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  • Camping, Cows and Seed Saving: Two weeks at a permaculture farm in Hyderabad

    Minna Bansal
    247  Likes 7913  Views
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  • Aranya Agricultural Alternatives
    Aranya Agricultural Alternatives
    I've been wanting to learn more about farming for a long time now, and finally a few months ago, decided to go spend a few weeks at Aranya Farms near Hyderabad. They were hosting a permaculture design course and I enrolled for it!
  • Aranya Agricultural Alternatives
    Aranya Agricultural Alternatives
    Our course took place on two farms, and during the entire duration of our stay, we lived in simple tents, pitched under a tree. Each person had their own little hut, and it was really liberating to live this close to nature 😍
  • Aranya Agricultural Alternatives
    Aranya Agricultural Alternatives
    The 12 acre farm had simple structures made of local stone, mud and thatch, and was almost like its own forest. We had an orientation game at the beginning, to get to know our instructors as well as participants of the workshop! There were a lot of laughs!
  • Aranya Agricultural Alternatives
    Aranya Agricultural Alternatives
    Classes took place in a gurukul style, under the vast canopy of a massive ber tree. Learning like this, in a completely natural setting gave a different sort of satisfaction, and I was thoroughly enjoying my outdoor classroom, learning about trees, soil and water.
  • Aranya Agricultural Alternatives
    Aranya Agricultural Alternatives
  • Aranya Agricultural Alternatives
    Aranya Agricultural Alternatives
    At the entrance of the farm was the seed bhandar, where all the varieties of pulses, grains, millets, oil seeds etc were displayed. Their colours and varieties were unbelievable! All these crops were slowly dying out because of commercialisation and Aranya was trying to revive it
  • Aranya Agricultural Alternatives
    Aranya Agricultural Alternatives
    A lot of participants had their own farms and gardens, and so our theory classes were accompanied by some practicals. We were taught the basics of studying the land, its slopes, understand soil, etc
  • Aranya Agricultural Alternatives
    Aranya Agricultural Alternatives
    Everyday, we learnt something new! I loved getting my hands into the mud, digging, sieving, planting - all the activities I had been missing for a long time, I was able to indulge in now, to understand deeper and deeper where my food came from
  • Aranya Agricultural Alternatives
    Aranya Agricultural Alternatives
    Every morning, we went for a two hour walk to the surrounding villages, to study the traditional low cost technologies that already existed around us. Here, we came across a Persian wheel, which is a very simple but ingenious system of drawing water from a well 😊
  • Aranya Agricultural Alternatives
    Aranya Agricultural Alternatives
    Interacting with the locals who worked in the farm and the kitchen was a delight! Always cheerful, they worked super hard to take care of us and the place - in those two weeks I ate some of the best south Indian meals I have ever eaten!
  • Aranya Agricultural Alternatives
    Aranya Agricultural Alternatives
    We also went for a field trip to the farms of some of the locals, to see how their farms were flourishing after adopting some of the permaculture principles being practiced at Aranya. The result was literally in front of our eyes! Large flourishing fields, the crops were thriving
  • Aranya Agricultural Alternatives
    Aranya Agricultural Alternatives
    I love sunflowers! They are probably my favourite flower, and several of them had been planted for their seeds which are highly nutritious, as well as for extracting oil from them 🌻🌻🌻
  • Aranya Agricultural Alternatives
    Aranya Agricultural Alternatives
    We started our mornings with a daily dose of ragi porridge - a delicious drink made out of roasted ragi, jaggery, peanuts and water, it is extremely healthy and nutritious, and especially rich in iron!
  • Aranya Agricultural Alternatives
    Aranya Agricultural Alternatives
    Spending time with animals on the farm was something I enjoyed a lot. I also loved observing the interaction between farmer animal, the care that they had for each other, each supporting the other 🌼
  • Aranya Agricultural Alternatives
    Aranya Agricultural Alternatives
    We also had locals demonstrating local art practices, and one day we spent time with a potter who was showing us the way they practiced in this are in Telangana 😊
  • Aranya Agricultural Alternatives
    Aranya Agricultural Alternatives
    After learning about farming and landscape design for two whole weeks, the course ended with a small group presentation where we shared with others what we had learnt. Although serious, there were several elements of fun involved as well!
  • Aranya Agricultural Alternatives
    Aranya Agricultural Alternatives
    On the last day of the course, we went to spend the evening along the banks of the large reservoir that flanked the farm. It was a lovely peaceful evening, talking and chatting, reflecting on the fun and learning that had taken place in two short weeks!
  • Aranya Agricultural Alternatives
    Aranya Agricultural Alternatives
    As we watched the sun set and the sky turn crimson, I was very thankful for the beauty of nature that was around me. I was so glad that we had decided to come for this course, and I left with the hopes of soon starting my own farming dream ❤

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    Minna Bansal
    @minnabee
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