Welcome to the home page of Balaji Shankar. For several years now I have been trying to step out of the mainstream and attempt a life of simplicity and self-sufficiency. It has been a great journey so far. For the last 2 years I am spending more of my time on writing (mostly in Tamil for our Alternate-Living Magazine Thalanmai) and I decided to collect a lot of assorted stuff into a single website - http://earth.org.in.
I would not venture into this anthology of drivel, had there not been some requests for it! I am always a sucker for requests - especially from good people. So here we are!
My earlier blog which contains some stuff on what I tried and learnt in attempting organic farming.
For the last 2 years I have been going here and there meeting farmers and trying to understand their problems, trying to be part of the projects of Kaani. I am more and more coming to understand, that, in the present socio-economic situation, it is very hard for the farmer to be self-reliant and economically viable - unless there is a support mechanism of a rural industry nearby; a local and small scale industry that buys his produce (and he in turn produces for it) and pays a fair price. It is not possible for the small farmer to venture into value-added products or marketing.
There are Government schemes, on paper, for rural development and enabling kisan swaraj, but the government machinery by its very size and structure is self-defeating. You cannot have 4 -5 approval layers for rural economy. Everything has to be local for these to make any sense.
So I am also seriously thinking of how to enable rural industries, and how industries can be responsible. I am of course reinventing the wheel here, but with all these modern economic ideas, the wheels have all become square and there is an urgent need for the old fashioned round wheel - one where what goes around, comes around.
Organic Farming how-to(Edit)
I also plan to collect various articles in Tamil on Organic Farming How-To's. These will be pretty useful for farmers who want to grow a particular crop organically - this is in the Agronomy or உழவு page