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Volunteer Or Learn: Pick Up The Ropes Of Permaculture At These Places

Volunteer Or Learn: Pick Up The Ropes Of Permaculture At These Places
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Travel and learn, or volunteer, at these places that grow food organically on farmsteads or help communities design forest gardens that are appropriate for the local climate

OT Staff
September 22 , 2022
02 Min Read

Smell Of The Earth, Birbhum

Ever wanted to learn how to grow vegetables, herbs, and fruits, but weren’t confident enough about how to go about it? Or perhaps you did not think you had enough space in your flat or house to do so? Or have you been looking for the perfect family holiday option which teaches your kids all about nature, the soil, and earth? We found the perfect solution for you. Smell Of The Earth is a gorgeous farmstead located in Birbhum (near Shantiniketan) with a self-sufficient farmstead which is now the hub of lessons on permaculture, growing food, and leading life in an eco-friendly manner. They host several workshops and short courses through the year where you can learn how to design and maintain ecological spaces starting from small urban spaces up to a self-sufficient farm so that you can step out of the chemical food cycles and provide wholesome organic food for your family, and create farm-based businesses. 

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TIEEDI, Darjeeling

An environment conservation organisation based out Darjeeling, TIEEDI's work revolves around experiential environment education, regenerative tourism, natural farming, decentralised waste management solutions and sustainable land design consultation. They have hosted travellers from all corners of the world. They also provide volunteering options where people learn about permaculture while contributing in any one of our projects. In the past, they have hosted workshops led by local communities on the dying art of weaving with bamboo and creating baskets and fences.

BuDa Folklore

BuDa Folklore, an organisation dedicated to conserving the rich biodiversity and folk tales of the indigenous people of Uttar Kannada, hosts several immersive experiences through the year. You can sign up or volunteer with them. For instance, their kokum harvest festival constitutes a movable feast, which sees many people from different cities flock to their Angadibail Forest House, located in the evergreen woods about 30 kilometres away from Gokarna. You get to climb trees, gathering the red fruit – some sweet, some sour – transferring them from trees to baskets where you would separate the peel, juice the pulp, and collect the seeds. All in all, nothing goes to waste. The encounter at the festival teaches many things – from preserving an indigenous fruit to weaving baskets from scratch. The kokum harvest festival is just one of the several initiatives that BuDa has been hosting for more than two decades in order to create a learning community that explores folklore knowledge and its application in the contemporary world. All resource persons at their events are from local and tribal communities.

Van Vadi

A mere 100 km from Mumbai, this regenerated, natural ‘forest-farm’ – more forest than farm – with its pristine, unpolluted environment, is ideal to pick up lessons in biodiversity and sustainable living. Tucked at the edge of a remote village, Vanvadi lies in the foothills of the Sahyadri range in the Western Ghat mountains. A three-hour drive from Mumbai, it is a sprawling 65-acre land with over 90 per cent tree cover, a small organic farm, and waterbodies. But what makes it special is the story behind it – a lesson in forest regeneration, rainwater harvesting, and offering a home to over 120 traditionally useful plant species, including 52 varieties of forest food. Vanvadi offers a range of participatory programmes and workshops. One of their popular events is the forest walks with experienced Adivasi elders to learn about traditionally useful plant species and forest foods.


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