Beejom is an animal sanctuary and sustainable agricultural farm located in Noida. They use natural farming techniques to grow food. The agricultural practices at Beejom are cow-centric. All the products of the Indian indigenous cows at the farm are used to manufacture organic manure for the fields.
They also make all the chemical free fertilisers and pest repellants on the farm. The planting is mostly done with heirloom seeds and we do as much seed saving as we can each season. The farm hugely promotes indian millets and traditional foods and we see that as the most obvious way of restoring the food security, health and ecological wealth of the nation. The farm uses solar power and bio gas, uses rain water harvesting techniques and practices vermi-culture. Therefore we are completely off the grid.
Beejom works with farmers at the grassroot level and help them restore their holdings into organic holistic farms.
Beejom celebrates the role of dung in producing clean food and adding sustainability to a farm with a zero carbon footprint. The yields are amazing and our whole farm is off the grid thanks to our cattle. We save indigenous seeds, use cow dung to make biogas, solar to make electricity and use indigenous earth worms and bees for greater fertility and pollination.
DUNG HO! Is Beejoms most passionate project.
We generate 1000 kgs of dung at the farm on an average every day. Not even a bit goes wasted. One of our biggest ways of utilizing this surplus dung is to make lovely dung pots in three sizes. Now we are tying up with local nurseries in the hope that they stop using plastic covers and start using these beautiful pots for their seedlings. When the seedling outgrows this pot, one can transplant the seedling into the ground along with the pot which is nothing but good rotted cow dung manure. A beautiful sustainability project that is great for the environment and an additional income source for the farmer.????
We also have a cow dung log machine and make dung logs that can replicate wood. These logs are a fantastic reason to not cut any more trees and be kinder to your environment. It’s a superb best out of waste project. The logs can be used in crematoriums, bonfires or Havans. We sell these logs for all these purposes.
With more surplus dung we make Vermicompost, Gobar khad and Ghan Jivamrit ( a lovely fertiliser with enriched cow dung) and Gobar ash. With the cow urine we also make various liquid fertilisers and pest repellants like….
Panchagavyam, Jivamrit, Agnihastra, Nimastra, Brahmastra, Gomutra for gardening etc:
These products are made from some of the most outstanding cow, goat and chicken dung and cow urine generated in our farm and is sold in beautiful eco friendly packaging to all farmers, urban gardeners and other growers across the city.
Four years ago, the Beejom lands were just a sea of pure grey sand with hardly any living matter and dry and dusty. Practising Natural farming and using these beautiful liquid fertilisers made with dung, urine and enrichers, the soil today has transformed and is full of organic matter. The farm has lush green vegetation, medicinal herbs grow all over the place and birds and bees and butterflies thrive merrily. Apart from the fabulous clean chemical free food we are able to grow through the year; with every passing year the yield and quality of produce is only becoming better. Therefore our tag line for Beejom is “Growing Soil, Changing Minds”.
The animals evidently run the farm and we are merely facilitators. On our farm, the bulls save us, we don’t save them. They are generators and producers, not receivers of 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 repellants, dhoop, agarbathi, pots, logs and vermicompost. We grow Millets through the year so that we may get healthy grain and they can have clean fodder. We make them graze on our lands so that the soil can heal and become more fertile. For all this they are rewarded with a free range life, clean water and food, love and care and above all a life of immense dignity. All this is because, this is a matter of tradition and culture. This is how we lived and farmed before, gently and sustainably respecting our soil, land, air, flora and fauna.
The Beejom Cattle Preservation Centre
Our indigenous cattle are the heart of the farm. An incredible 9 breeds of indigenous cattle grace our cowshed. We have Milch and draught breeds, cows and bulls, young and old and we are a Dung farm not a dairy. We totally have 120 bulls and cows presently.
We are a cattle preservation centre engaged in the preservation of our beautiful indigenous species of cattle which are rapidly going extinct due to unsustainable agricultural practices. The food grown at Beejom is thanks to the fertilizers and pest repellants made with their dung and urine.
We have in our shed the Gir, Sahiwal, Tharparkar, Red Sindhi and Kankrej, Rathi and Hariani breeds from the northwest of India. We have the Malenad Gidda, Vechur and Kangeyam breeds from the southern states.
We also have the rare Swarna Kapila or the golden cow. They are golden from the tips of their horns to the soles of their feet. Their eyes are hauntingly beautiful. They are called kapilas because legend goes that Kapila Rishi is supposed to have bred them and reared them in his ashram. These variants of the Malenad Gidda breed are peculiar to the Dakshina Kannada region of Karnataka. They are nimble and swift footed and are often found grazing on medicinal herbs in the deep forests of the western ghats. Their milk therefore is precious but little. As a result these cows and bulls most often go for slaughter. They belong to the beautiful ethnic biological diversity of the sub continent and are sadly fast going extinct.
We brought 7 of this species from Karnataka (2 males and 5 females of which 5 were Kapila) to Beejom three years ago. Today we have bred many Malenad Gidda and vechur cows and bulls on the farm of which at least 4 are beautiful golden Kapila.
It is not only wildlife and indigenous seed and plant diversity that need our attention; but also our domestic animal diversity. We have in our country beautiful native breeds of dogs (Mudhol, Rajapalayam, chippiparai) , cows ( Gir, Sahiwal Nagori, Deoni, Vechur)goats ( Janumapari, Barbari, Sirohi), buffaloes (Murrah, Nili Ravi, Jaffrabadi), horses( kathiawadi, Malvani, Sindhi) and many many other species and sub species in every corner of india. Hardly anyone knows their names or bothers about their protection. We are going to wake up to this terrible disaster one day and it will be just too late I am afraid. We have some of these beautiful breeds of all species of farm animals at Beejom and are committed to conserving them.
