Gujarat couple quit job in USA to grow food forest here

This inspiring news comes to us from Gujarat, India.

San Francisco based Vivek Shah was at the most lucrative stage of his career in the Silicon Valley. However, in April 2016 he quit his job and returned to India with his wife Brinda who holds a Masters in printmaking.

Why did he do that you may ask?

He wanted to build a natural farm.

Living in San Francisco made Vivek aware of his surroundings. Being a full-time professional he could see how their lifestyle was veering towards becoming unhealthy due to their schedule. The couple tried to take charge of their health by learning to cook together. And one of their biggest struggles was that they didn’t know where the food was coming from.

Residing in an area of tall fruit-bearing trees made Vivek nostalgic about his childhood when life was simpler. Vivek longed to go back to that time and with his wife wanted to grow their food. The couple embarked on a journey to learn the basics of permaculture in a state neighboring California. This trip strengthened their resolve to come back to India and set up their farm.

In 2016 the duo quit their jobs and returned to their home state Gujarat. There was no opposition to the couple’s plans. Their families were supportive of their choice and elated that they had decided to return.

Vivek says” We had no background in agriculture. But the course we did helped us immensely in understanding the various techniques we could adapt to build a natural and sustainable farm.” They started with their favorite fruit, mangoes.

The couple bought a 10 acre land on the outskirts of Nadiad, Central Gujarat to create a farm that would help them in becoming self-sustaining and also open up commercial operations.

So that is how Brindavan happened. From boosting soil fertility with techniques like green manuring and controlled grazing to the harvest of rainwater via pits and trenches, the couple practice techniques that help them utilize the resources on the farm to the maximum capacity.

They grow pearl millet, wheat, potatoes, moringa, bananas, papaya, Jamun, and even timber. The couple grows crops that range from commercial to semi-commercial. Trenches and pits are dug on 10 percent of the overall land so that every drop of rainwater can be harvested. This ensures that every good monsoon cycle can harvest 5-10 lakh liters of rainwater.

The plot is divided into seven different subplots all of which receive different organic treatments to revive as well as promote the growth of crops. Since the seven subplots grow different varieties, in the event of a pest attack on any one of the crop, the couple can recover because of a diverse ecosystem they have created on the farm.

There are three farmhands to maintain the daily work on the farm, there are bees, birds, insects, and even 7 beehives.

Vivek says “Global warming and climate change are not waiting for anyone. So do not let any second thoughts hold you back.”, as he signs off.

Image Source: The Better India

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