If you are part of our Global Tree Initiative Community Forum on Facebook, you are sure to have seen the photos and comments of Raman Reikhi!
Raman is one of the active members of our community forum, and he has also planted many trees in the past. In this article, we want to tell our community more about Raman and his farm, Reikhi Farms.
He tells us that “This farm of 202 acres was allotted to us in 1947, after India’s independence. The paternal side of my family shifted from New Delhi in January 1950, after our house was built here on the farm.
I was born on January 30, 1965, and until the year 1970, I had the good fortune of running all over the 202 acres of land!
After 1970, the farm was divided into smaller parts. Up to 1993, I was looking after 80 acres of land. Since 2004, I have been looking after 50 acres of my own land and 5 acres on the contract of our family friends, whose land is in Reikhi Farms itself.”
Raman tells us that he has been following a plant-based diet since the age of 5 years, after understanding his connection to nature and all living beings.
Accordingly, he also ensures to use of only environmental-friendly products on his farm, free of any chemicals, steroids, and hazardous materials. He strongly recommends “a wonderful repellent known as Azadirachtin, which is Neem oil. I try to spray as much of that as possible on most trees, plants, and shrubs. I buy it in the biggest packaging and in a concentration of 1%.”
For weeding, Raman says that he hires people to do the work, instead of using weedicide. In this way, he offers opportunities for employment, and he also offers the grass and weeds to his neighbors as fodder for their livestock, free of charge.
Besides Raman’s care for the animals, plants, and environment, he informs us that his farm is a “zero wastage” farm.
This means that “all leaves, as well as biodegradable stuff, including crop residues, are either plowed into the fields, or placed in farmyard compost pits of 9×6×3 dimensions to become invaluable organic fertilizer. All other non-biodegradable products are bought by my scrap dealer and then reused.”
When we asked Raman about the trees he has on his farm, he told us that he has a huge variety of trees, including Neem, Mango, Guava, Lime, Lemon, Custard apple, and many more. He also tells us that many of these trees have “sprung up” on their own. When he notices them, he starts to nurture and protect them.
He recalls that around 1990, he had to get rid of three types of trees and their roots, which included an Eucalyptus tree, as they were robbing the soil of moisture.
Raman also told us that he has Peepal trees on his farm. The Peepal tree, also known as the Ficus religiosa or Bodhi tree, has a very special significance.
“They grow on their own because they are sacred and sacrosanct. Therefore, they are protected. I can happily get a building demolished, but the Peepal trees are there to stay!” Raman remarks.
Thank you for your story, Raman, and thank you for being such a valuable member of our community. We appreciate you and we hope that your farm and your trees will keep flourishing.