Given how strongly we feel about our projects you can probably also call it Our Crusades!
Here are our list of projects that we intend to complete by March 2016.
- Reforestation Drive: The goal is of setting up a forest garden where multiple species of plants and trees thrive and complement each other. When you look at it long term, this project is the most important of all and hence it is also the first one that we took up. During the monsoons of 2016, we have planted about 350 species of fruit trees and other trees that complement our other primary crops like black cardamom. The second phase of this project would entail nurturing those trees and tracking their growth and making a database of every tree species that we have on the land.
- Earthy Dwellings: For our stay-in guests, we are building abodes that complement the forest garden both in terms of the raw materials used during construction and also in terms of its aesthetics. By March 2016 we intend to have at least two earthy dwellings crafted (this word suits the project more than the word ‘built’) to welcome our guests.
- Meandering Pathways: We are charting out a pathway that would meander across our forest garden and yet not disturb the tranquility of the eco-system. All our pathways within the forest garden will be built using natural materials that are natural and locally available.
- Soilstry: Our appreciation of the fact that soil is laden with a lot of mysteries (blame it also on our penchant for inventing our own words!) made us coin this name for the project. Folks at Take It Easy love getting their hands and feet dirty! In this project we will be experimenting with a lot of cool techniques of permaculture; sheet mulching, hugelkultur, chicken tractors et al. There is also a wealth of native practices amongst the farmers here on increasing the soil fertility and we will be tapping into that rich source of traditional knowledge too (Do you know that Katus ko patta, chestnut tree leaves, make great mulch!?)
- Waste Management: To create a regenerative environment it is important that all waste is segregated appropriately. If there is one project that makes us act like strict and grumpy school headmasters this one it is! However, we do understand that it is not just about imparting this critical change of habit in people by delivering a sermon but a lot to do with creating awareness (Do you know that a piece of plastic takes anywhere between 500 to 1000 years to bio-degrade?) and about coming up with solutions that are profitable to enable the change of habit. We are working with the local panchayat and government bodies to make a wider social impact with this project.
- Water Harvesting: Apart from conducting a major clean-up of the river flowing through our land, we also intend to harvest rainwater, greywater (kitchen and bathroom waste water) and also blackwater (sewage water). By March 2016, will have the first model of rainwater and greywater harvesting up and running.
- Library & Learning Centre: Given the fact that our pursuit of knowledge would be relentless it is important that we have a learning centre where we conduct permaculture workshops, brainstorm on the design challenges and not to forget, to watch a good movie!
- Animal Farm: Quite unlike Orwell’s Animal Farm! Though we may not end up writing the constitutional rights for the animals in our forest garden, we intend to take up an egalitarian approach towards our four legged and feathered friends. The farm will be their home and not a prison! We will focus on rearing and breeding the indigenous breeds of animals. This project is exciting and daunting in equal measures. In terms of project design challenge and sophistication we expect this one to be nerve wracking! But well, what’s life without a few ‘seemingly’ impossible goals! By March 2016, we intend to have a few cows mooing and grazing happily, a few chickens doing the chicken dance after successfully completing a stint in the Soilstry project as tractors, a few rabbits burrowing themselves underground and few piglets teaching us the joy of wrestling in the mud.
We welcome volunteers to join us in any of these projects. Get in touch with us for a detailed email on the volunteering options. and requirements. Why should we have all the fun?