The pop from a plough hitting a hard rock in the field is jarring on the ear. With the monsoon looming, we have started our organic farm development activities, getting some plots of our N-Farm in order through uprooting stones & rocks. Leveling & creating plots for organic rice, creating roads to move across the farm, improving water flow through channel creation and pipe laying are all part of the current organic farm development project.
Clearing the Rocks
A couple of acres of this organic farm, on the East side were ridden with large stones and resultant shrub growth. It took the concerted efforts of a hydraulic excavator (JCB) and a dozer to unearth and pile the rocks in one location, apart from clearing the shrubs. A few deep rooted rocks stood their ground adamantly, and we just bowed and let them stay put. The others put up stiff resistance too, with the JCB getting a few broken teeth that needed replacements.
We retrieved a little more than an acre to be pressed into production this season. The other part of the rock removal was from existing farm plots. Some of these rocks form small islands within the plots and the others under the soil are a huge nuisance to cultivating equipment, causing breakages and repairs.
More Organic Rice Plots
We also are leveling up some acreage and building plots for additional organic rice cultivation. Getting the soil level right is vital for paddy cultivation, since water has to remain in the plot at a specified height during different times of the crop. This deep ploughing and leveling will get completed once we have a couple of soaking rains.
While we try and limit our rice area in general, soil in the said plots is suitable for rice alone. Our organically grown low glycemic index rice has received great appreciation and we expect this clearing will help cater to the organic rice needs of a few additional families.
Roads, Channels and Pipelines
In order for vehicles to haul produce from across the farm and to reduce manual carrying of loads, we have built a network of farm roads.
An excavator scaled a huge pile generated from an open well construction many years ago. An army of tractors dumped the moram over the newly marked roads, with a dozer finishing up by spreading it evenly.
Interspersing the roads, we now have a few channels to drain rain water. We also installed a couple of dozen cement pipes to facilitate water flow across the plots.
We take up a few organic farm development activities each year to improve the quantity and quality of organic farm production and expect to see the benefits of this work over the coming seasons and in the long run.