Interview with a Boerengroepie: Nanta Ragavander

This week, we have the pleasure to get to know our treasurer, Nanta Ragavander, better! Now that he is graduated, he will soon be leaving to India to look for land, and we are both sad to lose him, but excited to see what the future brings for him!

Nanta during the FEI 2020
Nanta during the FEI 2020

What is your name: Tirunaveli Nanta Rajesh Nanta Ragavander

What is the strangest plant you’ve ever eaten?

Electric Daisy

How was that?

It was like eating batteries.

What’s your biggest success as a gardener?

That has to be censored. The UN last year removed it from the illegal plants list.

What are the two plants you felt most connected to?

I think first Tulsi (holy basil), because it’s part of every Indian house and we do rituals with it, it’s part of growing up. The other one is weed and it’s taught me a lot of lessons, including to stay away from it.

How many hours do you think about farming every day?

I think most of the time. During the thesis, I thought about it, and now after the thesis, I’m still thinking about farming and the next steps. It’s all about farming, in the end.

What’s your favourite shade of green?

All greens are beautiful. The Dutch landscape is very green, all shades of green.

What are your dreams for the future, how is the ideal agriculture for you?

If you enter any place to buy food, there shouldn’t be so much choice, you should just get something biodynamic or organic. Everyone should have access to good food without chemicals.

Credits to Samuel for putting it into words*

Most inspiring farm you have ever visited

During the Farm Experience Internship, I went to the Fruittuin van West for the internship part and it was beautiful. It brings all the components of farming together, the social component is very strong and they bring together people who are not doing so well. It’s a very good example of how to bring together very complex systems and make them simple on the farm.

If you could start a farm, where would it be?

In India for sure. In the Himalaya’s would be the best, but it would be beautiful anywhere in India.

From a scale of monoculture to polyculture, what farming system are you?

Polyculture all the way.