American Farm- Weekend Destination

 Sunday, March 20. Driving in around Austin is a pleasure because of its hilly roads and wonderful sight of some water bodies, be it Colarodo River or Lake Travis. Shephali had planned to go for a picnic to the Sweet Berry Farm at Marble Falls. It was almost an hour drive. Along the highway, I could enjoy the vegetation along both sides of the highway that was slowly going green from the winter withered surfaces. It was a little exciting to get into the boundary of the 20 acres farm. The strawberry fields were green and with fruits. And some families were already busy in picking. Just after reaching there, we had our picnic food and got engaged in the picking of strawberry in the well- laid farm. Sanvi at least had a mud walk too. Few days ago, there was a hailstorm and strawberry fruits got somewhat damaged. The visitors were allowed to pick up one basketful of strawberries and take it back with them at nominal price. The farm had also grown blackberry, onion, and red potatoes beside strawberry. The owner house is on one side in the farm in this remote place without much human habitation. As Rajesh told us the crowd becomes larger during Halloween season with many other attractions such as huge number of pumpkins for the visitors to buy . The farm has a website providing real time information and if it is open. The farm has a big open space for the visitors and their families. Some rides, the enclosures for goats, a pony ride, some counters such as one for jumping, another for sand art are other attractions for kids that provide some revenue for the farm. The farm has all facilities for the visitors including ATM, resting places, souvenir shops, shop of farm products such as honey, jams, ice creams. The farm grows a large number of goats too. Perhaps that must be providing a good part of revenue. It is interesting that our PM is also appealing to Indian farmers to diversify the crops and switch over to horticulture-vegetables, flowers, fruits, pulses, oil seeds instead of restricting to only paddy and wheat to improve upon their income and provide engagement throughout the year. As I research, I find that even Bihar can produce strawberry and get better returns. The farmers of Punjab with assistance of its agriculture university are producing all sort of exotic fruits and vegetable and exporting them. I don’t know if we have farms there that can attract urban visitors too to aid in their earning. But our farmers will have to be more innovative instead of always looking for loan waivers. Bihar and for that matter the whole of eastern India can change its destiny by innovative approaches in farming. I always wish some Bihari entrepreneurs such as Kaushalendra enter farming or farmers in big way. And if not every village, at least every panchayat or block get an icon in farming who can be example for the rest of the farmers who hardly have any basic knowledge of the scientific and commercial aspects of farming. Farming must evolve as an attractive profession. The strawberry picked got converted into delicious ice creams, but unfortunately because my indisposition I missed tasting it.!about/cjg9 


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