We, at Maini’s Hill Cottages, work on principles of natural farming, companion farming and with minimal disturbance to the nature. We believe in observing nature and learning from it.
By maintaining the environment as it is, we have been able to get nature’s blessings in the form of disease free and healthy plants, delicious and bountiful crops. A walk in the orchard is all you need to feel the positivity and the magic that nature has been performing all the time, unnoticed by most.
Go just a few steps into our gardens and you’ll see the area we lovingly call as the man-made forest. No, we did not make it. Instead we just facilitated nature in taking its course. The oaks have grown tall and provide enough shade to the apples in winters. The apples get their much needed minimum chilling hours in winters and as a result produce lots of fruits in summers. The tall oaks also prevent the weeds from taking over.
Apricot seeds, Oak acorns, Chestnuts fall over from the trees and germinate. Protected under the tall trees, these tiny ones grow and compete for sunlight. When the right time comes, the old trees let these young ones take over.
Flowers also have a role to play. Letting them grow as the nature intended to, we are able to improve the health of our fruits and vegetables. Marigolds around the vegetables keep them worm free. Nasturtiums protect the cucumbers. Look around in the garden and you’ll see many more such examples.
Nature has its own way of companion farming. Just observe in the wild how Pines and Rhodendrons love the company of each other. Even the fungi in the soil and the moss on the trees help. They too are an integral part of this companionship that develops in nature. Rosemary and Lavender repel insects and see how these keep popping up on their own in our little herb garden.
White dutch clovers grow all around our orchards. These are well-known as ground-covers that provide nutrition to the soil and act as a green fertilizer. The tiny leaves are home to ladybirds that feed on tiny insects that may affect the apples. The white flowers attract honey bees which also help in pollination of the apples. This dense foliage, apart from being soothing to look at, also helps in keeping weeds in control and prevents soil erosion. If you find a four-leaved clover, keep it. Some say that it brings luck. Do read this about White Clovers and Ladybirds
Some of the insects also attract birds. These birds keep the harmful insects also in control and help save our trees.
Ask us and we will tell you all the secrets that the nature has intended for us to learn. We will show you how we practice natural farming, companion farming, bio-dynamic methods and go beyond just doing things organically.