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Why is July called the cosmic midnight?

 *Leaf 17 - Full Moon - 03 July 2023*  

The full moon in July is called Guru Poornima for a reason. 

The Earth is farthest from the Sun (or at its Aphelion) about 2 weeks after the June Solstice (and it is at the closest - Perihelion, about 2 weeks after the December Solstice) 

While the Solstices and Equinoxes are due to the Earth's tilt, the Aphelion and Perihelion are due to the elliptical path of Earth's orbit around the Sun and Sun's off-centered location. Yes, Sun is not at the center of our elliptical path. It's appx. 5 million kilometers off. [To put this figure in perspective, compare it with the size of Earth - 12,742 km diameter]

So, when the Sun's the farthest (termed as the cosmic midnight in cosmological terms -, our Moon brings the Light from the cosmic depths for us (Guru is symbolized as Light, aka Knowledge) to uplift our mind and Soul.

Note: This is purely the author's imaginative reason - based out of astronomical facts, for calling the Ashada Poornima as Guru Poornima.

The Seed Story

When we talk about the traditional varieties (of grains, pulses & vegetables), there's more to it than the Human Health. The following transcript from a Debal Deb interview should help in bringing out some of these aspects. (for the starters, a simple Google search on Debal Deb would help in unearthing his meticulous work on seeds in the last many decades)

Transcript (part) from a Debal Deb interview:


Interviewer: Today we talk about the danger of this huge biodiversity loss. Isn't one rice variety enough?

Debal Deb: Factors that we lose sight of, in the frenzy of development in agriculture is that there are many marginal environmental conditions of rural farms where modern varieties cannot grow because they lack the genes which are locally adapted and perfectly evolved and fine-tuned to those local conditions.

As I told you, this drought tolerance, flood tolerance, salinity tolerance and aroma fragrance these four genetic characteristics  have not yet been identified, isolated & developed in any of the modern varieties so far despite 60 years of rice genetics research all over the world.

 In the case of rice if you just consider from 100,000 varieties that we had some years ago, we are left to an estimated 3,000 varieties in India today or within the state of West Bengal out of the 5600 varieties we now have only about 500 varieties left just less than 10 percent that means 90 percent of the genetic diversity and the gene pool is lost 

And this reminds us of the risk of what happened in Ireland in Inked 1880s with the Irish potato famine and because there was only one variety in Ireland and one crop failure because of a disease outbreak a pathogenic outbreak the entire country suffered from this famine and that was a key factor which drove out millions of Irish people to us.


Store updates

Successfully completed the Tie dye & Block printing workshop from 16th to 19th June 2023

Tie dye and Block Printing participants learning from the teacher

old memories.....

Exactly one year ago, on July 3, 2023, a group of spinners gathered at the Prakriti Food Campus to participate in a Group Spinning event. Along with like-minded friends, we convened to discuss the Central Government's proposed amendment to the Flag Code of India. The amendment aimed to allow the national flag to be manufactured using synthetic fabric, in contrast to its previous reservation for production solely using Khadi fabric.

During our discussions, we realized that the campaign idea of "Har Ghar Tiranga" (Every Home, the Tricolor) was meant to instill pride in our nation's struggle for independence. However, the concept of product reservation took a back seat, as it became evident that this reservation safeguarded the livelihoods of thousands of artisans. Removing the reservation would have jeopardized their means of living.

Crafting the national flag using hand-spun and handwoven Khadi fabric holds a deep significance as it is done with immense love and respect, upholding its sanctity. Khadi not only represents our rich artisanal tradition but also embodies the idea that emerged during the freedom struggle. Although the origins of the quote "Khadi is not just a piece of cloth, it's a way of life" are unknown, we firmly believe in its essence. Swaraj, the concept of self-reliance and self-governance, is embodied within Khadi and serves as a pathway towards achieving it.

Our old newsletter on this event can be found here - Spinning empowers! (

News update

Bayer to Pay $6.9 Million for False Safety Claims About Roundup Weedkiller

The makers of Roundup, the world’s top weedkiller will pay $6.9 million for violating an agreement with the state of New York to stop making false claims about the safety of its best-selling herbicides.

This news arises a few questions:

Is 6.9 million fine the right punishment for a company that sells products by making false claims? If not, what can be the right punishment?

When will we reach this stage in India, where companies can be punished for making false claims?

Who is responsible for identifying and fixing the mistakes done by businesses? People or the State?
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