This former techie’s organic strawberry farm is blazing a trail in the Nilgiris

Five-acre farm is nestled inside a patch of Shola forest with natural streams and artificial ponds running through it

Babu Rajasekaran wields a machete as he meets us around 30 km from Udhagamandalam, down the slopes adjoining Mukurthi National Park. He is there , to escort us to his organic strawberry farm.

We look a bit dubiously at his weapon. “It just makes me braver about facing any wildlife I might encounter on the way,” says Rajasekaran. The five-acre Heartberry Farm is nestled inside a patch of Shola forest, with natural streams and artificial ponds running through it.

“There are tigers here, spotted almost every day by the workers on the farm. Sloth bears and leopards are even more common, not to mention Indian gaur,” he says, not exactly filling us with confidence, as we walk through a slippery dirt road, through lush green undergrowth, towards his farm.

Rajasekaran, 35, is clad in khaki shorts and red sneakers, and earphones dangle from his ears. Formerly an IT professional, he worked in the bustle of Bengaluru for almost seven years before getting tired of the city and moving back to the Nilgiris, where he had spent his early years. Then, about three years ago, he sealed his pact with the hills by setting up one of the few completely organic strawberry farms in the district....Read more


Source web page: The hindu

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