Our team members manage the farm 24x7 and live there at the farm in a big thatched roof shed. Surrounding this big shed, are also 2 sheds that house our chicken. The big shed also is the place where our team members stay overnight & we host all our guests here, cook food , keep storage of all our farm materials, seeds, poultry feed and tools. Last year, the entire team spent hundreds of hours to build this from scratch.
Somu and Ramkumar from myHarvest team were sleeping inside the big shed that night on May 8. At around 2:10 AM, inside the shed, a switch board burst and caught fire which rapidly spread throughout the thatched roof. In a span of 8 minutes, the entire shed was burning and our teammates stood aghast. There was a voltage fluctuation in the EB lines and even the tripper failed.
Miraculously Somu woke up and noticed the fire. He quickly woke up Ramkumar. Both of them tried to save each other and also the many other things they could catch hold off. They managed to fight the flames & remain stable inspite of the fumes & polluted smokey air. In a few minutes, they had removed the cylinder, 2 wheeler and pulled off the fuse to prevent them from exploding. If not for this quick action, the fire would have spread to nearby shed, farms and houses too. Thankfully, the breeze was low and hence the fire did not spread to the nearby sheds where our poultry were housed.
The local villagers came to our rescue by 2.30am and helped us put off the fire with as much water & sand they could carry with them to our farm. Sadly, the fire extinguishing team didn't turn up till 4.30am & eventually wasn’t needed as villagers and our team had done the job.
Human lives were saved fortunately. But we lost all that we had to sustain at the farm. The entire structure burnt into ashes and even the walls have to be rebuilt from scratch as those stones cannot be reused.
One part of the big shed was used for the team’s accommodation & had a cooking area too. Our teammate’s clothes, bed, cooking stove, utensils, fans, lights and electronic gadgets are lost in the flames.
The major part of the shed had all our farm materials like sprayers, shovels, planting tools, manure storage tanks, seed bank, several barrels of natural fertilizers & oils, barrels of cow urine, jeevamirtham, harvested vegetables, crates, collected eggs, brooding hens that were safeguarding some eggs, over 20 bags of poultry feed , myHarvest delivery bags and furniture.
Overall we lost over 3 lakhs worth of materials and the structure. We need a little more funds now to install solar and buy new materials for the farming activities as well.
Why we are fundraising?
Our team has building this dream venture called “myHarvest Farms” and welcome surprises and uncertainties on a regular basis. We are learning and practicing the nuances of farming day in and day out. All that we have been doing is completely natural and we believe in sustainability. The fire was totally unexpected and it has simply washed away almost all our efforts made in the last 9 months at the farm.
We now want to rebuild this farm and ensure this doesn’t happen in future and if at all this happens, we want to be better prepared. Last week , a farm within 3 kms from our farm faced voltage fluctuations and the owner lost over 55 lakhs worth of things. Several marginal farmers have faced same problems and lost their electric motors to EB issues. We have to raise a louder message as a farming collective, we will voice out and get justice for us all. But before that, our team needs a better place to live. They have been sleeping under the open sky.
The teammates who live at the farm have given up lucrative jobs in cities and have chosen to live a difficult farm life and do agriculture. We do not want to shatter their dreams or put their efforts to vain. My team is the best and let me tell you why- This fire mishap happened just 2 days before our most awaited “Future Farmers” camp for kids. Our myHarvest team was determined and rolled up their sleeves and didn’t let this affect the camp. All arrangements were going on as planned and we executed plan B. In the end, the farming camp for kids was a great success. In fact that’s one reason why we didn’t tell the world about this fire until the camp got over. We didn’t want people to fear coming to the villages. The village where we do farming deserves all your love and care cos you may already be eating what these farmers grow for you. It’s now your time to show and express your care.
We need around 3.5 lakhs to plan, source and rebuild the farm shed and install solar power at the farm. We want to go off the grid and also be sustainable. The rest of the money will be to get our farming infrastructure and rebuild our inventory and materials.
What will we use the money for ?
- For constructing the shed and to get the farm infrastructure ready for the team and the community of families who are growing their food with us. We are going to build separate structures for stay and for storage.
- Installing solar electrification systems.
- Buying cots, fans, lights, weighing machines, cookery and furniture.
- Buying barrels and storage tanks for fertilizers
- Establishing Seed Bank again
We would love to host you and your family/friends anytime soon. We will also send across some freshly grown organic veggies to your families if they live in Chennai. We assure you the trust that your money is definitely going to support farmers and the natural farming community. If you are contributing as a group, we can organize workshops for you for free and help spread the word about building a healthier and greener tomorrow.