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[Organic Farming Masterclass] Seven Key Elements of Organic Farming

Direct Farmers' Online Organic Store in India | Indian Organic Store | Indian Superheroes (ISH Organic)

The mantra for organic farmers, which is both philosophical and practical, can be summed up thus: to source and use in an optimum, non-wasteful manner locally available natural resources employing sustainable farming methods.

There are several key elements that constitute organic farming. Among them:

1. Living soil: The most vital requirement for an organic farm is soil teeming with microbial activity, fungi and other tiny creepy crawlies. Nurturing these micro-organisms and protecting their environment is essential for healthy, living soil.

2. Soil enrichment: This is a fundamental duty of an organic farmer. There are several different natural methods, such as green manuring, composting and vermicomposting:

2.1 Green manuring: This means treating the soil with green (plant) manure before the actual planting. Green manure helps to fix nitrogen – an essential nutrient – in the soil by converting atmospheric nitrogen into a biologically effective form.

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2.2 Composting: Ah – this wondrous process! Green or fresh waste (newly discarded plants, food waste, cut grass); brown or dry waste (hay, wood shavings, sawdust, dried leaves) and cowdung, chickenshit and/or fishmeal (preferences vary) are churned together in compost pits. After a few weeks of watering to maintain a moist environment, and occasional turning for oxygenation, this somewhat appalling mess is magically transformed into a rich, aromatic, chocolate-hued crumble bursting with all the goodies that make the earth go “Yum!” All the friendly fungi, the exploding population of good bacteria and a host of other little critters such as microbes and tiny insects frolic in well-tended compost, having systematically broken down all the components into a uniformly textured substance containing all the required major and micro plant nutrients. Compost blended into soil also improves drainage, acts as a binding agent and encourages moisture retention.

2.3 Vermicomposting: Earthworms should take a bow. They are the stars of a show that has run for millions of years in the soil of our earth. These small, hard-working wrigglers have a voracious appetite for all manner of organic waste, which they process with stunning efficiency through their sleek, slim, supple little forms. The result emerges at the other end as nutrient-rich organic manure. Deep-burrowing worms, while processing waste, tunnel through the soil, effectively aerating it even as their secretions bind it. Bend down within an inch of a vermicompost pile, and instead of the expected stink of rotting waste, you get the seductive aroma of rain-kissed earth. Experienced organic farmers think nothing of plunging their hands into a vermicompost pit and proudly displaying a shifting clutch of intertwined worms.

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Want to Learn Organic Farming? Be A Part of Our Farming Masterclass on Aug 19th and 20th!

3. Plant diversity: Walk into any natural forest. You will see plant diversity in all its green glory – several species of trees, bushes, creepers, vines, foliage, moss, lichen, undergrowth – all forming a perfectly balanced ecosystem. Modern conventional farmers, apart from defiling the soil and groundwater, defy nature further by their practice of mono-cropping. You’ve seen those scenes in Hindi movies, where the hero serenades the heroine while scampering through an entire field of sunflowers, or where the bad guy chases the good through an endless field of sugarcane. Organic farmers practise multi-cropping – planting a mix of seasonal crops simultaneously in a given plot. This has two positive spinoffs. One, since the roots of each plant type are of varying lengths, the plants can source sufficient nutrition from the different layers of soil. Two, most pests are plant-specific. If a plot has a single crop, a pest attack could rapidly destroy the entire crop. In mixed cropping, only the crop specific to that pest would be under attack. The rest of the crops would be spared.

4. Crop rotation: Organic farmers also believe in crop rotation. This means planting a different subsequent crop in the same plot. If the first crop is short-rooted, the subsequent crop should be medium- or long-rooted so that the soil nutrients are absorbed from different layers in successive seasons, giving each layer, in turn, a chance to regenerate. Crop rotation also confounds pests which, having developed a “path” to a particular crop, find that with the change of season their menu too has changed.

Want to learn organic farming? Check out our Farming Masterclass where you will learn the insider secrets to setup an integrated organic farm – right from setting up fish culture, drip water irrigation systems, seed selection, vermicompost and manure production, and pest control mechanicms, in a real-life FarmVille experience.

5. Local sourcing: Think local, act local. Organic farmers source locally produced seeds and saplings to grow crops that are indigenous to the region. This not only enhances the chances of a successful crop, but also minimizes environmental footprints. In fact, instead of sourcing seeds externally, seed propagation should be a standard activity in an organic farm as many seed varieties that are available commercially are treated with poison to deter pests and have to be thoroughly washed before use. Disposal of the water in which the seeds are washed adds to the nuisance factor. Organic farmers should, ideally, also raise cattle that can graze on their pastures to produce nutrient-rich organic dung and urine. The dung goes into the compost pit. The urine is diluted and used as a natural pesticide. And the cattle can be used to pull the plough.

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Buy Wild Forest Raw Honey and Essential Oils from our Tribal Superheroes

6. Natural pest control: Outwitting pesky pests is pretty much a full-time, ongoing challenge on any farm. Organic farmers can opt for a mix of natural methods. Neem cake can be crumbled into the soil at the time of planting. Neem oil can also be used. Some pests flee from bio-pesticides made from garlic, turmeric, tobacco, ginger, a dilution of neem oil or chilly. Basil or tulsi, planted typically by householders in Maharashtra to ensure a happy marriage, multi-tasks as a pest deterrent. Another smart tactical method is the planting of trap crops – plants that divert pests away from the main crops. The trick is to figure out which trap crop attracts which pest. So while marigolds are pretty much broad-spectrum traps (and look gorgeous when they bloom), castor, for example, is plant-specific, diverting pests from such crops as groundnut. If the crop is not over-infested, handpicking pests such as caterpillars (this is clearly not for the faint-hearted) off the plant, or using light traps for moths and other insect species are other options. Some organic farmers have experimented with pheromone traps. Pheromones are organic compounds secreted by female insects to attract the males. The randy males are lured into the trap, ruining their chances of a date with the female insects. This, naturally, leads to reproductive failure.

