Planting a better world for you and me.
R.Chandramouli, is an organic warrior on a mission. To make the world a better place, one farm at a time. In his trademark unassuming way, RCM, as he is better known, has been helping transform the lives of farmers in and around his 2-acre farm in Denkannikota, Krishnagiri, Tamil Nadu.
The former Chief of Operations, Mahindra Reva Electric Car Company and Chief Executive Officer, TVS Housing, RCM, now 61, hails from a family of farmers. So, the desire to do right by the environment has always been a part of him. Not wanting ‘more of the same’, he gave up his corporate roles to switch to farming after 34 years. After realising the disastrous effects of pesticides on farmers, he started eliminating the use of chemicals and registered as an organic farm in 2019. “Organic farming,” he says, “is the right thing to do by the farmer tending to the farm, the right thing to do by the soil, and the right thing for everyone to safely consume.” He also believes that his farm has acted as a model that has inspired other farmers in the village to take up organic farming on their land. An avid advocate of polyculture, he produces organically grown Badami mango (which is marketed commercially), tamarind, coconut, guava, papaya, tomato, chili and other vegetables.
RCM is currently working on getting together a bunch of 30-40 urban-based farmers, who live in the city but visit their farmland in Denkannikota and Hosur areas every now and then, and create an organic cooperative – which will help all members, from growing to marketing, including food processing if necessary.
His advice to aspiring organic farmers who have their day jobs and live in the city is, “It is possible to make money from this, if you have the intent and if you are willing to work towards making it profitable. There is money in organic farming, if you care to take the effort.” He adds, “The rewards are more than just the money. They can also be the sheer satisfaction of seeing the earth turn green, and seeing the bees come back, and eating – as well as sharing with the world – healthy, pesticide free produce. These benefits even outweigh the traditional monetary rewards.”
You can grow organic vegetables at home even if you don’t have a large garden space. A balcony is a perfectly adequate space to easily grow cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, radishes, spring onions, celery, broccoli, greens like lettuce, mustard, spinach and bok choy, and herbs like mint, rosemary, cilantro parsley and basil. All you need is the intent, time, and a little bit of the RCM spirit.