Bengaluru: Shyam Singh of Uttar Pradesh is a farmer. His speciality is that he grows what’s called forest garden. 

A forest garden is host to different varieties of plants, including fruits, vegetables and spices. The beauty of this concept is that it increases variety on one hand and enables the farmer to increase his incomes. 

For the last five years, he has been farming on his 10-acre land and making a sum of Rs 1 lakh per acre. 

Impressed by his father, his son too took up the same farming. 

Shyam Singh says, “In the 90s, two people in the family died of cancer. The health of many people also deteriorated. Then I realized that chemical food can be a big reason behind it. Such thoughts kept going in my mind for a long time. After this, I decided to leave the job of teacher and do farming”. 

It was in 2017 that he started farming. He used to plant five crops simultaneously in an organic way. 

As he now grows different kinds of plants on his land, the yield is also extremely good. They have also started food processing business. Customers drive to his forest to collect products directly from him. 

Shyam uses organic farming to grow his plants. 

He says, “To prepare my soil, I first fill the leaves of the tree on the ground and leave them to rot. This generates earthworms in the ground, which go up to 14-15 feet of the ground and raise their family. The advantage of this is that water reaches very deep”.

Apart from this, he uses jaggery, besan, cow dung, cow urine to increase the fertility of the fields. But, neem and turmeric are used as pesticides.

Food garden indeed has multiple benefits. It helps to reduce weeds, increase soil fertility, among other things.