Punjab is the bread basket of India. As the land holding are dwindling, Punjab’s traditional agriculture based economy is becoming unattractive for young people. My Paris visits always bring to light the plight of the young Punjabi’s who end up selling their families land which has been in their families for generations to pay smugglers to bring them to so called better economic opportunities in the west, but they end-up near Eiffel tower selling small souvenirs. This is only if they survive the few years journey through harsh winters of eastern block countries. But when they realize they have made a bad decision, they are too ashamed to go back plus they have sold all what the family had. My father,Sardar Ishwar Singh Dhillon, dearly called by everyoneDhillon Sahib would be very sadden by the lives of poor farmers. He spent all his life trying to help whenever he could, in a big or small way as he was Secretary of Development of Land Development Bank in Punjab. People’s lack of education and access to market was destroying the core of Punjab, he would say. In India, 30% of farm production does not reach the market due to inefficient systems and poor pricing for the farmers.
Champ de Portola Urban Farm Project is in memory of my father. Small scale urban farm in Portola Valley is our prototype of sustainable agriculture to showcase how a farmer can make a living through community supported agriculture.
Our first harvest of lavender is in progress thanks to Zack and Monte. Soon we will be harvesting olives for olive oil. If you want to make a difference locally and across the globe through sustainable farming practices, please contact us at info at dhillonmarty dot org