Though humans were nomads, civilization started with farming. Farming required that humans settle in one place, and this in turn lead to the growth of culture, race, language etc.… In another words farming is the backbone of any civilization. Great wars were fought over ownership of farm lands. Dynasties born and destroyed over them.
Over the years man has evolved a lot so have the techniques of farming. Whatever agricultural lands we see today are once great forests or riverbeds and it is part of the evolution. However most humans knew the concept of co-living. They know that they are not alone in this planet, and that they have responsibilities. In most cultures nature was worshipped like God. In fact most Gods are part of the nature
Coming to back to eco-friendly farming, here is one simple mechanism used in the Western Ghats of south India. These agricultural fields lie close to thick rainforests. Most of these are rice fields and these are under constantly attacked by parrots, peacocks and other birds from the nearby forest. Yes there are many pesticides available to avoid these birds but the farmers prefer harmless and effective ways. One such way is use of sound since most birds are scared of loud noises. Instead of using crackers or chemicals going back to age old mechanics is a brilliant idea.
Here an innovative farmer has utilised the energy of the flowing water to create sounds at regular intervals. Another important point to be noted is that entire apparatus is made of so called trash. The principle of recycling and reusing is effectively employed here.
Apart from these birds, the paddy fields also get infested with rats and crabs. Many farmers use zinc phosphide to control such infestation. But few brilliant and innovative farmers resort to the science of the food chain. In nature every creature has an enemy, likewise these rats and crabs have a common enemy, which are above them in the food chain. Certain things called “owl stands” are placed in the paddy fields. In the night the owl sits there and hunts its food, i.e. the rats and crabs. Apart from owls, farmers also keep rat snakes in their farm. These snakes do not harm humans as they are non-venomous but they protect the fields from rat infestation. By the way these rat snakes are famously known as “farmer’s best friend”.
No need to mention about dogs and cats which are an integral part of most agricultural families. Further plants like neem are widely used to control insects.
These organic farming methods have been used through the years!
Did you know these red ants keep coffee plants safe from harmful insects?
Now that’s “food” for thought!