John, 70, harvests 5,000 kg of vegetables in a year
Kizhakkanchery (Palakkad): Age is just a number for C J John, especially when it comes to farming. At 70, he is still working actively in his farm. Not just that, he has sold around 5,000 kg of vegetables to an organic vegetables marketing centre in the past one year.
John came to Panankutti from Thodupuzha way back in 1967 and started farming there. Since then, he has been using only organic manure for farming -- mainly a mixture of cow dung, cow urine, jaggery, and soil. He also uses goat manure and neem cakes as manure, and organic pesticides like pseudomonas and trichoderma.
Earlier, he did not get the value of his effort while selling vegetables. However, the organic vegetables marketing centre in Vadakkancherry has solved that problem.
The four-and-a-half-acre farm at Panankutti has coconut trees, rubber, plantain trees, nutmeg, ginger, coco, pepper, pineapple, and a wide variety of vegetables. John has set up a green house with assistance from the Agriculture Department. Beans, brinjal, and okra are grown in the green house. Besides, he is farming fish in a pond in the compound.
Being a hill side region, Panankutti faces threat from wild animals. Climate change is another problem. But John is not ready to use chemical fertiliser to make profit.