Bhaskar Save – The Legend!

September 5, 2010

– Ananthoo

He is 89 and still active. One of the oldest (organic) farmers in India, most revered and a fountainhead of knowledge. He has been practising organic farming since 1956. He is a must see for any one taking to farming and his farm kalpavruksha should be visited- likened to pilgrimage.
Another person influenced by Gandhiji! This list of people across many fields influenced by Gandhiji amazes me.

Saveji was an exemplary chemical farmer in the early 1950s. When there were not many who took to chemical farming in those days, his farm was a ‘sample farm’ the fertilizer industry would bring people to. He was a ‘progressive farmer then:-0 but the point is he was always outstanding.
Suddenly he happened to read some points of Gandhiji and the turn around (as well as reasoning) happened. From then till date kalpavruksha is an amazing natural farm. From water conservation to mulching to using weeds to the unique way of using crotons to identify the water needs of plants around to intelligent pest management thru mixed cropping – it’s a delight. A farm even the great Fukuoka said was better than his own, when he visited Kalpavruksha!

kalpavriksha-mulch

Saveji has numerous suggestions to make from his vast experience. He backs them all with heavy interesting statistics that one cant ignore what he says. One can fill this whole space with so much of info.
So here I go, only with some of the fabulous quotes of his.

  • Gandhijis 4 diktats about non violence, no right to kill other creatures, respect to mother earth, adopting traditional practices was the reason for his turn around.
  • prakruti hi parameshwar
prakruthi parameswar

prakruthi parameswar

  • When there is lack of knowledge, ignorance masquerades as ‘science’
  • Weeding, Chemicals, cultivation expenses like tractor, etc and pesticides constitute 20% of the expenses each.
  • Trees/plants do not take anything from the soil unlike the general wisdom. He went on to prove this by taking a pot with 9 kg of soil and grew water melon. This grew and gave 2 fruits – 3 & 5 kg (8 kg totally). Then he took the full plant and weighed it, which was 600gms. The soil after drying weighed 9 kg again!
  • Evaporation of water is like distillation and it leaves behind concentrated salt on the soil which was the main factor for loss of soil fertility.
  • During and just after the Ist world war, British (and the farming community) didn’t bother about agriculture and so there was a sudden dip in production. This gave way to Chemical fever.
  • Fruits and seeds comprise only 10-15% the rest is all designed to be given back to mother earth!
  • vikas nahi vinash! (It aint development but destruction! While talking on the supposed development)
  • if farmer becomes bikari the nation wud become bikari to
  • we have no right to tamper with nature, it will take care of itself well if we don’t mess
  • Sarvodaya Vs Sarvanash
  • With all this abundant use of pesticide have the pests vanished? Why isn’t any one asking?!
  • Soil took lakhs of years to form and how can we have short term plans for it?
  • Except humans all live their life, don’t disturb nor affect themselves or other creatures. and they don’t trade either.
  • Earth worm is a great being, that works 24X 7.  In a day it comes up to the surface 10-12 times to get oxygen and to excrete.While it eats on the soil and all wastes that we put, it nourishes the soil so well. There can be up to 4 lakhs earthworm per acre. Each time it comes out it digs 2 holes (tilling any body?) so 2 holes x 10 times x 4 lakhs!! 72 crores holes in a crop cycle on average per acre.
  • Earthworms during their action do not disturb any of the fibrous roots but tilling would.
  • BTW compost is NOT food for forest. Its food for the micro organisms of the soil.
  • Trees need moisture not water! More water actually arrests aeration. Just like us, the roots also need to breathe and so excess water is unproductive. Prolonged flooding lets the roots to rot and it takes so much time to recoup even after the water drains or dries. Rice being the only exception.
  • The water used to irrigate one acre of chemically grown sugarcane can provide the needs of atleast 25 acres of jowar, bajra or maize. Add to this the consumption at the sugar factories. 1 kg of refined sugar would need 3 tons of water. With this water 250 kg of millets can be grown.
  • bcos of dams, theertha kshetras became Naraga kshetras.
  • 40% of microbes and earthworms die in the 1st year of chemical farming. Due to this inadvertent introduction of organic (dead) matter on to the soil, the yield increases, in the 1st year. 3rd to 4th year on it reduces. So the introduction of ‘fiddled ‘ seeds, more chemicals, more water, more of everything and so more debts too!
  • Of all the creatures 99% are non-vegetarians and the rest 1% is vegetarian. To avoid this 1% we spray so much of harmful chemicals where as the 99% would have had enough predators to finish them off naturally. Instead we killed these helpful non-veg insects and so the vegetarians are freaking out on our crops.
  • Chikkoo (sapota) lives for 3000-4000 years! One such 4000 year old tree planted by the portugese is seen at silvassa!
  • A very insightful, practical and amazing plan to reap the best out of mixed cropping by him is to mix the alpa jeevi (short duration crops, 2-6 months), Madhyama jeevi (medium duration, 2-12 years) and deerga jeevi (long term, 50-1000years) in such a way that the long term are on the outer periphery and as u go inside towards the centre u have the madhya and alpa jeevis.

