Although organic farming is a controversial concept in India, it has been saving many farmer lives and gaining prominence with city dwellers. Thankfully, some have taken it upon themselves to produce or support farmers who produce crops without the use of genetically modified organisms, artificial fertilisers, pesticides and livestock feed additives. Here are the best organic farms where you can get fresh, unadulterated produce from in India.
The Slow Farm
Reema Gupta’s small farm in Bangalore has been using sustainable organic farming techniques for thirteen years. The land grows over fifty types of vegetables, fruits and spices. But, The Slow Farm wasn’t selling its produce until one year ago, when there was a large production of passionfruit, avocado and star fruit that they couldn’t finish even after gifting generously to their friends! Since then, Reema started Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), a way to sell fresh, local and organic produce directly to interested customers.
Navdanya follows a different concept to other organic farms. It is an initiative to support Indian farmers and raise awareness in the farmer community and among consumers about organic produce and its benefits. Navdanya works on maintaining the biodiversity of a region by helping farmers connect with consumers directly. They have also built more than 100 community seed banks, especially in natural calamity struck areas.
Back2Basics was started by S. Madhusudhan, an alumni of the prestigious Indian Institute of Management. After a glorious career in advertising, Madhusudhan decided to bring fresh, organic farm produce to people in India. With his management skills he came up with sustainable agricultural practices. Today, his farms produce numerous varieties of fruits and vegetables that are supplied to select grocery stores and retailers, and exported beyond India.
Happy Hens Farm
Happy Hens Farm promises that the hens in its care are not given any weight-inducing hormones or non-therapeutic antibiotics. They believe that better eggs come from a happier hen! At Happy Hens Farm the hens are not kept in cages and they are allowed to eat grass and bugs.
ABC Farms is a family-run business of organic farms, restaurants, resorts and Ayurvedic centres. Sohrab and Marlene (both dairy bacteriologists), along with their children, personally take care of their organic farm produce. ABC’s organic farm produces rice, sorghum, pearl millet and dry herbs.
To quote Vridavan Farm: ‘Combining indigenous wisdom with modern day knowledge, our practices are slow, deliberate, and biodynamic – working to enrich the land’. Vrindavan uses fermented manure as soil feed and sustainable methods for water retention. They grow mango, herbs, indigenous vegetables and spices.
The Farm is in a little village called Semancheri along the Old Mahabalipuram Road, on the outskirts of Chennai. They produce many dairy products, such as various kinds of cheese, ghee, paneer and curd. They grow and sell rice, apricots, tea, coconut oil and some herbal oils. The Farm also makes food products like cakes and snacks using their organic produce. The Farm has a campus restaurant and a bed and breakfast. They always welcome group tours to their farms too.
Organic Tapovana helps small farmers produce crops without chemical fertilisers and GMOs. The association has started Pasumai Organic Farmers Association (POFA), a community of small farmers to help them grow organic produce and sell it directly to customers. Tapovana’s farmers produce rice, vegetables, fruit, pulses and dairy products. They also make natural bath and body products from their organic produce.