7. Water conservation: Organic farmers believe in economical and non-wasteful use of resources.

7.1 Drip irrigation: Drip irrigation is preferred to the spinning sprinkler and flooding methods (unless specifically required), which lead to water loss through evaporation and run-offs. As mentioned, flooding also salinises the soil. For the drip method, slim black pipes with holes at intervals snake down rows of crops, with emitters pulsing controlled quantities of water (or water mixed with fertilizer) directly at the plant base, or through tubes down to the plant roots.

7.2 Mulching: This further discourages water evaporation. Mulch is a bunch of matter such as hay and other organic material, which is used to cap the plant base as it receives the drips of water from the irrigation pipes. Mulch also creates a warm and cosy shaded environment, highly conducive to growth while preventing soil erosion by the wind.

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Bonus: No heavy machinery: Mechanization and the use of heavy machinery such as tractors are frowned upon by organic farmers. The weight compacts the underlying layers of soil even as the heavy metal front end loaders, disc ploughs, blades and other attachments tear up the top soil in excess of planting requirements, sometimes even gouging out worms in the process. The loosened soil is then subject to wind and rain erosion. Sustainable farming propagates minimal tillage, so that there is least disturbance to the soil’s ecosystem. Controlled tillage also allows crop residues to “lock” the topsoil against erosion. So it’s back to the good old bullock and the lighter traditional plough.

Want to learn organic farming? Check out our Farming Masterclass where you will learn the insider secrets to setup an integrated organic farm – right from setting up fish culture, drip water irrigation systems, seed selection, vermicompost and manure production, and pest control mechanicms, in a real-life FarmVille experience.

Social Enterprises such as Indian Superheroes was primarily set up to promote organic farming, assist farmers using chemicals and pesticides to convert successfully to organic farming methods, and sell directly to customers online and offline.

  •   Indian Superheroes run a workshop on Organic Farming and Rental that’s incredible. I attended it last week and would recommend it for anyone who’s looking to start organic farming or planning to connect such people with the market. For me, highlights of the program were:1. Understand why the common food we buy / eat is not actually healthy but a form of slow poison.2. Visit and work in an integrated farm where one activity’s waste / byproduct is a use for a different activity, making the running cost almost zero. For eg. Ducks aerate the fish pond. The place where ducks and hen are housed is built on top of the pond, so it’s waste feed the fish. The pond itself, with the fish's waste becomes rich in a few months becomes natural fertilizer, used for irrigation. The plants feed the cattle and the cattle of course, the cows are a major source of fertilizer for the plants. Bees help pollination and can be found all around the farm.3. Get your hands dirty and do various farming activities for real, from planting seeds / saplings, preparing different types of organic fertilizers, and maintaining the farm and its cattle.4. Finally, of course, do it all with some awesome company of like minded people.For those interested, they also permit renting a piece of farmland to try out cultivation for a specified period of time.

    thumb Praveen Selvam
    6/19/2017
  •   Rent a farm workshop was simply amazing.. rather than just giving us a tour of the farm, your idea of actually getting our hands dirty by making us till the land, harvest crops , clean etc was totally worth it.. "Now you know how difficult it is put food on your table".. These words of Vishnu still echoes in my ears and absolutely Vishnu.. cannot agree more with you. Thanks for giving us that experience .

    thumb Nithya Mani
    5/09/2017
  •   I buy their edible oils every month. They are packed well, no leakage. The aroma of the oils are wonderful. It's the second time I'm ordering from them. I recommend them highly!!

    thumb Sindhu Murali Sriram
    6/28/2017
  •   It's really an amazing two-day workshop organized by ISH. I'm really thanking you guys to make us interact with farmers and feel the difficulties about farming. I'm already shared my experience with my friends and they are eager to join with us. Really looking forward to working you guys in future.

    thumb Loges Waran
    5/08/2017
  •   Great initiative.the lip balm is awesome.i keep going back for more and find new things to love each time.

    thumb Madhavi Ravindranath
    5/04/2017
  •   It's an amazing experience to be enrolled under the Rent A Farm project organised by Indian Superheroes ' . Learning the basics of organic farm is the most wonderful event I have had - got to learn many things within a short time ! A very good team work of genuinely good people devoted to upliftment of farmers & their well- being. Wish them a great success!

    thumb Anjali Deshmukh
    5/08/2017

Credit: Quora Post by Rohit Joshi. Link here.

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Did you know?A jar of organic wild forest raw honey takes care of your beauty ?

Wild Forest Raw Honey, Direct from the Tribals | Indian Superheroes

Did you know?A jar of wild forest raw honey can zap zits, soften hair, remove dark circles, and more.
Buy our 100% genuine offering:

Organic Wild Forest Raw Honey
Direct from the Hills of Ooty and Kolimalai

How many of us know that a jar of wild forest raw honey is packed with a powerful punch of antiseptic, antibacterial and antioxidant properties, it’s one of the best ways to give your beauty routine a boost. that hasn’t been pasteurized, processed, or heated in any way as that preserves the best qualities.

Here are the few effective ways to use wild forest raw honey on your face, body and even hair.

WILD FOREST RAW HONEY ON YOUR FACE

Combat acne. Leave it to honey to attack the bacteria that causes breakouts, while also drawing moisture to the skin. Dab a small amount onto blemishes, leave for 15-20 minutes, then rinse.

Lighten up dark circles. A spoonful of honey may help fade dark circles and ease swelling under the eyes. Mix equal parts honey and almond oil, then apply as you would an eye cream before bed; rinse off in the morning.

Smooth out wrinkles. Got an avocado lying around in your kitchen? This all-natural concoction hydrates dull skin and may help fight wrinkles. Mix 1 tablespoon of raw honey with half a ripe avocado. Spread out evenly over face and rinse off with warm water after 15 to 20 minutes.

WILD FOREST RAW HONEY ON YOUR BODY

Reverse cuticle damage. Cracked cuticles are not only unsightly, but they’re also an invitation for fungus and bacteria to creep in. Coat your cuticles and nails with a mixture of raw honey and apple cider vinegar (1 teaspoon each) to cleanse and soften. Leave on for 10 minutes and rinse off.

