Proud to be an Apple Farmer
Some would say that our story began in November 2002 when we bought the land on which Kalasan nursery farm stands today. But the seed for this venture began much before that, when I was posted at Himachal Pradesh Gramin Bank, at Arsu in Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh. I observed that farmers were not getting a regular crop of apples. Their yield was also much less than what it should be because they were growing apples in the traditional method which is 50 years behind developed countries. The yield per acre in those countries is 10 to 15 times more than ours, even though we have a suitable climate in the hills.
After studying a little on the internet, I realized that the main reason was, that our farmers were not growing apples on rootstock, whereas the rest of the world had shifted to that system, many years ago. We began to mobilize small groups of farmers to adopt rootstocks, but failed. When I shared my thoughts with my wife Rajani, she encouraged me to establish a demonstration apple orchard on clonal root stocks to showcase to apple growers, how these apples are cultivated. That is how we bought land in Kalasan village of Karsog subdivision.
A small positive initiative led to further expansion. We were initially planning to grow only apples but later began to grow cherries, pears, almonds, apricot and plums. Now we are also engaged in production of seasonal and exotic vegetables. Because Kalasan Nursery Farm (KNF), was conceptualized as a model, demonstration farm, care has been taken to develop it as an environmentally sustainable farm where all operations are done in harmony with nature. Towards that end we installed water storage capacity of three lakh litres collected through rain water harvesting system. There are dairy cattle of Indian and foreign breeds, Jamunapari goats and hens which produce fresh organic eggs. Special vermi- compost pits, produce good organic manure and there is a small cold store for apple saplings. We promote modern high density apple farming on rootstocks and organize seminars and workshops for the apple growers.
When we started this venture in 2002, we did not know anything about propagation techniques or how to utilize apple rootstocks. So, we took a technical consultancy from Winrock International USA, mainly to educate ourselves. The company sent Mr. John M Aselage to assist us. Sadly, that was a time when no one in the government sector was ready to help because they had a negative attitude towards high density apple plantation and use of rootstocks. It would therefore not be wrong to say that we are the pioneers of High Density Apple Farming in Himachal.
Today, we provide consultancy services of international standards to apple growers in Himachal and Uttarakhand. The sincere efforts of more than 15 years have paid off and the motive for establishing KNF is slowly getting fulfilled. It is extremely satisfying to see that people have begun to replicate our farm model. Our farm is well-known for adoption of modern and farmer friendly technology that increases quantity and quality of apples.
The credit of this success goes to my wife Rajani and my parents for their support. Now my daughter Vasudha has also joined farm operations after completing her B.Tech in Food Technology. It is through team work that we have made this kind of farming very lucrative and paying, which is serving as a model for the younger generation to learn and adopt.
Farm Tour & Experience
Visiting the Karsog area? Contact us to know more about our on farm activities! Get back in touch with farming roots and let the kids have fun and a good time at the farm.
Kalasan Nursery Farm
We are a family run nursery farm, located in karsog area. we grow different types of fruit trees. Nursery started in 2003 with apple rootstocks. we are the pioneer of high density farming in himachal.
The Nest, Farm Stay
The ‘Farm Stay’ is a family run initiative which grew from the desire to share our simple, farm life with others. The idea is offer an opportunity to others to enjoy a few days of living in tune with nature and feel the farm experience. We offer accommodation for travellers in two aesthetically designed, stone and wood rooms made in the traditional Himalayan style architecture. Each room is spacious and comfortably furnished with attached bathrooms. They overlook the High Density Apple Orchard and present spectacular views of the rolling mountains beyond. Visitors are welcome to participate in farm activities like showering ,feeding and milking of the cows and goats. Pick vegetables and fruit or even help in collecting freshly laid organic eggs.