Something important: When he shifted from chemical to organic way back in 1956, he had 50% yield only but expenses was a meager 10% of the prev year’s. In 5th year he had achieved 100% and from then it only increased.
His recipe for a sujalam suphalam India is to throw 3 things away; namely Agri university, Agri ministry and cricket.

Savejis open letter to M.S.Swaminathan, the great architect of “green revolution” is very popular and is floating around all over the internet.
For the 1st letter to MSSwaminathan, see here:
Ofcourse he got a typical bureaucratic, diplomatic (read silly) reply from MSS!
For the 3rd letter see here:

Note: I do have lotsa photos including the great Fukuoka’s pictorial comments in his visitor’s book. But it can only happen later when I reach home.

Note2: for a cute write up and some photos on the same, check out here. Its with Sriram and Karpagam that i visited this farm and Ahmedabad.

(reproduced with permission from ananthoosupdates.blogspot.com)

  1. 7 Responses to “Bhaskar Save – The Legend!”

  2. Restore / Ananthoo,

    This was a very informative write-up and I am inspired to make a visit/pilgrimage trip to Kalpavruksha.

    The insights you’ve shared are amazing..

    Would you happen to know how to get there and if he’s open to having visitors on his farm?

    By Preethi Sukumaran on Sep 8, 2010

  3. thanks for the kind words preethi! he encourages visitors (only) on saturday afternoons. one has to go to umargaon from Mumbai (on the Guj maha border) and take a local transport to his farm. mail me when u r going, for more details.

    By Ananthoo on Sep 9, 2010

  4. Great article. wish & hope his methods and knowledge on Organic farming reaches all farmers.

    By unknown on Sep 9, 2010

  5. I visited Umargaon in Dec 2005 and had the good fortune of seeing both Sanghi Farm as well as Kalpavruksha. Sanghi Farm in Vrundavan area of Umargaon was developed by Shri.Bhaskar Saveji on 20 odd acres of land which hardly had 6 inch of top soil on a bed of sheet rock. Agriculture University Experts gave a budget estimate of Rs.60,00,000/- for developing this land without any assurance of any returns on this Investment. However, with only Rs.60,000/, Shri.Saveji turned this very same land in to a PARADISE in a short time where Coconuts,Chickoos,Mangoes, Lichees and many other fruits grew in abundance.I had planned a visit this January and spoke to Shri Ashok Saghvi and learnt that he has sold the farm & would not say anything about it being available for visitors.It is indeed very sad that the PARADISE has fallen to Urbanisation.
    Masanubo Fukuoka, world acclaimed NATURAL FARMER wrote in the visitors book “Shri.Bhaskar Saveji is India’s second Gandhiji”. The natural methods of Shri Saveji & ZERO BUDGET NATURAL FARMING as taught by Guruji Shri.Subhash Palekar will alone help & save Indian farmers from committing suicide & help us all to get TOXIC FREE FOOD.

    By Kalyanasundaram Raja on Sep 9, 2010

  6. Very informative information

    By Srivardhan on Oct 29, 2010

  7. Dear Mr. Save,

    I have just got interested in living with the nature thing and m thinking of shifting my base from Jaipur (Rajasthan) to my farm @ Sikar. Just reading the literature available on organic farming. I idealize to get the expert tech know how of Organic Farming and after getting literate, invest some time in this field and spread this knowledge in the surrounding belt through contract farming. Hope i get the wishes. i am thinking positively for visiting the Kalpvruksha developed and nurtured by you to basically get the drive i require to pioneer into this field. I know me and people like me are capable of doing this.

    Regards
    Saurabh

    By Saurabh Vyas on Jul 13, 2011

  8. Dear Friends,

    I deeply regret to inform all that Shri.Bhaskar Saveji, the Mahatma of Natural Farming passed away on 24th Oct 2015 at the age of 93.He remained active till the last as usual. This Doyen will continue to inspire all future generations to grow toxin free food.

    Kalyanasundaram Raja

    By Kalyanasundaram Raja on Nov 3, 2015

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