Farmers from Pune take Thane residents through the organic farming experience
On Monday and Tuesday, around 20 farmers from Junnar in Pune district took some city dwellers on a walk to help them connect with the earth.
The aim of the Organic Walk in Thane’s Hiranandani Estate was to create awareness about organic food and focus on rising contamination of food products. The farmers brought their best produce to the fair: an array of vegetables, fruits, kitchen products, bath and body products and baked items, and local residents lapped them up. The event also included a panel discussion on the effects of heavy-metal contamination in food products, the importance of purchasing goods at farmers’ markets and the need to switch to ancient methods of farming like compost manure and the use of animals instead of machinery.
“To remove poison from the soil takes a minimum of four years for a farmer. The farmer community has to put in a lot of effort by nurturing it with organic manure,” said farmers’ community representative Sanjay Ingle. He urged customers to be more mindful of their lifestyle choices, which would influence farming methods. “Prefer Indian food over broccoli and other exotic vegetables. We want customers to be aware of why they pay more for organic items and suggest they opt for farmers’ markets,” said Satyajit Hange, an organic farmer.
Sports nutritionist Sheetal Mhamunkar said, “We as well as our children are suffering the harmful effects of contaminated vegetables and fruits. It is through initiatives like these that more awareness on organic eating can be infused in the community.” Oncologist Dr. Navin Bhambhani urged people to be aware of the correlation between cancer and the food we eat. “Farm-fresh and a happy state of mind is the mantra for healthy living,” he said.
Practitioners of alternative medicine couldn’t agree more. Ayurvedic consultant Dr. Kirti Tare said food is an integral part of life and equilibrium can be achieved by the Ayurvedic lifestyle, which is a preventative lifestyle. “Switch back to traditional practices for high nutritional-value foods to cure yourself of several health issues,” she said. Homeopath Dr. Kavita Ganesh said, “This movement towards organic farming and food is gaining momentum. We have begun steps in the right direction.”