Reduce razor burn. Soothe the irritation caused by shaving mishaps by smearing a dab of raw honey over razor bumps post-shave. Rinse off after 10 to 15 minutes.

Pamper your skin. Did you know Cleopatra allegedly bathed in milk and honey to achieve a flawless complexion? Try your own honey bath: Just dissolve 2 to 3 tablespoons of raw honey in 1 cup of hot water. Pour into a hot bath, sit back, and relax—you’ll emerge feeling like a queen.

WILD FOREST RAW HONEY IN YOUR HAIR

Add shine. Treat your hair to this volume and shine-boosting mask: Mix 1/2 cup raw honey and 1/4 cup olive or coconut oil. Apply to your hair from roots to tips, leave in for 20 minutes, then rinse. Use once weekly for hair that shines like silk.

Soften strands. Raw honey is a humectant, meaning it locks in moisture. Revive dry, lacklustre hair by thoroughly mixing in 1 teaspoon of raw honey with your shampoo. Lather up as usual and rinse well. The Soften strands. goo will wash out (we promise!), leaving strands super-soft.

Soothe an itchy scalp. Thanks to its anti-fungal properties, honey helps nix the gunk that clogs hair follicles, leading to itchy flakes. Dilute 1 tablespoon of honey with a teaspoon of water and massage it into your scalp for two minutes; rinse with warm water after two hours. Repeat every other day until your scalp is flake-free.

Support a livelihood 🙂
Buy it directly from our organic farmers’ marketplace at just Rs. 210/-
(*89% of whatever you buy on our store goes back to the tribals. Hand over heart guarantee.)

“Are you lucky enough to get me home? I’ll bee waiting.”

Very limited stocks available. Place an order by clicking here 

Who are the Indian Superheroes?

The Indian Superheroes is a wing of the Superheroes Foundation comprising of over 800 organic farmers from across south India. We enable our organic farmers to sell directly to customers under a common name, thereby eliminating middlemen and ensuring great prices on genuine organic products for you and better returns for them. Click here to buy directly from the farmers.

 

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China just built a 250-acre solar farm shaped like a giant panda

China-just-built-a-250-acre-solar-farm-shaped-like-a-giant-panda

Most solar farms align their solar arrays in rows and columns to form a grid.

A new solar power plant in Datong, China, however, decided to have a little fun with its design. China Merchants New Energy Group , one of the country’s largest clean energy operators, built a 248-acre solar farm in the shape of a giant panda.

The first phase, which includes one 50-megawatt plant, was completed on June 30, according to PV magazine. The project just began delivering power to a grid in northwestern China, and a second panda is planned for later this year.

Called the Panda Power Plant, it will be able to produce 3.2 billion kilowatt-hours of solar energy in 25 years, according to the company. That will eliminate approximately million tons of coal that would have been used to produce electricity, reducing carbon emissions by 2.74 million tons.

Panda Green Energy China 889x568

China Merchants New Energy Group worked with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to make the Panda Power Plant a reality. The project is part of a larger effort to raise awareness among young people in China about clean energy, the UNDP wrote in a statement.

The groups hope to build more panda-shaped solar plants throughout China in the next five years.

via Business Insider

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Workshops

List of workshops available:


Farming Workshops


Zero Budget Organic Farming Workshop
Once every month
4500
Learn the art of farming at an integrated organic farm!
Wanted to learn organic farming but didn't know where to start? Join our Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) Workshop and learn the secret art to create an integrated organic farm!
-Perfect for Newbies
-Rental Program Available
-20 hours over 2 days
-Completely hands-on
-Accommodation and Food Provided*
Sign Up
Mushroom Cultivation Workshop
Once every month
4000
Learn the art of farming at an integrated organic farm!
Wanted to setup your own mushroom cultivation unit but didn't know how? This program is for you!
-Advanced Training
-Materials and Cheat Sheets Provided
-10 hours
-Completely hands-on
-Accommodation and Food Provided*
Sign Up
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How to Use Eggshells in the Garden

Last fall, I started collecting eggshells after I read an article on Realfarmacy.com that touted their usefulness in the garden, for everything from fertilizer to organic pest control. This spring, I’m using crushed eggshells in the garden five ways:

Egg-Shell-Mulch-in-the-Garden-sving-shells

Above: During the winter, I saved the shells from all the eggs we ate by simply rinsing them and placing them in an open container where they could dry out. (No, they did not smell. Everyone who came to my house and saw them asked me this question.) After my containers were full, I set the kids to pulverizing them into little bits with wooden spoons, thus compacting the shells so that I could collect more.

Eggshell Fertilizer


Above: When tilled into the soil, ground eggshells provide your plants with calcium.

Though nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are most vital for healthy growth, calcium is also essential for building healthy “bones”—the cell walls of a plant. Composed of calcium carbonate, eggshells are an excellent way to introduce this mineral into the soil. To prep the eggshells, grind with a mixer, grinder, or mortar and pestle and till them into the soil. Because it takes several months for eggshells to break down and be absorbed by a plant’s roots, it is recommended that they be tilled into the soil in fall. More shells can be mixed into your soil in the spring.

By the same token, finely crushed shells mixed with other organic matter at the bottom of a hole will help newly planted plants thrive. (Tomatoes especially love calcium.) For an exciting recycled garden cocktail: try mixing your eggshells with coffee grounds, which are rich in nitrogen.

Finally, eggshells will reduce the acidity of your soil, and will help to aerate it.

Eggshell Seed Starters

Above: Because they are biodegradable, eggshells make excellent, no-waste seed starters. For this, reserve some of your deeper shell halves. Sterilize the shelves by boiling them or by placing them in a 200 degree oven for 30 minutes. (If you put them in a cooling oven after, say, you baked a roast chicken, you can sterilize eggs without using excess energy.)

Next, with a nail or awl, make a hole in the bottom for drainage. Add soil and seeds according to the packaging. When sprouts appear, plant them—egg and all—right into the soil. See a complete DIY at 17 Apart.

