Despite our differences, the one collective fantasy we share with almost everybody on the planet is to leave everything and go live on a farm. We've all imagined some version of it. It's probably a really primordial call to reconnect with nature. The hours we spend looking at screens in our free time alone are concerning. A little cog in the gigantic industrialized, modern wheel, we've fallen into a design that isn't too kind to the soul.
More and more people are realising this need to go natural and planning their lives around a system that nourishes them mentally and spiritually. Since the 90s when the pattern of nutrition transition began, which is a collective awakening to the negative effects of processed foods and a need to focus on healthier living, there has been a gradual shift in the way we look at food and how we acquire it. An amalgamation of environmental, economic and geographical factors, a subconscious force of change has us all slowly changing our outlook towards more sustainable and healthy choices when it comes to food. It may have touched you too if you've ever considered growing your own food sometime in the future.
Luckily it doesn't feel too out of reach for us anymore. Kitchen gardening and composting has become a movement that has brought together people, knowledge and resources forming a community that you can join anytime you wanna get on this green train. Neha Sumitran and Vahishta Mistry are two members of this community who can acquaint you with the world of self-sustainability.
Neha works at The Kodai Chronicle and spends her days gardening, cooking, and writing about food, biodiversity, and the joys of sustainable living. She lives in Pethuparai and hopes to have a self-sustaining homestead one day. Her partner, Vahishta shares her interests and goal of living a life close to nature. Their adventures lie in experimenting with composting, permaculture and sustainable agriculture.
Two years ago they started a gardening workshop which is back this year with an incredible opportunity to get hands-on knowledge and experience on agriculture. Kitchen Gardening for Beginners is a four-day residential workshop to learn the basics of growing food where through a mix of practical and theory sessions, you will learn the basics of veggie gardening; from sowing seeds to making compost, managing pests, and cooking with the harvest.
Neha and Vahishta will also take sessions on how to design your future garden space, whether it’s a window grill, apartment balcony, or backyard patch, so you have everything you need to begin the journey of growing food. you do not need any prior gardening experience for this workshop.
All participants of Kitchen Gardening for Beginners will stay in mixed-dormitory-style rooms with comfortable bunk beds, blankets, attached baths, and a patio to soak in the forest around in an estate that grows an abundance of pepper, coffee, and jackfruit, and is home to a diversity of birds, bugs, bees, fungi, and more.
Delicious, vegetarian Tamil-style meals will be served three times a day, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In addition, tea and coffee will be served twice a day.
The workshop is happening from January 26-29, 2023 and the course fee is inclusive of accommodation and food which is ₹ 25,000.
You can find out more about the workshop and register here.