Saturday, May 31, 2014

Navardarshanam community visit

Today we visited the Navadarshanam farming community, where we learned about the permaculture farming techniques practiced in the area.
Today we traveled just across the state border of Karnataka to the state of Tamilnadu, where we visited the Navadarshanam farming community.

The community practices a form of sustainable organic farming called permaculture. With minimal human intervention, the community farms okra, rice, and cabbage, among other produce.

The goal of permaculture is to allow nature to yield indigenous produce from the naturally occurring bacteria and fungi in the soil.

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Even the concept of weeding does not exist in permaculture, as the weeds are an essential part of rejuvenating topsoil depleted of nutrients by chemicals and hybridized crops by local farmers.

While all of the food grown in the community is for sustenance - not for profit - the community also runs an organic co-op.

The co-op is set up so the community purchases produce from organic Karnataka farmers and processes and packages the produce in value-added products such as mango pickles, peanut butter, and idli and dosa mixes.

The goods are sold at a store on site as well as various health food stores in Bangalore.

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Twenty years ago when the community was first created, the 110 acres were barren and rocky with only five trees.

Now, as a result of the permaculture farming techniques, the land is covered with thick forests and greenery. The transformation that occurs when you let nature carry its course was astonishing.

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