I, Peter Singh grew up on a farm in the Punjab , and in those days farming was all organic, there were no artificial fertilizers or pesticides. I then went on to boarding school in the hills and then to Delhi University, where I was eventually working towards a Phd. In Mathematics.
However, I realised that there was much more to do in life than research in mathematics and teach mathematics, so when we got married in 1973, I and my wife Neeno moved back to our ancestral farm in Punjab and experimented with diversification in agriculture instead of mono cropping.
We set up an orchard of peaches, plums, pears, and Kinnow, to have different fruits all the year round. On the boundaries we planted timber trees as a windbreak, which provided a source of income through sale of timber every few years, and interspersed the windbreak with beeflora trees and bushes to provide flowers for honeybees. We set up beekeeping with Apis mellifera on the farm. We intercropped the empty spaces in the orchard with seed crops like clover , pulses, oilseeds like mustard and sunflower, etc for the national seed corporation , which also provided a source of nectar for the bees, and we extracted single source honeys from the flowers.
In addition we set up a dairy farm, to provide compost for the orchard and also biogas for cooking in the farm. It was thus a biodiverse system of agriculture, where we also did green manuring in fallow months to regenerate the soil between crops. We set up beekeeping with Apis mellifera , did research on queen breeding and management and our organisation was the first such unit to be registered with the department of science and technology govt of India for R&D in beekeeping, bee breeding bee management.
We trained and set up farmers in beekeeping with the Italian honey bee , and bred bee colonies that produced over 80 kg of honey a year. We received a praman patra as a state award from the Punjab government in 1988 for the development of beekeeping in punjab. We also produced and marketed single source honeys like clover, orange blossom, sunflower eucalyptus and mountain blossom from the himalayas.
We set up an integrated unit that produced bee equipment, bred bees, provided training and bee colonies to farmers, packed honey for the domestic market and also produced value added products using honey and ayurvedic herbs, which we marketed in Delhi.
Our unit was the first one that exported single source honeys to the quality conscious markets of germany and USA and exported 2000 tons of honey annually. We set up and expanded beekeeping all over punjab, giving employment to small farmers, and increasing honey production from 300 tons to 3000 tons in 5 years, for which we received a state award from the punjab government a praman patra on independence day in 1998.
We were founder members of the National beekeeping development board and were resource persons for the ministry of agriculture and helped formulate policies for the development of beekeeping in India with the Italian honeybee Apis mellifera.
We wrote two books on the beekeeping and Honey Industry in India which were published by APEDA and are a part of their resource library.
We moved to Delhi in 1979 for our children's schooling and continued beekeeping in Punjab and marketing the honey in Delhi and eventually for export. In Delhi, we had a house with a large garden and grew our own vegetables, and some fruit and whatever we could not grow , we sourced from an organic farm outside Delhi. We ate organic and believed in living an organic sustainable lifestyle.
In 2015 we heard about aquaponics and started learning about it.
We first set up a trial unit in the garden of our house in Delhi.
After that we started the one in our son’s house in Goa.
We also up a unit for our daughter in Lucknow , where she has a large garden .
This unit and now the modified Delhi unit are primarily an experiment for ones that can be escalated to a unit for a farm or commercial Aquaponics on farms.
This concept was further developed by expanding both units in Delhi and Goa so as to provide an income from selling excess vegetables to the neighbourhoods
We continue experimenting with both units , so our story is continuing as one on developing and making more efficient these aquaponic and permaculture systems of growing food.
What we do
My wife Neeno and I, Peter S Singh are showing by example and teaching others how to live sustainably by growing our own fish , vegetables, fruit, spices, in our home using Aquaponics and Permaculture compost your kitchen and garden waste and use it to grow food.
Green our homes and environment by growing fruit trees and Vegetable plants around the house. The plants climate control, remove air pollution, clean and oxygenate the air into the home.
We have two ongoing projects in the homes in Delhi and Goa where we are developing sustainable homes and a means of generating income.
Online Courses And Workshops
Aquaponics is excellent occupation for senior citizens beneficial for their body and mind. We show systems in our home on counter tops, entrance to a home, inside rooms, on balconies, terraces, roof tops, along walls of a home, in gardens, as urban farms.
We conduct online courses and workshops on the above.