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California Heartland
California Heartland

 


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  Season 8 - Episode 808
 

Going Organic

Going Organic

Going Organic

Going Organic

  Going Organic

South of Paskenta, there's a whole lotta shakin' goin' on in the Central Valley town of Madera. That's where a man born and raised in India is realizing his American dream. Robin Thandi moved to California from India in 1987. Says Robin, "I've always liked farming. Ever since I was a child growing up on the farm."

Today, he's growing almonds the organic way, using environmentally friendly practices. "The main thing is we started conserving water. This used to be a flooded irrigated orchard. It used to use a lot of water, a lot of wastage and last year we converted it to a microjet irrigation system where there's a little sprinkler right next to every single tree. Targeted toward the tree itself. You use 40 to 60 percent of the water. And I've agreed not to burn anything. There's a no-burn policy."

Says Robin, "We also chip and shred every pruning in the orchard and we also sand the periphery to make sure there's no dust. That's a form of dust control and again we have created permanent sod on the ground to control dust and also to create a natural habitat for beneficial insects."

Robin's enthusiasm for the natural way of doing things has impressed his neighbors! So much so that at least two nearby farms are making the transition from traditional farming to organic. And what about Robin's kids? Will they follow in dad's footsteps? "I know my daughter doesn't look very interested in it but my son has an interest in it. He might pursue it. We'll have to see," said Robin.

 

 

 

 
   

 

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