Integrated Biodynamic Farm

Anjana Vidya Kendra is a rural school. Education which leads them away from their parental vocation is dangerous.  Our goal is to provide meaningful education that integrates rural values with curricular education.

Challenge I

  • Children come from weak educational background.  The highest education among parents is 10th std., and most parents have dropped out of school before completion of their 7th grade schooling.  Therefore, education is not a priority for these parents.
  • Health care and Nutrition are among neglected issues.  Most children, especially in primary grades, suffer from some or the other form of conditions related to malnutrition
  • The medical investigation carried out on these children confirm these.
  • The vegetables, Milk and Poultry the farmers produce is meant only for sale, but rarely their children become beneficiaries

Challenge II

  • Extensive use of pesticides posing health hazards is well known
  • While the goal of a farmer is to grow more food, the same farmer has forgotten his responsibility is to protect the soil
  • The data shows reduction in humus /soil carbon content of the soil due to excessive use of chemical fertilizers resulting in making the soil less porous which in turn has the catastrophic effect on the ground water.

Goals

Our Biodynamic farm project is meant to address the above challenges by

  1. Supplementing our school nutrition/Midday meal program
  2. Act as a platform for dissemination of knowledge on goodness living practices., apart from
  3. Educating children on practices of growing safe and healthy organic food
  4. Provide a practical means to understand nutritional, herbal values of commonly grown millets, vegetables and greens

Objectives

  1. Develop an organic farm producing a min. of 400 kg of vegetables and greens/week
  2. Grow 4000 kg of rice and 2000kg of millets/year to provide safe food for all the children and staff at Anjana Vidya Kendra School
  3. Use the farm activity to disseminate knowledge and skills on organic farm and soil preservation among students
  4. Teach the art of rearing happy cows and bees – teach interdependency of these units on ecology.

Food  & Nutrition Program

In order to eradicate malnutrition among our children the school started a unique nutrition program and has been sustained all these years.  The program started by distributing a large glass of milk to all the children, produced by 4 cows at the school.  Our School Dairy currents houses 10 cows and 8 calves.  The program was upgraded to noon-meal with support from Bangalore based charities.

 Farm, Pesticides and Interdependency

The school started an organic vegetable farm on an acre of land growing vegetables required for the noon-meal program. The activity is being expanded to grow millets and Rice.  The goal is to produce 4000 kg of Rice and 2000 kg or Millets apart from vegetables as part of this farm activity.

The Cowshed, Vermicompost and Apiary activities support the farm. Cowdung is converted to compost by worms making the soil porous and enrich growth of microorganisms which will enhance and preserve soil humus.  The school has successfully implemented EM, Jeevamrutham techniques effectively. Bees enhance pollination and help in better yield.  Cows urine and dung in used in preparation of organic pesticides.  Children of all grades participate in the activity.

Caring for Abondoned Male Calves

In order to make school children become sensitive to animals [and emphasize a) animals too enjoy motherhood and they require their babies,  at least for a few months after giving birth  b) animal babies too need their mother] school provides a shelter to abondoned male calves. These babies are routinely sent to butchers from day 1 of their birth, as a farmer would consider them to be a burden.  Grass is grown on two acre farm to provide fodder for these cows.  Milk is purchased from a nearby dairy to feed these calves for at least 4 months before they are distributed among nearby goshalas.

REQUIREMENTS

Monthly Expenditure to care for 10 cows and abondoned  calves  [Fodder, nutrition] – Rs.

, 2 male and 1 lady support]  Rs.  35,000/- [ 20 L of milk + Ground nut cakes, rice powder]

Salaries for 2 male and 1 lady support : Rs. 25,000/month

  • Adopt a cow
  • Adopt a Calf for 4 months
  • Sponsor a Crop