Saturday, May 23, 2015

Alternative energy and alternative lifestyle

At Nava Darshanam, we learned that modern, mechanized agriculture is not the only way to support the food requirements of a community.
At Nava Darshanam, we learned that modern, mechanized agriculture is not the only way to support the food requirements of a community. Using ancient varieties of wheat, rice, legumes, and cows, people are able to grow food that has adapted over centuries to their soil type and climate.

For a hands-on experience, we got to tend to one of their plots and tour the farm.

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We mixed manure with jaggery (similar to molasses) and chickpea flower to create a fertilizer that is rich in microorganisms.

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We also enjoyed the retreat from the noisy, busy city and the chance to experience the natural beauty of India. We took a silent, guided hike through the native vegetation that surrounds the farm. The relaxing sounds of nature were a welcome break from the urban noise we've become accustomed to.

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Then a yoga session taught us the power and necessity of calming our minds and introspective thinking.

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Nava Darshanam is not only nearly self-reliant for their food, but also for their energy. We saw how solar power meets the community's needs for lighting and heating water. They also use an anaerobic digester to produce methane for their gas stoves.

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Overall, Nava Darshanam demonstrated that it is possible to live and work with nature to grow food, rather than work against it.

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