Here’s a priest who treasures fresh produce for all at his ‘Bethlehem’
Preserving the goodness of nature for the future generation, a church priest has proved what we can do for tomorrow. Bishop Mar Yohannan Yoseph of East Chaldean Syrian Church has created a heaven-like farm in a 25-acre land at Thiroor in Thrissur. He has cultivated different varieties of fruits, vegetables and other crops and rears various animals and birds in his ‘Bethlehem Farm’.
Wide varieties of produce
About 15 varieties of hybrid mango trees, 8 types of indigenous mango trees, cashew trees, tapioca, turmeric, Chinese potato, apple, pear, rambutan, pulasan, fig, jackfruit, nutmeg, 5 types of oranges, and many other vegetable and fruits are cultivated in Bethlehem Farm.
The bishop also maintains a one-acre butterfly garden, a dairy farm of 35 cows, 150 goats, 400 fowls including chicken, ducks, pigeons and emu. A group of dogs are guarding the farm. Fish farming, aquarium, love birds, lotus and water lily ponds add to the charm of the farm.
Olive trees, plantain, coconut trees, date palms, and teak trees also can be seen here. There are also rare varieties of trees like Rudraksha in the farm. He plans to install boards indicating the names and scientific names of the plants.
Pure water at all times
Fr. Yohannan Yoseph had developed a pool for rain water harvesting which has been expanded to a large pond that stores lakhs of litres of water. After the pond was made, the wells and water resources nearby have never faced drought even during summer.
There are five labourers to help with the chores at the farm. The bishop has been winning the award for best farmer in Parampayi for the last two years. He is confident to develop anything that is not available in the farm presently.
Hailing from Anchangadi in Thrissur, the bishop had been in Iraq for over two years from where he learnt the importance of humanity and environment conservation. Even when people criticise him for giving over emphasis to agriculture and nature, Fr. Yohannan Yoseph is happy and proud of being able to preserve the goodness for future.