Eggshell Pest Control


Above: A coating of crushed eggshells in the garden is said to help deter several pests, both large and small. Deer dislike the smell of the albumen and will stay away. Apparently you can also use egg’s insides to deter deer. See DIY: Homemade Deer Spray. Be aware, however, that though deer hate the smell of eggs, rodents love it. Therefore, it may not be best to use this deterrent near the house.

Many gardeners also tout the use of crushed eggshells as a snail and slug repellent. But a recent test by All About Slugs in Oregon seems to have dispelled this as a myth. If you’ve had any success with egg shells as slug repellent, we’d be curious to know.

Eggshell Bird Food


Above: Like plants and people, birds also benefit from a bit a calcium in their diet, especially the females who need extra before and after laying their eggs. To make bird food, start by sterilizing the shells by leaving them in a cooling oven after you bake a meal. Then crush them into fine bits and mix with your favorite seed.

Eggshell Mulch

Above: Like oysters, eggshells used as mulch provide a striking accent in the garden. If you gather enough, you can even apply a layer thick enough to deter weeds.

Originally published on Gardenista.

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How healthy are you?

In the race with our own selves, are we forgetting to remember? Or is it the apathy that burns our common sense? Amidst greedy food industries and dying farmers, the gap cannot be bigger and more visible. As much as we the people try to get to healthier food options, the food industry slogs day and night to take us as far as possible from acquiring a healthy lifestyle. Once in awhile, in the middle of nowhere, when someone cares to pause and think about what is happening as a collective society, awakening happens. What you are depends a lot on what you eat. What you eat, reflects a lot on how you think. What you think, you become.

The need and the time for an organic drive is here and now. To a large section of the population, the term organic is coupled with “expensive”, “selling strategy”, and “luxury”. It is quite the opposite of each of these. It is an intuitive cycle. Think about it. Organic food is made using organic fruits, grains and vegetables. These organic ingredients, come up from crops that have been nurtured and nourished all through the year with utmost care and farming techniques. Now when I use the term farming techniques, I am obliged to be very careful and aware about what I am describing here. Very similar to ourselves and this human body, is our planet ‘Mother Earth’. What we give, is what we get.

When we try to suffocate our soil lands with harmful pesticides and fertilizers, all that that we would get back will be toxic by products of man-handled fruit and vegetable babies. Of course a profitable byproduct could be several folds of product stock. Merchants across the world are able to hoards of stock in this way. Imagine buying brinjal for your family. When I was a kid, my parents used to buy it by weight, by hand-picking healthy ones. But now, I am introduced to a hoard of pineapple sized aubergine/eggplant and asked to believe that they are different. For clarity, they are not different. They should ideally be the same. For massive production, these are fed all kinds of toxic crop chemicals and blown up in size! And we are asked to eat the ever-pregnant looking eggplants.

A person who would buy approximately 10-15 brinjal per 500g, now ends up buying 1 aubergine for his or her family. What is this, if not for business? Remember, I am not blaming the naturally grown eggplants here. I am only against the artificially blown up ones. One can easily find the difference between the two. When you cook the natural ones, you will be able to savor the taste, and relish it. On the contrary, the artificial one is lifeless, tasteless and dangerously nutrition-less! But they get sold out pretty fast, since the entire food industry is cashing in on people’s ignorance. Teams like Indian SuperHeroes who have woken up to this hideous fact, did not just take it upon themselves to educate the people, but are relentlessly working towards protecting the planet, and more so, at recovering the planet from the “already done” damage.

Now that, is organic. Next time someone tells you that organic is a fad, attempt to clarify the term and its vast meaning. Live and lead a life of an example, what you give, is what you get! So, ask yourself what you eat and how they grow! Before you turn a vulnerable target to those harmfully grown foods, ask yourself the most important question – how healthy are you? How healthy do you wanna be?

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How To Lead A Holistic Life With Aquarium Therapy?

Do you remember that big fish tank at the dentist clinic where Nemo get stuck?

Though it is a movie but movies are not just out of the blue. The dentist in the movie is a real professional and whenever any patient (kid) comes to visit him, he gives him the room with the aquarium to sit and wait.

Actually, there is a scientific reason behind that. Usually, kids that come to him for checkup, are already stressed by the fact that they are meeting a doctor and somehow their brains relate this to having pain, which is why calming them is essential.

Looking at an aquarium with vibrant colored fishes, swimming in the blue water has been proven to calm down the stress and anxiety, the kids usually have. In this way, they feel less pain when they are actually examined by the doctor because their brains are being relaxed by the serenity of the fishes.

This is not all. Looking at an aquarium full of fishes which is also referred as the aquarium therapy will actually help you to live a holistic life.

Let’s start with Blood Pressure & Stress:

Every 1 of 3 American adults is suffering from high blood pressure, which is around 75 million of the entire population. This is indeed a shocking and terrifying news.

Also, $46 billion is spent each year to treat this awful disease. But do you know that the aquarium therapy can help you to reduce your blood pressure level significantly?

It has been studied and proven that the tranquil swimming nature of the fishes can lower your stress level drastically which is why you will see most of the doctors have aquariums in their waiting rooms.

Having the best 20 gallon fish tank and contemplating the fishes in it will prove beneficial in the long run and also will keep you occupied from thinking something stressful.

A Happy Heart Is Happy You!

Again, I would like to start with statistics.

Every 1 of 4 Americans die in heart diseases and the number is increasing. But who knows that a simple aquarium can have the ability to strengthen our heart?

Yes! Fishes have the ability to do miracles. Aquarium therapy is really helpful in making you happy after the entire day of hard work and tough times. The serenity of the underwater environment will pierce your heart with love and compassion which will only let you to feel happy and relax.

Controlling The Aggressiveness Of The Alzheimer’s Patients:

Alzheimer’s patients are often found to be very aggressive and troublesome. These affected kids can be dealt with the Aquarium Therapy as the beauty of the underwater world with vibrant colors and corals keep them under control. Not only that it changes the eating habits of the kids and increase the nutrition intake.

Overall, contemplating the fishes and the serenity of the deep blue water will help them to improve
their health condition drastically.

Treating Autism & ADHD Disorders:

Sudden emotional outbursts are very common to Autistic Children which is why they are difficult to handle but an aquarium therapy can help them to calm their nerve down and feel more relaxed.

Also, the children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are prone to losing concentration level easily.

An attractive fish tank has the ability to turn their heads towards it and control their nerves and heart beats by keeping them more concentrated.

Bottom Line:

It is proven that the aquarium therapy is more helpful in keeping your life happy, satisfied and
stress-free than any other natural ways. Fishes have the ability to make you more compassionate and feel complete. A day-long stress can be instantly minimized if you contemplate the fishes in the deep blue water.

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Jallikattu is NOT the Actual Issue. Raising Native Bulls Are.

Jallikattu is NOT the actually issue. This is.

Since it is the time to talk about our native bulls, here is a picture of a few bulls belonging to a breed native to Andhra that we own in our village.

Jallikattu is NOT the actually issue. Raising Native Bulls is.
Jallikattu is NOT the actually issue. Raising Native Bulls is.

Just to give you an idea of what it takes to take care of them, we have about 6 and the cost comes to Rs.16,000 per month. It is extremely difficult to find labour to take care of them and we have to depend on locals working in our fields. Since these are bulls, we don’t get any milk. 🙂 The 2 cows yielding milk do so only when they deliver a calf which happens once a year.

Only last night, the young bull on the extreme left fell seriously sick either by eating some poisonous plant or got bit by a poisonous insect. My dad had to fight with a veterinary doctor who was reluctant to visit after office hours, had to give it 4 bottles of saline and had to have someone to monitor the bull till midnight to ensure it was doing alright.

We rear these cows and bulls not because they fetch us any money, to be honest, financially, it is a burden but we are able to maintain them because we have the affordability. The only reason is the emotion we have towards cattle, we don’t even have Jallikattu in our region to serve as a motivation.

As someone who grew up in a household that owned 120 cows and bulls and who today sees only empty cowsheds, remember these points when you take up a fight to save native breeds:

1. The reason why native breeds have fallen out of favour is change in agricultural practices. We no longer use bulls for ploughing or for transport, not even for manure.

2. If you want to own native breeds for purely commercial purposes, it may not be a viable business because, the milk yield is very less compared to the Jersey breeds and unless you give it hormone injections, it only will give enough milk for its calf. It takes 9 months for a cow to deliver a calf, so technically, you are going to get milk only once in a year!

3. In my grandfather’s time, people who owned cattle, let the calves feed first and then used the remaining milk for personal consumption, at the most, they distributed the extra milk to villagers who didn’t own cattle. Would that work in today’s world with the huge demand for milk?

4. There was a time when every household held agricultural lands, now a major portion is being converted to real estate because for our generation and the generations next, agriculture is no longer a career. Trust me when I say this, it is not an easy career unless you are willing to change your entire lifestyle and are immensely passionate about it. So when agriculture itself is waning, would farmers really care for native breeds?

5. Even if someone is deeply attached to cattle, when they hardly get any returns, would they have the affordability to maintain them? Who will pay for their maintenance?

Jallikattu being permitted is fine but that’s not what is going to save the native breeds. If your fight is for the native breeds, then Jallikattu is not the solution because the same farmer who is motivated to rear a bull for the sport, wouldn’t hesitate to sell it off the moment the bull is no longer good enough for the sport if it is going to be a financial burden.

The days when cattle was considered family are gone, even in villages very few people want to focus on traditional careers, labour is extremely hard to find, we have a billion people to feed and unless you resort to mechanization and high yielding breeds, it won’t be possible to meet the demand. So it is upon common citizens to really get down to the field and contribute to the farmers’ livelihood.

Candlelight protests are only good enough to create news for the breeds but it is not going to save them.

How many of you are willing to cut short your milk consumption, stop buying more real estate and stop adding to the population?

We need answers to these questions and actions, Jallikattu or no Jallikattu.

Indian Superheroes - A to Z in Organic and Saving Native Breeds

Originally published on FB by Harichandana Devalla (Read the post here.)

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Does Honey Crystallize? Real, Raw Honey Will.

Does Honey Crystallize – The Myth

Some of our customers have been reporting to us that the organic, wild, raw, forest honey they have bought from us has crystallized over time. We tell them, It’s a good thing. Honey that crystallizes is NOT adulterated nor ‘spoilt’; infact the opposite is true.

Crystallization is a natural and spontaneous process. Pure honey will crystallize over time – apart from the color and the texture – there will be NO difference in the honey whatsoever.

Infact, when honey crystallizes, the natural flavor and quality of the honey is preserved more. We’ve had many other customers who seem to prefer honey in this form – that way it is easier to spread onto the toast they make every morning.

Crystallized honey is also easier to use for some recipes and the taste is richer.

Real honey vs fake honey
Real honey vs fake honey

Why Does Honey Crystallize?

Natural, raw honey has a high concentration of sugar (70% sugar and less than 20% water). Essentially, this means that the water in the honey holds more sugar than it normally should hold – thereby making the honey unstable. The two principal sugars in honey are fructose and glucose. The glucose in the honey is what crystallizes over time, due to its lower solubility. The fructose, however, is more soluble in water than glucose and will remain fluid.

Generally, the fructose range is from 30-44% and the glucose range is from 25-40%. The percentages of fructose and glucose content varies from one type of honey to the other. When glucose crystallizes, it separates from water and forms tiny crystals. As time progresses, more glucose starts to crystallize, and these crystals spread throughout the honey.

Does Honey Crystallize? Real, Raw Honey Will
Differences between fake honey and real honey – Nutrients wise

When glucose crystallizes, it separates from water and takes the form of tiny crystals. As the crystallization progresses and more glucose crystallizes, those crystals spread throughout the honey. Ultimately, the honey becomes thick and crystallized.

The degree of crystallization may differ as well. Some honeys crystallize uniformly. Others form distinct layers – the crystals will settle at the bottom, and the liquid remains on top. Once honey crystallizes, it changes to a lighter shade than when it was in liquid form.

And what do you do with crystallized honey? You can reuse it easily. Just heat the honey bottle up in warm water and the honey melts. Easy, isn’t it?

So the ultimate takeaway? Real, raw, wild forest honey will crystallize – and you will LOVE it.

Buy it from our store and trust me, you will come back for more, over and over again! Click here to buy.

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Eating Organic Food? Read This First.

Eating Organic? Read this first.

Eating Organic Food is a great choice for your health.

However, eating organic doesn’t come easy. It really needs to start with us actually understanding what is organic and what isn’t. So, for the newbies – here’s a short primer on what ‘organic‘ actually is, and how you can start eating organic food (Learn How to Make Golden Milk) that doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket.

Eating Organic: Yummy and Healthy as well!
Eating Organic Food is a Great Choice: Yummy and Healthy as well!

What Actually is Organic?

There is a notion that food items, by virtue of not being preserved using chemical additives – is automatically organic. There can be nothing more further from the truth.

Organic food needs to start from the soil – the way farmers grow and process their crops. Organic farmers practice using natural fertilizers instead of chemical fertilizers, and use crop rotation strategies to manage weeds.

In other words, organic food is biologically grown. It is more nature-friendly, and the emphasis is on creating a healthy and fertile soil, than merely spraying crops (and ultimately our food) with unnatural chemical formulations.

Since there are no chemicals added, there are multiple benefits of eating organic food – let’s take a look at some of them:

Advantages of Eating Organic Food

a. More Nutritious, and Safe

Since organic food is free from chemical additives, it is safer and more nutritious than crops that are grown using chemical pesticides or fertilizers. Additionally, consider eating organic livestock produce as well – since they are raised without using any antibiotic or growth harmone drugs. (Here’s a recipe you can try out today)

b. More fresh

Since organic food doesn’t contain chemical preservatives (to make food last longer), it is often fresh.

c. Definitely Tastier

It may take some getting used to, but, once you are out of the comfort zone – processed sugar, MSG and other additives – you will start eating organic food and enjoying its taste. Rest assured, in a short time, you will start craving organic food, and will have it no other way.

d. Definitely Healthier

Organic foods tend to be rich in antioxidants and have various vitamins, minerals and other essential components intact. Therefore, eating such foods will help in the prevention of diseases such as cancer, premature aging, Alzheimers and so on. (Read More: Top 11 Benefits of Organic Turmeric Powder).

Considerations Before Eating Organic Food

You may have to start eating organic food with some caution though. There are various so-so food products out there in the market – which is really non-organic produce disguised as organic, to enable them to sell better. Here are some considerations:

a. Verify the Certifications

Before you start eating organic food, verify the certifications of the company – India Organic Certification (India), USDA Certification (United States), NASAA Certification (Australia) and so on (Read More on Wikipedia: Various Organic Certifications).

b. Read the Label

Also, please read the label and check for any preservatives present in the product; most preservatives are petroleum based — you surely don’t want to be consuming those!

c. Buy Locally as Well

One of the common complaints is that eating organic food is a costly affair. However, purchasing it directly from the farmer ensures that you spend less and support the growth of your local community. Or try reaching out to organizations such as Indian Superheroes (ISH), that promise you direct farm-to-fork produce at a nominal price.

Try eating organic food, starting today and let us know how you feel!

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How to Make Turmeric Chicken Curry – Organic Recipes

Turmeric Chicken Curry - Made with Organic Coconut Oil

Turmeric powder is probably the most important herb in the world – and for an organicaholic (a term I phrased for a person addicted to organic food), it is an absolute essential for food and beauty regimes.

I have been experimenting with various cuisines, but, I found an authentic Indian recipe that I love for making delicious chicken curry made with turmeric powder and organic coconut oil. (Essential Reading: Eating Organic Food? Read this First)

Why Turmeric Powder for Chicken Curry?

As you may already know, turmeric powder has amazing benefits. Of the major benefits, turmeric is:

  • anti-inflammatory
  • anti-fungal
  • anti-bacterial
  • anti-parasitic
  • anti-septic
  • nourishing for skin

For the major benefits of turmeric powder, read an article I have written.

You can use turmeric powder in food to great effect, a case in point being the turmeric chicken curry recipe that I will share with you. Additionally, you can also use it for skincare, (Read More: How to Use Turmeric To Cure Acne) or health drinks, especially Golden Milk. (Read More: How to Make Golden Milk)

With that said, let’s jump into the recipe for making turmeric chicken curry. Happy eating!

Turmeric Chicken Curry

Probably the easiest, and one of the most delicious chicken curry recipes made with organic turmeric powder and organic coconut oil.

  • 1 grated white onion
  • 20 g of grated ginger
  • 3 slices crushed garlic
  • 4 boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 pieces chicken leg
  • 60 ml of organic coconut oil
  • 1 finely-chopped red chilli
  • 1 spoon of organic turmeric powder
  • 1 spoon of cumin
  • 2 spoons of coriander powder
  • 2 spoons of smoked paprika
  • 3 slices cardamom
  • 1 cup of curry leaves – plus extra fried leaves
  • 400 ml organic coconut cream
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • Crushed cashews to taste
  • Coconut flakes spring onion and coriander
  1. Add sliced onion, ginger and garlic in a large bowl. 

  2. Add the chicken thighs and leg pieces to the mix. 

  3. Set aside for 20 minutes.

  4. Take a saucepan and heat 2 spoons of organic coconut oil over medium heat.
  5. Add the marinated chicken slices to the saucepan, and add salt.
  6. Cook the chicken for 5-6 minutes until it turns golden.
  7. Remove it from the pan and set it aside.
  8. Put a spoon of coconut oil to the pan and add chilli, spices, and curry leaves.
  9. Stir and cook for a minute.
  10. Add the marinated chicken pieces to the pan.
  11. Put a few dollops of coconut cream, and set the stove to medium-low.
  12. Cover the pan with a lid.
  13. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  14. After 20 minutes, remove the lid and reduce heat to low.
  15. Stir and cook for a further 20 minutes until the chicken pieces are tender.
  16. Add cashews and stir and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  17. Remove the pan from the stove.
  18. Serve with toppings – chilli, fried curry leaves, coconut flakes, spring onion, coriander and some extra cashews for taste.

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How to Treat Acne with Turmeric and Coconut Oil

How to Treat Acne Using Turmeric and Coconut Oil

Treating acne is an effortless, painless, and least-expensive process. However, the current scenario paints a different picture.

Various pharmaceutical and beauty businesses offer chemical treatments as the go-to option for treating any skin problem. Most of them result in adverse side effects and is harmful for the skin.

How to Treat Acne Using Turmeric and Coconut Oil
Treat Acne Using Turmeric and Coconut Oil

Treating skin problems can be done best when we use traditional plant-based recipes, based out of ancient Indian Ayurvedic systems.

Before we get into treating acne, let’s first understand how it is formed.

Inflammatory Acne 

Inflammatory acne occurs as a result of various factors – diet, allergies, hydration levels, internal and environmental toxins. Other causes include intestinal floral levels, omega essential fatty acid balance, and toxic overload.

Healing Inflammatory Acne 

Treat Acne with balanced Organic Food
Treat Acne with balanced Organic Food

To heal inflammatory acne, you should adopt a variety of practices:

  • Include an alkaline, anti-inflammatory diet
  • Limit intake of sugar
  • Limit intake of toxic food
  • Drink golden milk (Read More: How to Make Golden Milk)
  • Exercise everyday (atleast for half an hour)
  • Use gentle non-toxic, chemical-free facial cleanser
  • Use alkaline moisturizers

To get started however, you can adopt a simple technique, right out of an Ayurveda textbook – turmeric powder and organic cold-pressed coconut oil.

The Cause and the Cure

Propionibacterium is the main cause of inflammatory acne.

Recent studies have proven that a combination of curcumin (prime component of turmeric powder) and lauric acid (prime component of organic coconut oil) is incredibly effective at killing Propionibacterium.

Why Turmeric Powder?

Indian women use turmeric powder as part of their beauty regimen.
Turmeric is used as it is:

  • anti-inflammatory
  • anti-parasitic
  • anti-bacterial
  • anti-septic
  • nourishing for skin

Turmeric manages inflammation levels throughout the body by killing bacteria on the skin without damaging other healthy cells. This enables you to treat acne without any side effects, specifically dry skin. (Read More: Top 11 Benefits of Turmeric Powder)

Why Coconut Oil?

Organic coconut oil is used as a beauty product, and as a dietary staple. Like turmeric, coconut oil is also anti-fungal and anti-bacterial, and helps nourish skin cells.

Recent studies have shown that coconut oil is the most effective carrier for curcumin (found in Turmeric powder). The lauric acid in coconut oil and the curcumin from turmeric work together to inhibit the growth of inflammatory acne.

How to Treat Acne Using Organic Coconut Oil
Treat Acne Using Organic Coconut Oil

How to Treat Your Acne with Turmeric and Coconut Oil 

The process of treating acne with turmeric powder and coconut oil is the same that Indian women have been following for generations. It is not rocket-science, it is a simple, efficient and cost-effective process.

The Treatment Process

  • Wash your face with a gentle organic cleanser.
    Organic wild honey is a great cleanser. It is anti-bacterial and naturally hydrating.
  • Mix half a teaspoon of turmeric powder with virgin coconut oil.
  • Use a spoon, stir and make a paste.
  • Apply the paste to the acne patches.
  • Keep the face pack on for atleast 30 minutes.
  • Rinse off the face pack with lukewarm water.
  • Use an organic moisturizer to remove the face pack completely.
  • Repeat this process for a few days.

Note

Wash Face with Organic Coconut Oil or Organic Honey
Wash Face with Organic Coconut Oil or Organic Honey

Here are a few things you need to keep in mind:

  • Gentle organic products are best for skin.
  • Do NOT pick the acne or try bursting it – this just perpetuates its breakout.
  • If an acne has erupted, it will leave scars on the skin. Use coconut oil to lighten the scars over time.
  • Turmeric may stain clothing or your porcelain bowls.
  • Applying turmeric powder paste to your skin will give it a temporary yellow or orange tint – nothing to worry – it will go away after a couple of hours. 🙂

You can use more coconut oil to make a thinner version of the paste. This thinner version can be used as a nourishing mask. Try this paste the next time you have acne – and see the results for yourself.

 

 

 

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How to Make Golden Milk – A 5 Minute Recipe

How to Make Golden Milk - Recipe

Ever since I made a conscious choice to go organic, I have replaced my coffee shots with something much more healthy, delicious, and creamy – Golden Milk.

What is Golden Milk?

Golden Milk (also called Turmeric Milk) is a drink made using turmeric powder (preferably organic) and milk – and it is an ancient Ayurvedic concoction. Golden Milk has several health, beauty, and wellness benefits due to the curcumin content in turmeric. (Read More: Top 11 Benefits of Turmeric Powder)

Amongst its widespread uses, Golden Milk (as a result of the curcumin content) is:

  • antioxidant
  • anti-inflammatory
  • anti-bacterial
  • anti-cancer, and
  • anti-parasitic in nature.

(Read More: Top 11 Benefits of Turmeric Powder)

How to Make Golden Milk
Health Benefits of Turmeric Powder are Manifold.

How to Make Golden Milk

To make Golden Milk or Turmeric Milk, you will need turmeric powder, cold-pressed coconut oil, and black pepper (preferably organic). Once you make the Golden Paste in advance (which takes a timeframe of two weeks), making Golden Milk will only take a matter of minutes.

a. How to Make Golden Paste

The Ingredients

To make Golden Paste, you will need:

  • 20gms Organic Turmeric Powder (Buy here)
  • A cup of water
  • 2 teaspoons of Organic Black Pepper (Buy here)
  • 5 Tablespoons of Organic Cold Pressed Coconut Oil (Buy here)

The Process

  • Boil water in a vessel and add turmeric and black pepper.
  • Stir and cook for around 7-8 minutes, till it forms into a thick paste.
  • Remove the vessel and add organic cold-pressed coconut oil.
  • Use a ladle to mix the coconut oil with the paste.
  • Transfer the Golden Paste into a glass jar.
  • Store in the fridge for a period of 14-21 days (two to three weeks).