The Beejom Kirana Dukaan
The Beejom Store is a very small place where we sell what we grow and what some other small farmers grow but can’t sell. A place to have a cup of our hot tea or cool Chaach. Eat a homemade bajra muffin and Ragi laddoo. A place to stop to play a game of ludo or snakes and ladders or pallankuzhi before you shop for the Satvik food, the beautiful compost, the seed balls to plant those tall trees for our children, the saplings and seeds. So that you can grow your food and empower yourself. Buy our lovely handmade dung pots and logs to save trees and reduce the plastic. Some lovely recycled items and crafts made by indigenous communities also will be stocked. Listen to Some good old music on the radio and lots and lots of stories about those many animals on our farm who have made this possible. This shop is entirely about them and for them and come about like a dream just to be “khet se pet tak”. Really a desire to capture that slow gentle living we have so forgotten. The little shop is located in Hoshiarpur in Sector 51 Noida.
Beejom Jaivik Krishi Upaj Mandi
The “Beejom Jaivik Krishi Upaj Mandi” takes place every Saturday evening at the farm in Noida. It is from 4-7 pm. The Mandi is set up right in front of a beautiful cattle shed housing 9 breeds of beautiful indigenous cattle from across India.
A simple fuss free rustic Mandi for chemical free farm produce has been a long standing dream and we are taking our baby steps with four to five small local growers. It is also a guild and support group for natural farmers who grow chemical free food but don’t know where to sell the precious perishable produce. They can sit at the Mandi every Saturday for no charge and sell their surplus produce to urban folk directly.
The definition of farmers at Beejom includes anyone who grows food. So all farmers including terrace gardeners from around Noida ( who are an incredible growing community themselves) can sell their surplus produce here straight from fields and balconies too at the Mandi. Since all middlemen are removed from the chain the farmer can keep his price reasonable and yet make much much more money than he would have if he sold to a middle man.
Some people come ( mostly from Noida) to buy lovely chemical free vegetables. They take a refreshing walk through our tranquil fields and enjoy interacting first hand with the farmers about the lush crops growing naturally. They touch feel and smell the produce and delight in the freshness and often learn surprising facts about the way things grow. The children meet the lovely farm animals and hear all their stories.
Thus the “Beejom Jaivik Krishi Mandi” was set up, where some incredible organic growers have come together with us to form a guild. They bring their incredible produce and we have created possibly the first organic vegetable Mandi this side of town. We are trying to keep the prices real so that organic food can be more accessible and therefore more farmers will be encouraged to grow it because more people will choose to buy it.
We also have workshops on various topics to encourage urban folk in particular to take an interest in all things connected with nature. Some of the workshops have been on Beekeeping, cooking with millets, grow your own food, compassion for animals, composting and making newspaper bags and bin liners.
There is also a small high tea during the Mandi where we serve farm made refreshments too so that people can come and spend a few relaxing hours in a farm environment close to nature.
We realised early that preaching to farmers to grow clean food is unrealistic in the view of the fact that most farming communities live without any basic support for health care, education and managing their produce. Clean food therefore is farthest from their mind.
In view of this, we have set up Beejom Shiksha ( a small school for farmers children). Beejom Shiksha is a learning centre for farmers children at the farm. We currently have 110 children enrolled all of whom have never been to a school before. These children hold the key to the food security of this country in the next generation. They must therefore be nurtured with utmost love and care so that they take great pride in the vocation of their forefathers and continue this glorious tradition. At the learning centre, the children learn literacy, life skills, general awareness and vocational training. They of course also learn natural farming as part of the curriculum. The education is free and the children also get a wholesome meal of vegetable Khichdi everyday. They are a bright eager talented bunch of children who are simply delightful.
Beejom aarogya is a small bi-weekly clinic for the neighbouring farming families. Specialists from good hospitals around us kindly visit us and conduct free clinics for the farmers. We have had paediatricians, skin specialists, general physicians and gynaecologists visit us and conduct clinics.
There are about 50 migrant farming families around our farm. The challenge is to make them stop using chemicals and become part of the guild. We train many farmers for free and share whatever we know about natural farming with so many people who come to us with queries. We hope more and more of these people learn what we have to share and start growing clean food to sell at the Mandi itself. It is the need of the hour.
Beejom at Other Organic Markets and Community Melas: Khet se pet Tak
All the food we grow, sell and serve at Beejom comes with a story… “khet se pet tak”. It is a lovely tale of healing the soil so that food can grow in an atmosphere of richness and diversity. Where flora and fauna are allowed to naturally proliferate and create an ambience of a forest in a farm land. It is a kind of agriculture that allows you to embrace and harness nature to grow as against fearing it. There are insects in our farm ; not pests just there are companion plants not weeds. The animals, the plants, the flowers and the bees and insects all come together to create this magic. This is probably also what organic really means and this is maybe the only kind of food we should really be growing and eating. We have a Mobile Beejom Kirana Dukaan too that travels with us from one market and Mela to another to tell the tale of growing food sustainably
We love markets in community spaces. Fresh produce, delicious food, conversations, music and laughter. The best ingredients for an outstanding coming together of sustainable thoughts and ideas. We tell our story at all these spaces; make relationships; and feed each other not just food but thoughts too. Food for thought on the Beejom table.
So Beejom is a small project with big ideas. It’s about community living and homesteading; kindness and compassion. It’s about making organic a way of life in thought and sustainability the key word. It’s about inclusiveness and interactions; creating knowledge banks and sharing freely. It’s about all the many stories of the beautiful journey to sustainable living. This planet needs this now more than ever.