The secret of good quality, healthy food doesn’t lie solely in its preparation. It begins miles away from your kitchen and in the fields where your vegetables, fruits and grains are grown. Lately, more and more people are actively reducing the distance. How? By getting involved in organic farming!
If you are getting ready to start a farm of your own, then allow Krishna Mckenzie, a permaculture farmer from Auroville, show you the ropes. He is holding a 3-day intensive workshop for agriculture enthusiasts and you can join to learn from him.
What is Permaculture?
As a concept, permaculture means working with nature to grow your crops. Permaculture believes in fostering an entire ecosystem with agriculture, water harvesting, waste management, energy consumption and a partnership of flora and fauna that work in complete harmony. Although this system takes a while to flourish, once it starts functioning smoothly, it gives you a wholesome output.
The term, permaculture, was coined by Australian researchers Bill Mollison David Holmgren. It is a portmanteau of the words ‘permanent agriculture’. But as the concept evolved since its inception in 1978, it has come to be known as a combination of the words, ‘permanent culture’.
Finding the right balance for permaculture is imperative and this three-day stay at Auroville helps you immerse yourself in the process.
About Auroville’s mini-celeb, Krishna Mckenzie:
Krishna left his home in the UK at the age of 19 and flew to Auroville, Tamil Nadu. Here, he found a home.
Today, the 40-something is well-known in the community for his excellent Tamil speaking skills, his music and more importantly, his natural farming methods. Clad in a lungi, and a loose T-shirt, Krishna nurtures his ‘Solitude Farm’ which has over 140 varieties of flowers, fruits, vegetables, grains, etc. And he has not only undertaken an organic farm but has developed it using the wholesome method of permaculture.
What to expect in the Auroville permaculture workshop:
This is a 3-day workshop combining the theories and practice of permaculture. Krishna will welcome you to the “secrets” of his Solitude Farms and teach you how to cultivate, harvest and utilise locally-grown produce. The cost includes not just the session fee but also meals, snacks, overnight stay at the farm and a takeaway kit.
Here’s what you can expect from Krishna’s workshop:
- Learning how to create healthy soil, how to sow and transplant seeds and how to care for them till the plant becomes self-sufficient.
- Understanding a permaculture garden – what it means to have this setup, how you can replicate it in urban spaces and how the ecosystem can be nurtured
- Learning to implement the permaculture design and understanding rotations, intercropping, intense mulching etc
- Know how to identify, cook with and utilise local produce
- Understanding water recycling, and how to make your own enzyme & hand soap!
- Exploring the economic viability of natural farming
This and more at the long-weekend workshop in Auroville. Please note that there is a cost difference for participants below the age of 16 years. Click here to know the exact location, to choose a convenient date and book your slots.
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)
Feature image source: Sanjay Bhattacharya/ Facebook.
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