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September Updates

Dear Envirocare Coordinators and Go Green Champions,

This month, we present to you a truly holistic agriculture project that draws on the lessons of Nature and restores soil health. Biodiversity loss, land degradation, and global climate change are three environmental catastrophes we are facing. These issues are in fact a single, indivisible environmental malfunction that man has created.

Creating healthy productive soil is the biggest hope for immediate salvation!

“Man needs to return to Nature and live there with faith in the life of Nature.” – Masanobu Fukuoka
(founder of Natural Farming, scientist, philosopher, writer and above all a farmer).

An Urgent Need for Regenerative Natural Agriculture
at Sai Prema Farm

“Agriculture – a spiritual path that connects science, religion, and philosophy into a single conception, as it was once inseparable in the past, and aspires to unite God, Nature, and man” – Panos Manikis
(student of Masanobu Fukuoka and pioneer of Natural Farming).

The Sai Prema Farm is a green paradise in Zone 6 of the SSIO in Markopoulo Mesogaias, Greece, and focusses on the need for a holistic agro-ecosystem – the Regenerative Natural Farming. This approach “improves the resources it uses, rather than destroying or depleting them” – according to the Rodale Institute.

Sai Prema Farm adopts agricultural principles and practices to rehabilitate and enhance the entire ecosystem of the farm by increasing soil organic matter.

Soil Health

Micro-organisms, fungi, and bacteria are critical to soil health. When soil is left undisturbed, beneficial soil organisms can establish their communities and feed off the soil organic matter.

“The soil is the basis of all transformations and developments. Soil is the substance of the food out of which man is born, through which man is sustained and nourished.”

– Sathya Sai Speaks 14:36, 28 September 1979

Tips to promote healthy soil and agricultural productivity

A variety of crops are grown at the Sai Prema Farm, such as figs, almonds, olives, walnuts, citrus fruits, grapes and all sort of vegetables. Growing together different species of plants allows Nature to be collaborative. Plants from the legume family, such as clover, vetch, peas and beans occupy the land between main crops, and live and thrive in harmony with each other. They absorb nitrogen (an imperative element for the proper growth and development of plants) from the air and fix it in nodules at their roots, thereby making them available to other plants.

WATCH: Dr Mercola interviews Gabe Brown (pioneer of soil-health movement) on keys to build healthy soil.

- No synthetic pesticides – low infections and so plants are less susceptible to plant pathogens. Beneficial and predator insects keep the pests in control.

- No synthetic herbicides – green manure helps to suppress weeds. Weeds are cut down with a mower or uprooted by hands.

- Conservation tillage –switching from deep, regular tillage to reduced tillage methods improves soil structure, reduces carbon dioxide emissions and increases soil organic carbon.

- Cover crops such as buckwheat, hairy vetch, clover, oats etc.. are planted for the soil, rather than for the purpose of being harvested. When chosen thoughtfully they, can enhance fertility of soil,  improve soil texture, prevent soil erosion, increase moisture retention and stop weed growth.

- Crop rotation – growing different crops in the farm over several seasons  can break pest cycles and add extra nutrients to soil.

- No synthetic fertilisers – substituted by mulching, organic compost and green manure.


Explore: Rodale Institute newest white paper – ‘Regenerative agriculture and soil carbon solution', September 2020.

Benefits of Regenerative farming from a farmer and Scientist's perspective

Farmers have long leveraged practices to ‘weather-proofing soils’ with an enhanced ability to absorb and infiltrate water, recycle nutrients, and produce new types of crops in a changing, growing environment.

Scientists speak of ‘climate-smart soils’ centred on greenhouse gas balance and they assert that soil can help mitigate carbon dioxide emissions.

WATCH: What is Regenerative Agriculture and soil carbon sequestration?


Access the latest SSIO Bulletin 2020: Unity, Purity and Divinity in the Trees Around Us here.


With Sai Love and Care,

Environmental Sustainability Committee Team

Sathya Sai International Organisation