Shunya Farm

Our new home and work in Bir in the Kangra valley of the Western Himalayas.Its been a joy to see the farm grow and transform over the spring. Our work with the soil on the land rewards us every week with food for 10-15 people in Bir and of course ourselves. Now preparing for an... Continue Reading →

Fermentation / preserving food

As we began to farm and harvest, we realised that we also needed to learn how to preserve food for longer. There were times when we had too much of a vegetable and there were times when we had nothing. There were also times when we could not farm or harvest because of the rains.... Continue Reading →

Making fire

The fire has changed the course of human evolution. It has helped us protect ourselves and create energy (change energy to a usable form). It makes the stars burn, as it does the human soul. While researching on how to make a stove that uses the firewood efficiently to turn it into heat and doesn’t... Continue Reading →

IMO / Cultivating microbes

Microorganisms in the soil are a crucial link in nature’s energy cycle. Some of the beneficial traits of these microorganisms can also be employed by farmers to take care of their soil. (The terms beneficial/harmful apply only where a certain outcome is desired. There is no way to say what is beneficial or non-beneficial. In nature,... Continue Reading →


Pruning is basically cutting the branches of a tree to give it a desired shape to allow all leaves to have good sun, to make the harvest easier and some times induce shock to make the tree grow faster. Pruning requires good understanding about tree forms, their innate repair mechanisms and should be done with... Continue Reading →


Angelica and I took a Permaculture Design Course (PDC) in December 2014 in Auroville with Rico Zook (, Martin Bastide and Roman Benjankri. Permaculture (permanent agriculture or permanent culture) was coined by David Holmgren and Bill Mollison first in 1978 in Australia. Since then, Permaculture has travelled across the globe as a design study applicable to... Continue Reading →

Learning to farm

One of the first things we learnt when we started working on the land was the importance of maintaining soil health. Every season we deplete the soil of its nutrition by harvesting vegetables, fruits and cereals and try to compensate for it by adding chemical fertilisers. This not only damages the soil but the entire... Continue Reading →

Building with Lime

I was introduced to the concept of lime and cement by Manu at SacredGroves, Auroville.  We did our first experiment with the material last year. With the help of the local masons and my understanding from a workshop I attended in Chennai, we created some really good mixes for a tank plastering job at sacredgroves.... Continue Reading →

Following the sun

Last few months, I have been trying to understand the motion of the earth, concept of time, seasons, stars, constellations and how we perceive the skies from down here. Of course, the most important of them being our relationship with the Sun. To mark our longitude and latitude, we set up a gnomon. gnomon   /ˈnəʊmɒn/   noun... Continue Reading →

Design for Change

  In October of 2011, I was in Ahmedabad waiting to begin my life after college, full of energy, and wanting to do something meaningful. One night, I sent out over 20 job applications out of frustration. I heard back from only one and it changed the course of my life. Design for Change / Riverside... Continue Reading →

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