In Karnataka’s Kepu village, 50 km southeast of Mangaluru, lies a 50-acre organic farm that is around 200 years old.
Through his growing years, Partha Varanashi, the sixth-generation owner of the land, has seen it evolve in more ways than one.
He was inspired by a concept that he learned in Australia — WWOOFing allows people interested in experiencing life on a farm to volunteer to work in one.
The Varanashi family adopted the concept and began welcoming volunteers to the farm in 2014.
During the course of 21 days, volunteers learn harvesting, plant seeds, engage in post-harvest processing of crops, and compost farm waste and turn it into a biofertiliser.
“We teach them how chemical fertilisers are bad for the crops and what alternatives they can use,” Partha explains.
The cacao trail introduces people to the process of chocolate-making right from bean to bar. There is also a five-day certification course for Rs 20,000.
Volunteers can also learn swimming, kayaking and trampolining from certified instructors.
The treehouse, standing at a height of 55 feet with no stilts, is available for Rs 6,000 a night, inclusive of food and stay.
The farms have seen volunteers from 15 different countries — including America, Canada, France, Germany, the UK, Scotland, Australia, Japan, and Vietnam.