Zero Budget Natural Farming is an alternative farming method that advocates against the use of fertilizers and pesticides. Santhosh Arakkal follows the zero budget farming methods that combine the traditional and scientific agricultural knowledge. In this cultivation method, the soil is left to be enriched by natural biodegradable materials. The fertility of the land is ensured through green manures and compost. Crop rotation and planting of legumes are also effectively applied to enhance the productivity. Santhosh stands against the cultivation of Bt transgenic (genetically modified) seeds and breeds. “If we don’t ensure the genuineness of seeds there is no point in cultivating it organic way or not,” he says.
Santhosh cultivates rice (Jyothi variety of brown rice), coconut, banana as well as various varieties of vegetables in his farm year long. He uses biological pest control in his farms. He completely opts out chemical pesticides and depends on natural and botanical means of pest control like Neem solvents, cow dung and herbal concoctions. The prolonged absence of chemical and toxic pesticides helps to retain the beneficial parasitoids and predators in the land and there is a natural mechanism of pest defense in his farms. He also has a vermi compost unit and biogas plant making his ecological farming and living more feasible.
Santhosh’s lifestyle echoes simplicity and the harmony with nature. He believes our mothers to be the doctors, our kitchens to be the hospitals and our food to be the medicine. He lives in a house that is made of soil, Kummayam (Lime Powder), Kulamavu (Bay Tree), Jaggery (Cane Sugar) concoction, Bamboo, and other natural materials. The kitchen admits only purely organic food items and completely avoids the use of sugary sweets, oil-fried snacks, broiler chicken, fast food and packed food products. Santhosh’s wife and their two kids are equally enthusiastic about his ecological stands. They continue to support his vision and help share it with the masses.
Products from Santhosh's Farm