The year was 2012, a turning point in the lives of two brothers Satyajit and Ajinkya who made a choice to return to their village and manage their ancestral farmlands.
From there on it has been a journey that has spearheaded on without looking back despite the challenges that often come unannounced and beyond the control of man.
The story begins with feeling a reverence towards the Earth and seeing her as an all-encompassing mother who cares for the millions of ‘children’ who depend on her for survival.
Sustainability involves caring for that very mother. It involves being mindful of everything that goes into the soil, striving to be carbon neutral by adopting eco-friendly alternatives wherever possible and by understanding the importance of native foods, heirloom seeds and indigenous livestock.
Sustainable agriculture is a term used to describe what once was traditional Indian farming. The geographical location, seasons and climate dictated what crops were to be cultivated.
Native cows were domesticated and lived in harmony with the land and people in a symbiotic relationship and the food was home grown, local and seasonal.
Hybrid seeds, the product of human mind machinations were unheard of and the concept of eating that which came from far off lands was non-existent. This sort of easy co-existence allowed both man and planet to flourish.
A lot changed from the mid-1900s onwards and before we realised, traditional farming got replaced by the kind of agricultural practices that plundered and damaged instead of protecting and preserving.
Becoming a farmpreneur when farming was thought to be the occupation of the lower income strata was indeed a challenge.
Today in 2023, the Two Brothers Organic Farm is one that has succeeded in being a leader in sustainable agriculture and known for producing organic food products.
The farm nurtures a biodiverse environment, it is self-sustaining and has been certified by ECOCERT – an organisation which supports the promotion of sustainable practices.
The steadfastness of not wanting to taint the soil and pollute the ground water with poisonous chemicals is the main driving force behind the TBOF initiative.
The following are the many ideas that were implemented in making sustainable farming a profitable venture for others to emulate.
Understanding the impact of soil health on climate change is crucial for the welfare of any farmer. Short term gains of loading the soil with chemicals to get greater output will result in ruining the microorganisms resulting in a soil which is completely dead.
The TBOF converts waste organic plant matter into mulch and mulching continues to be an important method of keeping the soil fertile.
Mulching protects the base of the plants from harsh weather conditions and ensures that the soil is kept moist and in the ideal condition for the growth of healthy bacteria.
The soil needs to breathe and live as nature intended it to. The farming practices at TBOF treat soil as if it is gold and adopts all methods possible to retain soil health.
Border trees which act as wind barriers are planted around the periphery of the farm which prevent the top soil from being blown away while keeping the crops safe and thereby maintaining a well-insulated micro environment.
Planting of native trees helps furthermore in trapping the carbon from the atmosphere and sequestering it in the soil. This carbon in the soil is necessary for the microorganisms to survive and grow, keeping the land fertile.
Food that is cultivated in this kind of organic soil is full of life sustaining nutrients.
Wellness for the Planet & People
Caring for the health of the consumer by providing clean food options is a passion which continues to fuel the purpose behind TBOF.
Watching illnesses accelerate to disastrous proportions and see people suffer from lack of access to conscientiously grown food makes the Two Brothers more determined to extend their reach by way of an online shop / e-commerce business.
Farmers aren’t the best businessmen. They talk of soil rejuvenation, water conservation, early mornings at the cow shed and gratitude for nature’s elements.
That’s why it is a wise decision to invest in and be supported by a team which understands the business side of the operations while keeping the ethos of the organisation intact.
The people who run all aspects of TBOF are united in their efforts towards realising the final goal of being the best custodians of the land and ensuring that every product carrying the brand label should reflect the honesty and steadfastness of this farm venture.
From the hands that churn the nut butters, simmer the full moon ghee , mix the ingredients for the dhoop sticks etc to the ones that stay up late to reply to queries on social media and ensure that there are no delays in despatching products; there isn’t one person that is negligent. When the founders lead by example, it is but natural for the rest to follow suit.
The importance of native livestock
Bringing back the relationship that Indian farmers share with their cows is a crucial part of the TBOF journey.
Cows are not wild animals. They respond well to love and care and reward by offering the life sustaining native cow milk which is closest in composition to human mother’s milk.
The Gir cows at TBOF are an extension of the family. They live in complete harmony and the calves are given priority to be fed at every stage.
There is no artificial insemination, the animals are not injected which keeps them living without the fear of being hurt.
Happy cows, happy milk is a reality. The feeling of being secure adds to the nutrition of the naturally probiotic rich A2 milk.
The value additions which help make this venture a monetary success are the small batches of full moon ghee that is made with strict adherence to traditional methods of ghee preparation.
Clarified over a woodfire wok at predawn, the A2 ghee is as precious as the animal which co-exists in harmony.
Indian gaushalas believe in revering and caring for the cows. The Gomata puja is an intrinsic part of running the TBOF farm. The concept of mistreating cows is a diabolic thought which does not go with our belief systems.
A change of this nature can only be powerful when more rural livelihoods improve. Joining with small scale farmers, investing in heirloom seeds and upscaling traditional farm practices ensures longevity of operations in growing and producing sustainable organic food.
Women make the best learners and are the most hardworking. Giving them an opportunity to share their skills and realise their individual potential is also part of the success story of brand TBOF.
Once they understand their role in the larger picture, they feel included, and the empowerment works both ways.
Farmer training sessions are part of the regular working schedule. This ensures that farmers are a part of the growth of the brand and feel that their contribution matters.
Identifying heirloom foods and providing traceability is another vital part of identifying with the standards that TBOF strives to maintain.
The backstory must be told. That jar of kairi chunda, the tree the mangoes came from and the hands which turned it into a delicious condiment is where the heart of the brand’s identity lies.
The labels are colourful, the designers have burned the midnight oil in translating the brand’s philosophy into beautiful graphics which tell many tales.
Behind the packaging, the thoughtful marketing and the delicious honeys, snacks, heritage rice’s, heirloom wheat, millets, pickles and oils lies the heart of a family run operation where the Two Brothers supported by their mother and sisters commit their every waking breath to being 4th generation custodians to a land which is now an ecological treasure.
|Are you an
Entrepreneur or Startup?
Do you have a Success Story to Share?
SugerMint would like to share your success story.
We cover entrepreneur Stories, Startup News, Women entrepreneur stories, and Startup stories