Do you wish to take a break from the city life and go to a place close to nature to relax, but don’t have the time to travel for days! Worry not, because we have found a hidden gem not far away from the city.
A lawyer by education, a farmer by choice! Mrs. Aparna Rajagopal an environmentalist and an animal welfare activist has started a farm sanctuary, alongside the Yamuna river, not too far from the capital. Beejom, by Aparna Rajagopal is a step towards clean healthy living in the city. It is a natural farm and animal sanctuary based in Noida that is working to bring the community together to lead a sustainable and responsible lifestyle.
Beejom is completely self-sustained agricultural farm, where they use natural farming techniques to grow food and the agricultural practices at Beejom is cow-centric. They use the byproducts of the Indian indigenous cows at the farm to manufacture organic manure for the fields.
The farm hugely promotes Indian millets and traditional foods and sees it as the most obvious way of restoring the food security and health of the nation! They use solar power for electricity, have rain water harvesting, practice vermi-culture and they also have a bio-gas plant which helps in cooking food. No waste goes out of the farm, everything is put to use!
They aim to work with farmers and teach them the natural methods of farming without chemicals which were used by their ancestors but the new generation has forgotten. This would not only help the farmers in reducing their costs, but also get back the farm animals which have been replaced by machinery and help all of us in getting clean food.
“It is the animals who run the farm, we are merely facilitators. On our farm, the bulls save us, we don’t save them. They are generators and producers, not recipients of our charity. They pull the carts and run the sugarcane, grain and oil chakkis. They plough our lands gently too. We use their dung to make fertilisers, pest repellents, pots and logs, agarbatti essence sticks and vermicompost.” says Aparna.
The effects of using all these natural methods at the Beejom farmland can be now seen after 3 years of practicing natural farming, that the then sandy infertile soil has become extremely fertile, producing triple the quantity of produce.
Beejom is home to 12 Indigenous cow breeds from different parts of the country, many of which are getting extinct. Other than cows they also have, buffaloes, horses, pigs, hens, goats, donkeys, geese, cats and dogs. All these animals have a story and distinct personalities! They have either been rescued from slaughter houses and hostile situations or were found abandoned on the roads.
Being a self sustainable farm, they don’t need anything from outside, the milk and the fodder is all available for the animals and whatever is produced in the farm with the help of the animals is sold in local farmers markets.
Beejom is not only a place to meet the animals and enjoy the greenery around, but it is also an educational entity, where you learn how the food you eat is grown and the methods of growing it without any chemicals, also how farm animals are important and contribute in growing the food. It is a destination for all, the young the old, people living in the city or people living in villages or farmers. Everyone has something to take back from this beautiful place run with compassion.
The Beejom Jaivik Krishi Mandi at Beejom from 4-7 pm is there every Saturday. Buy Naturally farmed seasonal vegetables straight from the growers. The Mandi has three or four amazing farmers who bring to the table some great produce. Come and support them. Natural Soaps and Pickles also available at the Mandi every week.
Bring your children and elders to meet the beautiful farm animals. They have names and they have beautiful endearing personalities. Just like us. Take a walk through a natural farm and see how food is grown and what is in season. Do some riding on the lovely Beejom horses. Some delicious Homemade snacks and tea available too.
- Making Newspaper bags and liners.
- Cleaning the freshly harvested methi using the soop.
- Tying together the harvested Garlic. Who wants to help?
- Freshly baked wholesome multigrain bread (not gluten free) with grains grown in their farm
- Gooseberry pickle
- Gooseberry powder
- Gooseberry murabba
- Lemon pickle
- Mango pickle
- Kasoori methi
- Neem powder
- Curry leaf powder
- Celery salt
- Dry peppermint leaves
- Fresh aloevera gel
- Mango ginger and fresh turmeric pickle
- Moringa powder
- Flax seeds
- Ghee lip balm
- And wonderful grains, dalias and millets from the Kirana dukaan
Beejom runs with the tag line of Changing Soil Changing Minds! Beejom Farm is located in Sector-126 near Raipur village, Noida in Uttar Pradesh.