Cherpu: You name it, he has it. That’s the complete farmer Shanto who knows to reap “gold” from Earth. Such is his green touch that there’s nothing that does not grow on his four-acre farm in Nedupuzha.
Okra, brinjal, pumpkin, gourds of all sizes and shapes, carrots, beans, beetroot, cassava, shallots and big onions ….the list is endless…all rich and ripe in the summer sun ready for harvest.
Shanto is not one to sit on his hunches reveling in his vegetables and fruits. He is on a roll to do more. He is very much into dairy and fish farming as well. His stables have the best breeds of cows, buffaloes and goats. And his pond is choking on fish dashing around in the warm waters.
Shanto hails from a family which has been for generations into farming. They have known and loved the earth. His father Raphael too is an avid farmer. But a young Shanto chose to stray away from the beaten path when he chose to be an electrician. It did not take him long to realize why he felt unfulfilled. So back he went to Mother Earth. He joined his father and plunged headlong into farming. Thirty-three-year-old Shanto is now into total organic farming.
He sees possibilities in every inch of land. Hence his plants and vegetables grow in his fish and water tanks. He has perfected the science of aquaphonics, the technique of merging aquaculture with hydrophonics which helps plants and fish grow together. This type of farming does away with any form of compost, even vermicompost.
The drought this time has been so severe that Shanto has had to put away his dream of growing garlic.
The electrician in Shanto came to the fore recently when he tried to irrigate that art of the farm where water could not be reached. So he connected the motor to the back wheel of his two-wheeler after keeping it on its center stand. When he kick-started his bike and held it in gear, he was able to rotate the wheel which would in turn pump out water by using energy from the back wheel.
This young farmer has one enduring passion. That’s to explore new horizons in farming techniques.