Bio-dynamic Management
of a Vegetable, Fruit & Dairy Farm

 

BhaiKaka Krishi Kendra

near Anand, Gujarat

 

 

Here is a 40 acre farm which has 30 milking cows with replacements and is growing a full range of vegetables and fruits sufficient to maintain a large roadside shopping stall.

 

The fodder grown for the cows is alfalfa (lucern), Napier grass and oats.  This is supplemented by dried oat grass and paddy straw.  The alfalfa is growing very well and is cut every 21 days.  After cutting it, the ground is watered with CPP at the rate of 2kgs in 40 litres of water per acre and then it is irrigated.  Twice a year it is composted.  The milk from these cows tastes very good, as does the curd.  Very similar to BD milk in other countries.

 

All the land is sprayed with preparation BD500 at least 5 times a year.

 

One of the main features of this farm is the composting.  The yard is shaded by giant bamboo trees about 20 metres high.  The composts are usually 8 metres long and made from a wide mixture of farm biomas, vegetable crop wastes, legume tree foliage such as susbania, sububul and gliricidia, legume straw, cow dung and rock dusts.  Sometimes the foliage of a green crop such as sun hemp will also be used.  The farm makes at least 250 cubic metres of compost each year.

 

20 cow pat pits (CPP) are being filled and used regularly.  These are also under the shade of the bamboo trees.

 

Very good sweet corn is being almost continuously grown and when cooked is a great draw card for the shop.  Also cabbages, broccoli, lettuce, coriander, all pulses, cucumber, tomatoes are among the many quality varieties grown.

 

Papaya, limes and mosambis are growing well.  After applying compost around these trees in the spring, a green crop, for instance cow pea, is grown between the rows of trees and when grown is cut and put under the trees as a mulch.

 

Green crops are always grown between successive crops, for instance cowpea, sunhemp, crotalaria and horsegram.

 

Another feature of this farm is the Virbela flowform used for mixing the biodynamic preparations 500 and 501.  It is also used almost daily for CPP application and liquid fertilizers.