After World War II there were huge stocks left over of ammonia, which was used to make bombs and stocks of nerve gas. Both killing agents. The scientists of that time found a way to use ammonia as fertilizers and nerve gas as pesticides! And that started the chemical farming industry. Fuinally in the 1990s even the scientists accepted that these killing agents introduced into the food chain was the cause for most diseases and cancer. We need an alternative. So today scientists are working on genetic engineering as a way out. Just as the scientists after World Wae II did not think of the negative aspects of putting killing agents in our food, today's scientists are playing with more dangerous methods of tampering with the genes! With which, if mutations happen it will go out of control and God knows what will happen to human beings.
We also use our scientific brains, but to research and work towards growing food with developing Organic Methods. Commercial scientists always want to challenge nature. We harmonize with nature. They are puffed up and arrogant, we are humbled by the greatness of nature. Their way is temporary and destructive. Our way is sustainable and peaceful. That is the difference.
At Karuna we have three sections of farming:
1. Vegetable Garden
2. Fruit & Coffee Plantation
3. Tree Planting Project
Originally, the area that became Karuna Farm, was used for growing potatoes by local farmers. After Nevil arrived, much of the land was planted with Avocado, Banana and various fruit trees. The area near the rock which had been prime terraced farmland, was left to rest and remained so for many years, until recently. In 2013, the land was tilled by bulls and planted with various crops including carrots, peas and beans. In 2014, the gardens were expanded and many new vegetables were introduced for food production for both local residents and guests eating at the restaurant.
Most recently, the entire area has been protected with a solar electric fence to ward off the monkeys, bison, wild boar and small animals that live in these mountains (and have been known to steal our carrots). We hope that this investment will allow us to produce even more of our own food for ourselves without the fear of losing much of our harvest to predators and pests. We are interested in developing our gardens using organic, Permaculture, Biodynamic and biointensive techniques which will allow us to improve the soil, resist pests, and reduce labor using natural principles, rather than chemicals and external inputs that ultimately cost more and degrade the land
We are blessed with a great climate, good soil and ample water. We have enhanced this natural advantage with irrigation, composting, vermiculture (composting with worms), Biodynamic preparations, planting calendars, Permaculture principles, companion planting and we continue to learn more each season through experience and research as we develop our garden. We use different kinds of compost, earthworms, companion planting, home made sprays, Biodynamic calendar and we are always learning new ways. We also hold training programs to teach organic farming.
About two and a half acres are planted with high quality Brazilian coffee along with 20 varieties of fruit trees. Fruits include Banana, Avocado, Oranges, Cardamom, Limes, Jack Fruit, Custard Apples, Guava, Passion Fruit, Berries, and more. What fruit is not consumed is made into jams and preserves. There is much scope to increase production of the fruit trees.
Growing food is a continuous and very pleasing activity. If you have an argument with your partner, do some weeding or work in the garden and nature will absorb your tension!