FAQs

Visiting us

How do I visit your farm?

If you want to learn something, it’s best to volunteer with us. If you’re just interested in simply visiting, we’re currently not able to support that. We’ll soon start a fortnightly farm tour. Stay tuned!

How can I learn from you?

Volunteering with us is the best way. You get to do the day-to-day work at the farm along with us and see our practices in action. We also host some workshops on topics like Permaculture/natural farming and Yoga esp. during the winters. Follow our social media pages for such updates.

How can I join Jeevantika?

We’re neither a commercial venture, nor an NGO for anyone to formally join. We’ll open up an internship program for long-term learning sometime in 2023.

Exploring a farm life

I want to leave the city life and start farming. How do I start my transition? 

1. Spend at least a month or two volunteering at other farms to learn practically. It’s easy to romanticise about farming from the comforts of a city, but nothing can help you get clarity as much as getting your hands dirty (literally!)
2. Think through your goals based on these experiences.
3. Start looking for land based on the goals, unless you already have one.
4. If you’d like and can afford it, you can also take part in some courses like Permaculture Design Course (PDC). They are great places to meet like-minded people and get some motivation to work on your project.

Can organic farming be profitable?
Yes (in the long run), almost no (in the short run). There are exceptions, of course. In general, to practice organic farming (or natural farming/regenerative agriculture) in its true spirit, you’ll essentially be working on fixing soil health and that doesn’t happen very soon. It’s a natural healing process which one can accelerate with good practices but to expect to make money during that healing period is a stretch. So, think twice before taking up commercial organic farming without some buffer capital and patience.

About us

What inspired us to make the transition?

– Love for nature
– Desire to be healthy in a holistic way
– Desire to create a setting where life can be led with much less stress, more slowly and with awareness (compared to a regular urban life)

How do we sustain ourselves financially?

We’ve set up a couple of sources of income – we both take up occasional part-time tech projects and Sakshi also teaches Yoga online. To keep things simple, we’ve intentionally not relied on the farm for generating any money. This allows us to focus on the right things with the right spirit.

Where did we learn to farm?

We spent around 8 months volunteering at two farms in Auroville. Sakshi also took a PDC course just after we had bought the land. These experiences helped shape our basic outlook to working with the land and also, gave us the needed reassurance looking at the stories of other farmers. Beyond that, most of the farming we’ve practically learnt by trying things on our land. Nature will teach you everything if you can develop some patience and learn to hear back what it has to say. There’s obviously plenty of resources online about the basics (when to plant something, kind of soil etc), which come handy.

Land-related

How to decide on buying a land?

These are the 3 main factors one should consider for buying land – 
1. Accessibility – You must be able to go there easily and frequently. 
2. Neighbourhood safety – You must be at peace without worrying about encroachment, theft etc
3. Water/Rainfall – There must be some water resource or at least, moderate rainfall to start conserving rainwater. 

Remaining factors depend on your specific objectives (e.g. do you want to sell food? Do you want to run a project? Do you want to settle there? etc), which are worth listing down for your own clarity.

How much does it cost to buy land?

This depends on many factors like distance from nearest city, distance from the highway, accessibility during rains, undulation, water availability etc. To get a sense of the range in your region, find a local broker or a knowledgeable friend and visit a few available lands.

How much land is needed to grow one’s own food?

For an ecologically conscious diet, 0.25-0.5 acre should easily feed two people.

Farming-related

How do I get desi / native seeds?

We’ve a seed bank of our own, from where you can order the seeds you need. There are many other seed savers (you’ll need to search around a bit!) or organisations like Sahaja seeds, who are doing a great job of preserving and promoting native varieties. We’ll list down some good sources here in a while.

Can you guide me with my farming/landscaping project?

Sure, we’ll be happy to help you. You can share your initial questions with us using a form on our contact page. We’re also open to take a structured consulting role if you need that. We can discuss that in person after you share more about your project with us.

How do I convert my land to organic? It was used for chemical farming for a long time. 

All you have to do is work on improving the soil health. There is lots of content online if you’re generally curious to know more about it. We also plan to document our learnings soon on this website. It’s a matter of finding out which practices suit your situation the best. Trial-and-error is definitely needed to some extent, but one thing that can be very helpful is to go work on other farms, who have put such practices in action.

How do you control pests?

We used to make organic preparations like Dashparni ark etc (using Neem and other leaves) for the first couple of years when pests were a big problem. As the soil health has improved over time with less disturbance and addition of a lot of organic matter, we don’t do anything directly for pests. They are automatically in check with healthier plants and a good ecosystem (presence of predators). We only have to focus on the two most fundamental things – using native / desi seeds (mostly saved on our own farm) and continuously improving the soil food web.

Some inspirational farms – India

Aranya (Telangana)
Swayyam (Gundulpet, Karnataka)
Kalpavruksh Farm (Umbergaon, Gujarat)
Smell of the Earth (West Bengal)
Bunch of farms (Auroville, Tamil Nadu)
Vivasayee’s life (Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu)

We’ll add many more to this list soon!