urban Organic Agriculture inspires city farmers…. GO!

Today's waste, tomorrow’s shortage
Wanton wastefulness is leading to depleted or vanished resources. GO!

Not organic?!
The Organic movement in India
- Quantity of Food grown – 1%
- Land cultivated organically – 1%

Which proves that productivity or yield per hectare is definitely no less than with chemical agriculture!! (Source: Down to Earth Magazine)

Besides being bad for your health, destroying soil quality and leaving a huge carbon footprint, chemical are bad for the economy - every bag of fertiliser produced by big corporations is subsidised by the government - hugely! Just take a look at the photo of the fertiliser bag below to see how much!

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Introducing conventional farmers to organic is a neccessity for sustainability.
Organic start at Serakole
Maryanne Mukherjee
APRIL 2014
Looks green: Consumer obsession with colour and "shine" of veggies, has worked dangerously against them. Most chemical farmers, in addition to their pesticide and chemical fertiliser use, spray, inject or wash their produce in dyes, wax and other chemicals, for that "fresh" and "glowing" look which many buyers value. Standardisation is not natural, so if you want your tomatoes one colour and perfectly shaped, you are really paying a huge price.
Green for Life Foundation has been encouraging the spread of Organic cultivation as one of its principal activities. Besides supporting the Organic Haats at EarthCare Books and elsewhere in Kolkata (Calcutta), G4L has recently roped in Development Research Communication and Services Centre (DRCSC) to monitor the farmers who it has encouraged to become organic cultivators. DRCSC will provide a variety of support services, including weather updates and a helpline, so the farmers can remain purely organic and maintain the quality of their produce.

Organic farms located in Nadia and Mathurapur, which presently supply the Organic Haats (and G4L’s own organic produce distribution,) are hundreds of kilometres away from urban markets, the principal consumers of organic produce. These logistics cause organic to cost a little more, if the farmers are to make a fair profit, and inhibits commercial viability, to some extent.

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Farmers and representatives of Green for Life and DRCSC discuss implementation of organic in the farmers fields.
On Friday 11 April, Green for Life Foundation organised a Farmers Initiation to Organic Farming at the G4L Organic Garden, a pure organic farm at Serakole, near Kolkata. The idea was to encourage local chemical-based farmers in the area to opt for organic farming, thus increasing their earnings, while at the same time protecting their soil from damage by conventional farming and producing healthy, planet-friendly crops, free from poisonous chemicals.

Veteran agriculturalist Mr. Tapas Mondol of DRCSC was the facilitator for the program, which around fifteen farmers attended. He took them through the basics of organic farming, and answered the farmer’s queries about organic methods; which ranged from misconceptions regarding the size and colour of vegetables grown without chemical fertilisers, to protection of the crop without pesticide.

Through the sessions and discussion, the farmers were able to resolve many of their doubts and see the benefits of Organic, both for the Earth and their bottom lines. The idea of an organic training school mooted by G4L was eagerly taken up by the farmers, and most signed up for joining more training programs and practical demonstrations to teach them organic agriculture. G4L / DRCSC would visit each farmers lands and asses the viability, designing for them a custom strategy where a part of the land could be used for organic, until the farmer gained confidence in the system, and converted totally to safe agriculture. G4L will also help market the produce directly in the target markets and cut down on the layers of middle men in the conventional agricultural system.

The farmers were also able to go around the G4L Organic Garden and see for themselves how an organic farm worked; they also shared a simple meal of Luchi and Alur Dum, prepared at the garden. Altogether the programme was a great success providing information and a forum for bringing the organic movement into this area, and the attending farmers were very responsive, promising to spread the word and get more local farmers interested.

Being so close to Kolkata – only 20 kms – and off NH117/Diamond Harbour Road transport from Serakole is plentiful and cheap to the metropolis, and should result in fresher produce at better prices, both for the farmer and end consumer.

Like Jack's beanstalk, this organic pumkin plant rises high over the G4L Organic garden, basking in the sun.
Pronounced supremely hot by all those who taste them, organic chillies can be grown in a pot on your kitchen window.