It will be fair to say, that till we discovered Jeevamrut and Agnihastra we were meeting with mixed success in growing dals and vegetables. Grains were hardy and less prone to disease. But with leafy plants like those of dals and vegetables, we had big losses, or no luck from the start.
Permaculture does not talk about cow based farming - I think this is mostly because all permaculture texts are western in origin. And given that they do not have desi cows in the west, cow based farming has not been discovered yet. We heard about cow based farming from the inspirational farm in Noida called Beejom.
And then we went on to read more through Subhash Palekar, the father of Zero Budget Natural Farming, or Jaivik Kheti. We realised that we were now ready to take the productivity of Aanandaa to the next level with the help of cow products.
Subhash Palekar's theory and practices are fascinating to read, and you can simply order his collection of books here.
But the basic take aways for us were as follows - i) The local desi cow, native to India is very useful for enhancing soil productivity and preventing pest attacks. The western Jersey/Holstein cows are completely useless. ii) The biggest benefit of having cows on the farm is not milk, but cow dung and cow urine. iii) The desi cow is distinguished by the hump on its back. This hump has the 'surya ketu nadi' which allows the cow to trap the energies of the sun, thereby getting such good properties in its milk, dung and urine.
We already had two cows by now. So we decided to start practicing javik kheti at Aanandaa. For starters we made Jeevamrut. Follow this link to read how. See below in the photograph how Jeevamrut looks once ready.
We also made Agnihastra - a naturally made insecticide with ingredients like urine, garlic, chillies, tobacco and neem. Read here about how Agnihastra is prepared.
Jeevamrut and Agnihastra have now become our standard fertiliser and insecticide for all purposes - crops, begetables, fruits - everything. It is safe to say, our farm now runs on these two ingredients.