Straight from the source… 

We asked some of the volunteer farmers their general opinion about their experience and here are some of their views.

 

“The community farming has been a wonderful, fun and learning experience on the whole. It gave me the opportunity to experience first-hand, the uncertainties and daily hardships farmers labor so that we have access to nutritious food. After a long day’s work, it was also physically and mentally relaxing to be out in field, down to earth, watching plants, vegetables and nature grow.”
Pallavi Das, India

 

“I have joined AIT farming activity since 2015 when the project started. I’m really excited with this outdoor activity, thus, I continued to participate in the follow-up activity of the project in 2016. This is a great chance for me to exchange farming experience with global farming friends. The project supported us all the farm needs such as seeds or seeding, fertilisers, organic pesticides, watering system, tools and farming knowledge. Therefore, we just spent sometime and enjoyed farming activities. Based on the nature of each crop, experience and knowledge I gained from the pre-training class, I applied the suitable planting and caring methods. For example, I prefer to plant leafy vegetables, such as Chinese spinach and morning glory which require large amounts of clean water and less fertiliser. Thus, I’m watering more frequently than other plants, i.e twice a day, in the early morning and late afternoon. For other plants provide fruits such as ladyfingers and corns, I periodically (around 2 weeks) dug shallowly in soil and supplement organic fertiliser to promote these plant growth. It is also important to prepare garden beds before planting especially in raining season to prevent inundation.”
Diu Do Thi, Vietnam

 

“Farming is fun, good for the health, refreshing and satisfying. Since I joined AIT Sustainability Community Farming I got healed from my back and shoulder pain and also I lost my weight. I’m so inspired to go the farm daily just to check and talk to the plants. I learned so many plants’ instincts from germination, seeding, flowering until fruit bearing. Sample plants I’ve raised: squash, sweet potato, cassava, pakchoi, eggplant, chili, morning glory, Malabar spinach, lady finger and pigeon peas. They grow abundantly with a promising yield. I was able to germinate apples, grapes and dates. They are now growing. In the farm, soil is so fertile but very hard when dry and very sticky and soft when wet, yet plants grow abundantly. There’s a setback during rainy days because water over flows and it created a problem around the farm until such time a solution was made even if temporary — a small canal was created to guide the water through the embankment which was broken to make the water flow. The rain also made it difficult to do farming and only few remains because of such experience. We long to farm because we love the plants. The lessons we’ve learned remains to be stronger that’s why we are committed to continue.”
Arnolfo Diaz, Philippines

 

“Farming since January is a different mode of life. Planted more than 10 varities and a good harvest of our vegies. Thanks a lot Prof. Kumar for encouraging community to involve in cultivating organic. It’s been a big bag of blessings. Farming is INSPIRING.”
Chatur Dandre, India

 

“I would like to express my pleasure for the great opportunity to become a partner of the community farm at AIT 2016/2017. Because of the interest on farming I applied for the membership and my group number was 6B. In our group we had members from different countries and some of them had previous experience on farming and the contribution of the group members were a special blessings for the success of our farming group. With the continuous follow-up, guidance support of the organizers we could cultivate a large number of crops. I would like to say we cultivated on a large area in addition to the given beds. This was a great experience for all of us. Specially in tight schedules with tired minds, we could relax with this farming activity. As the basic requirements were supplied by the organizing committee we could do it very easily. We come daily to the farm and day by day we could have a nice farm full of vegetables. The contribution of group members were very helpful for the success of our group. We were fortunate to cultivate about 15-20 different crops in our plot.The most important thing was we could consume fresh organic farming products.  We could get a good harvest from each crop and sometimes we had to share among our friends or sell them due to high production. When we sold some vegetables we used money as a fund for the farming activities. From the beginning to today our group is engaging the farming in this given land and our group members wish to continue it in the future also with the permission of the organizing committee. Finally, on behalf of my farming group, I would like to express my sincere gratitude for initiating and implementing a great concept. Further,  I take this opportunity to thank the organizing committee and all the stakeholders who supported for this programme. Thank you.”
Manori Bambaranda, Sri Lanka

 

“First of all, I express my sincere thanks to organizer and donor for taking a great initiative for this community farming. I have been participating in this event for the last two years, which, I found the most lively environment at AIT.  I am very much delighted to be a part of this farming, which, I wish to continue in coming days.  After being involved in farming, we could harvest green and leafy vegetable periodically that has directly diminished our dependence and need of frequent visiting to local market. Most importantly, vegetables harvested for our consumption at the farm are fresh, which are grown without applying chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Unlike vegetable purchase from market, we could offer this vegetable to our children with full confidence in quality. The community farming is noticeably a great place for maintaining our self physically and mentally fit, which is imperative in our busy and focused daily life style. Moreover, I found this farming as a great platform to expand our social relationship, and exchange ideas and knowledge since members are from different countries.  Thank you very much.”
Dr. Saroj Chapagain, Nepal

 

“A community farm is a multi-functional farm where the land is held “in trust” for community rather than owned privately. The primary focus of a community farm is local food production using sustainable agricultural practices. We are enjoying to grow our own crops and eat completely organic and healthy food. Few training sessions were provided for how to grow healthy plants without using chemical fertilizers and pesticides. We are using sustainable growing methods on all of our farms. This project works to create personal and social change through sustainable agriculture. Many of my AITians and Non-AITians friends wish to join community farming. Hope this project will continue and we can enjoy farming.”… (“If we estimate dignity by immediate usefulness, agriculture is undoubtedly the first and noblest science.”-Samuel Johnson)
Shilpa Agarwal, India

 

“Farming in AIT has brought me great joy, teaching me that life is not just about working in the office. It taught me skills to plow, sow and harvest. It gave me commitment, harvests…even new friends- more satisfying AIT living!  It has been a great opportunity and experience to be involved in AIT Farming. Many thanks to Prof. Kumar and team for the support and encouraging the AIT Community to go organic and eat healthy; to Ms. Brenda for her daily commitment, making sure that the farmers voices gets heard and acted upon.”
Marilyn Alcantara, Philippines