To set up Bhavya on our new premises, we envisage three essential spaces:
In keeping with our philosophy, we wish to have our children’s space in the midst of nature, surrounded by trees. We would like our buildings to leave a lighter footprint on Earth and bring in diffused sunlight. provide sufficient ventilation, and involve a minimal use of concrete and steel. We will use local materials for our construction. We will orient our buildings such that we derive maximum comfort from the environment. We would like our construction to be minimal, and environmentally friendly with open verandahs for activities. We plan to construct:
We are dedicating approximately three acres of the land to the development of a Natural Food Forest. Coming with little experience in the field of agriculture, we find that there is much research, learning and preparatory work that we need to do before we can begin to plant our Forest. We are undertaking this as a Bhavya Community project where we are personally involved in every activity.
We wish to live and grow with the land, not just on it or off it. We wish to develop a symbiotic relationship with the land. Just as we are enriched by Nature and the land, we feel the need, in turn, to do whatever we can to enrich the land and become a part of the natural process of life.
The various ongoing processes in our journey are:
We wish to work towards raising the water table on the land by harvesting rain water through the creation of trench-cum-bunds and the use of the green manuring technique. We are also researching other techniques to conserve ground water. We aim to eventually become a completely rain-fed farm.
The main focus of Natural Farming is soil enrichment and the resulting increase in harvest is merely a byproduct of this focus. The continuous emphasis on soil enrichment through the use of various natural techniques such as best plant combinations, green manuring, etc., is essential to preserving the natural richness of the land.
We wish to create our food forest following the pattern of growth that exists in a natural forest, which has grown with no human intervention whatsoever. This forest will consist of a mix of fruit trees, vegetables, shrubs, herbs and forest trees, thereby creating a sustainable ecosystem. We will be using the permaculture approach which will help sustain the rich biodiversity of our food forest.
In all our research on Natural Farming, one important learning which stood out was that in order to create and maintain a Natural Farm, we will need to be living on the farm. The specific techniques in Natural Farming need to be implemented with a care and precision which cannot come from hired labour. Living on the land also enables us to observe the land as it responds to the different seasons, watch the trees and plants grow and provide timely intervention as and when required.
Our new location is a good distance away from the city. Finding a team of adults in this area who are committed to the Bhavya philosophy would be a difficult task. This further reinforces the fact that we need to have a committed staff body living on the premises at the earliest possible time.
We plan to construct: