Author and publisher LM Kadu, who has created a unique calendar of children with their handwriting, wants kids to learn farming techniques to know the seasons better.
He owns 10 acres of land around 40 km from Pune of which he has developed two acres especially for children. Here, he gives them first hand experience about farming.
“I want them to learn about farming techniques, the various crops that grow and the labour required according to the seasonal changes,” he said.
He teaches them to sow and reap paddy and vegetables. He was struck by the farming idea when he noticed that urban children are unaware of the pleasures of harvesting and are hardly connected with Mother Nature.
“Two years ago, we started inviting groups of children through schools. They come in June-July to sow paddy, potatoes and groundnuts, and return in November and February-March for harvesting. Thus, they get to see the whole crop cycle,” Kadu said.
About 2,000 students have visited the farm so far. It’s not just about farming; they get introduced to a whole new world. “We also have 26 out of 27 nakshatra (star) trees. The nakshatras are said to be associated with the zodiac signs called rashi and have implication on a person’s health. I am interested in teaching them about the medicinal values of trees and their importance in biodiversity,” he said.
They are also made aware about the herbs which grow on hills without having to sow their seeds. “Many are new to the sight of a crab in the fields and enjoy playing near the Panshet dam backwaters,” says Kadu.