Category Archives: Blog
Tuesday July 23rd, 2019 we went on our first boundary walk of the land
for our 2nd 1000 Tree Project – the Suvarna Yojane. The first
application for the 1000 Tree Project was filed in January of 2018.
Our neighbouring 4 farmers – 3 men and 1 woman – brought together 10
acres of land which had only been sporadically cultivated over the
last decade due to sparse and unpredictable rainfall. The fence was
completed in January 2019 and we began digging the first set of tree
pits and earthworks.
Our second project brings together 30+ acres of land, 4 families and 2
generations. Five women and Eight men joined us for this 2 hour walk
to survey the land and to discuss its history and future. The families
have not farmed for the last 4 years on their lands due to
unpredictable rainfalls, recurring droughts and wildlife conflict
(primarily elephants and wild boar activity). They have survived only
on daily wage and semi-skilled labour work when they would prefer to
be farming. Like many lands in our area, it is a challenging land to
farm because of its proximity to the forest added to the reality of
the climate change induced erratic weather patterns.
The land offers many opportunities for regeneration with a range of
landscape features and a willing group of people who want to work on a
viable solution for the unstable conditions in which we currently
live. They have agreed to plant 1000 trees for every 10 acres, engage
in non-chemical farming and work on methods of water conservation.
They will save and share seeds once they begin to farm regularly
again. Like many others in our village, they have not been able to
save their own seeds because there is no continuity in their faming
and the saved seeds lose their viability.
These farmers are semi-literate and illiterate members of the
Scheduled Caste. The people of Suvarna Yojane look to farming and to
working on their own land as a means to living a dignified life.
The 1000 Tree Project was started in response to the drought of 2016
when we saw large scale cattle deaths in our area. Deforestation and
failed monsoons combined with chemical farming, soil erosion,
overgrazing and plummeting groundwater supplies created a downward
spiral for the community living here.
Find out more about the 1000 Tree Project on our website at swayyam.org
….. I only went out for a walk into the wilderness, and finally concluded to stay out on the land, for going out, I found, was really going in. In every walk with Nature I have received far more than I sought…..
our small village home is being set up for our dwelling…. planting moringa, curry leaf, pomegranate, neem trees and some flowering bushes; planning for a hammock space in the backyard; locating the papaya pit circle and the trelise crops on the fence in the frontyard; fixing the laundry wash stone and so on ans so forth…
as usual, and, I guess that is what I will need to get used to – slowing down, big time, people take their own sweet time to finish work – a quality that is good mostly and a little bad at times! So, finally after a 2 month wait we have a place to cook, sleep and work from.. (more…)
After a year long rendezvous with the paper-work and associated legalities we finally have the legal ownership of the land that we start our project work on. The process of procuring land, especially in Karnataka can be daunting, wanting a weak-hearted to give up eventually.
The entire experience with ‘land’ has been insightful and has revealed very many aspects of my own deeper being. (more…)
.. if there is one teacher to patience, it is this..Try buying land in India, and as a single woman. It teaches you tolerance, patience and optimism and so much more…
While you think you finally can start living and working on the land, there comes the next hurdle.. legal titles, division of property between brothers, papers that were never updated, exact measure and extent of the land, failed negotiations – name it!