We evaluate and choose our projects on every three year cycle so that we have a sharper short-term focus while also remaining aligned with our long term vision of creating a zero-waste permaculture forest garden. The following are the projects that we have earmarked to be completed by the March 2022.
- Reforestation Drive: The reforestation goal is to setup a thriving seven layer food forest that has species (predominantly indigenous ones) that complement each other. During the first three year project cycle (2016 – 2019), we have planted a combination of different types of flora that have have been nurtured by our volunteers. Over the course of the next three years, we intend to expand our plantation in the neighbouring areas (working together with the forest department) so that the area around Tieedi also gets an enhanced forest cover.
- Forest Dwellings: The past three years has been an interesting journey where our first experiment with natural buildings was very well received by the travellers. Their reviews even dragged us out from our forest cover and made us the No. 1 ranked speciality lodging in Darjeeling. We intend to build three more natural buildings and a self sustainable volunteers’ village over the course of the next three years. All these buildings would be made out of either upcycled or local and renewable resources.
- Soilstry: The land where we are located had been partly ravaged by mindless dumping of waste for over two decades. We have been working on regenerating the soil by applying various techniques from forest floor method to water flow management to implementation of no-till and natural farming practices while growing our food. We call this project Soilstry as it entails unearthing the deep secrets and mysteries of a rich, forest soil.
- Composting: We have been experimenting with composting the biodegradable waste and in the last two years we have averted over 60,000 kgs of waste that would have been otherwise dumped into the river or the landfill. We have evolved our composting project into a five stage process by integrating chickens and also enriching the compost with local medicinal herbs. Over the next three years, we intend to take our learning and working with institutions to establish similar decentralised composting models in homes, societies and business enterprises.
- Water Harvesting: We currently work on harvesting and treating our rainwater, greywater and blackwater. Over the next three years we would like to go deeper in our research of natural treatment of waste water and patenting some of our successful experiments.
- 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!
- Wellness and Fitness Center: This is a new project we will be starting where we intend to build a fitness center in the forest that is a combines cross-fit training routines blended with forest free-hand training exercises. We will also be launching a mindfulness center with a yoga deck and a meditation floor in the forest during this period.
- 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 2022, 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?