Why Should Cold-Pressed Coconut Oil Be Used?

Since turmeric powder is fat-soluble, coconut oil (preferably organic) acts as the most effective carrier for the curcumin compounds of the turmeric powder to enter the human body.  Cold-pressed Coconut Oil and Curcumin combine to help with joint lubrication and cellular function.

You can buy cold-pressed coconut oil here.

Why Should Black Pepper Be Used?

As per a recent study (Read More: Black Pepper and Curcumin), adding black pepper increases the curcumin’s bioavailability by over 2000%.

You can buy organic black pepper here.

The best part? The taste of black pepper is undetectable in the Golden Milk.

b. How to Make Golden Milk

Now that the Golden Paste is made, making Golden Milk is a matter of minutes!

The Ingredients

  • A teaspoon of Golden Paste
  • 2 cups of raw milk (preferably cow milk)
  • Organic Honey (for taste) (Buy here)

The Process

  • Gently heat two cups of raw milk.
  • Heat it until it steams, but ensure that it does not boil over.
  • Add a teaspoon of Golden Paste.
  • Use a ladle to mix the paste into the milk.
  • Add honey to taste.

Enjoy your delicious, creamy Golden Milk – and slowly, replace your cups of coffee or tea with a naturally healthy alternative. Use the Golden Paste to make smoothies, salad dressings, curries or other delicious recipes.

Psst…Your pets will love the Golden Paste too. 🙂 Let us know in your comments if you liked it.

Bonus:
Watch a video to see how Golden Milk is made . . .

 

 

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Top 11 Benefits of Turmeric Powder

Top 11 Benefits of Turmeric Powder

Turmeric (scientific name: Curcuma Longa) is probably THE most important herb in history. Used through generations as a nutritional supplement, beauty and health agent, staple cooking ingredient, and as a cure for multiple problems - the benefits of turmeric powder are manifold.

Indian women use turmeric face masks and turmeric soaps since it is antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic in nature. Additionally, recipes with turmeric powder are famous across India - not only for the taste but also the health benefits - a prime example being the "golden milk" - turmeric powder mixed with a glass of cow milk. (Read: How to Make Golden Milk)

Benefits of Turmeric Powder

High-quality studies show various benefits of turmeric powder for both body and brain.
Here is a list of the top 11 benefits of turmeric powder, especially if it is organic turmeric (Read More: Eating Organic Food? Read this First):

Benefits of Turmeric Powder #1: Used as a Powerful Medicine

The health benefits of turmeric powder are a result of its curcumin content. Curcumin is known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidizing effects. In order to experience the full effect of curcumin, you can consider taking turmeric extracts, which have higher percentages of curcumin, than merely turmeric powder, where the curcumin content is only around 3%.

Benefits of Turmeric Powder #2: Provides Relief from Arthritic Pain

Turmeric's anti-oxidants destroys free radicals that damage various body cells - thereby aiding relief from joint pains and inflammation. Additionally, turmeric can also treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (Read More: How Turmeric can help prevent Rheumatoid Arthritis).

Benefits of Turmeric Powder #3: Helps In Controlling Diabetes

Turmeric helps in moderating insulin levels in the body, and also in reducing insulin resistance. For this reason, turmeric is used extensively to control diabetes. Additionally, it is also used to prevent the onset of Type-2 diabetes.

Benefits of Turmeric Powder #4: Helps In Preventing Cancer

One of the most significant benefits of turmeric powder is its use in preventing cancer - particularly colon, prostate, and skin cancer.
Through various independent studies, it has been proven that the curcumin content in turmeric stops the growth of cancer cells.

Turmeric Helps in Preventing Cancer
Turmeric Helps in Preventing Cancer

Benefits of Turmeric Powder #5: Helps in Regulating Cholesterol

Turmeric controls the serum cholesterol levels in our body (particularly HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and Triglycerides). Therefore, it prevents the onset of various cardiovascular problems. (Read More: Can Turmeric help Reduce High Cholesterol?)

Benefits of Turmeric Powder #6: Boosts Immunity

Turmeric contains a substance called "lipopolysaccharide" that boosts the immune system and kills disease-causing pathogens. As a result, using turmeric can help in preventing cold, flu and cough.

Benefits of Turmeric Powder #7: Heals Wounds

Turmeric is very useful in healing wounds and is also an effective disinfectant. Applying turmeric powder/paste on cuts and wounds can speed up the healing process. Turmeric can also treat inflammatory skin diseases, particularly psoriasis.

Turmeric Aids in Weight Loss
Turmeric Aids in Weight Loss

Benefits of Turmeric Powder #8: Aids Weight Loss

Using turmeric for health purposes and getting the ideal body weight is a common occurrence in Indian households. Since turmeric powder contains curcumin compounds, it aids in the flow of bile. Bile helps break down fat in the diet. To accelerate the weight loss process, consider taking a teaspoon of turmeric powder with every meal.

Benefits of Turmeric Powder #9: Helps In Preventing Alzheimer’s disease

Turmeric helps in the removal of plaque, and helps improve oxygen flow to our brains. This helps the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.

Benefits of Turmeric Powder #10: Helps Improve Memory

Curcumin content in turmeric increases the BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor) growth hormone in the brain. BDNF helps form new connections between neurons in the brain, thereby helping to improve memory and concentration levels.

Benefits of Turmeric Powder #11: Reduces Risk of Heart Attacks

The curcumin compound present in turmeric improves the functions of the endothelium (lining of blood vessels), thereby preventing the clotting of blood in arteries. As a result, turmeric is said to reduce the risk of heart attacks.