Open Shell Farm

5 acres of eroded and overgrazed land has become an abundant and productive model farm for Climate Resilient Regenerative Design.

Education and Demonstration Site • Dryland, Organic Farm • Restoration of Biodiversity • Agroforestry Model • Watershed Management • Revitalization of Village Well • Improving Health of Villagers

Open Shell Farm

In 2014, Open Shell Farm was a degraded and denuded land with a handful of thorny forest trees. Much of the farmland in the area has been degenerated through overgrazing, deforestation, monocultures and indiscriminate chemical use. Subsequent erosion and a plummeting groundwater table pollute water bodies downstream.

Today, Open Shell Farm is host to over 5000 saplings of more than 600 species of forest, fodder, timber, medicine and fruit trees. It is a buzzing food forest with many voluntary species of trees, grasses, bushes and wild edibles along with a multitude of earthworms, termites, bees, insects, reptiles, butterflies and other life forms.

Open Shell Farm is a demonstration and an education site for social transformation through regenerative climate resilient design, that works towards enhancing harmonious and productive relationships already existing in nature. The farm produces over 70% of all its food needs for its residents grown using Regenerative methods.

What started as a denuded land in 2014 is a buzzing food forest of 600 species, over 5000 trees, growing 70% of its food.


 Trees Growing


Species of Flora


Food needs of Farm grown

Open Shell is a fully functioning  farm and food forest in the rain shadow of the Western Ghats along Karnataka’s border with Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Our proximity to the forest has added challenges but offers the opportunity for significant impact to the fragile ecosystem.

  • On the edge of the Bandipur Tiger Reserve
  • Pressure from wildlife: Elephants, Boars, Leopards and Tigers
  • Focus on Fodder and Fuelwood to reduce stress on forest
  • Traditional Polyculture and Millet cultivation for improved nutritional value
  • Water Harvesting Earthworks to prevent runoff and build soil
  • Demonstration site for local farmers to see success of the methods
  • Education site for Permaculture and Regenerative Agroforestry techniques
  • Nursery for medicinal plants and herbs for the villagers

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The Transformational Journey

Regenerative land practices restore life and abundance to denuded lands on the edge of the forest.


Where is Open Shell Farm located?

Open Shell Farm is located in the rain shadow region, at the foothills of the Western Ghats, next to the Bandipur Tiger Reserve.

What types of workshops do you hold?

Open Shell Farm is a fully functional Permaculture farm. We offer Permaculture Design Certificate Courses,  Introduction to Permaculture and Regenerative Design, Introduction to Agroforestry, Natural Building, as well as hosting farmers from southern India to share knowledge and practices.

Have you seen a Tiger?

It is not easy to spot a tiger. One late evening, after dropping a visitor near the gate for the last bus out of the forest, I was lucky enough to catch a glimpse. First the low, muffled chuff let us know she was near. Then a curled tail on the edge of the road and a passing glance before disappearing into the forest.

What all do you grow?

Open Shell Farm combines a food forest with field crops; timber and fuelwood trees with native forest species. We grow several varieties of mango and banana, jackfruit, guava, soursop to name a few. In our fields we grow onion, turmeric, millet, urad, mung, sunflower, and groundnut, along with a wide variety of vegetables.

How can we visit the Farm?

Currently we are not open for visits due to Covid. Once things stabilise we hope to open up for visits on the 3rd saturday of every month, with prior registrations and bookings.

Do you help people set up their own farms?

Yes. Open Shell Design is a Design team based out of South India. Our services include Regenerative Land Designs using Permaculture and Agro-ecology principles. We take up Phone Consultations, Design, Consulting and Implementation of all Land based Design.



We started with fencing to stop grazing. Then, Water harvesting earthworks to prevent runoff and reduce erosion. Local masons built the first natural building on the site.


We set up the first nursery to continue our tree planting as well as supporting the 1000 Tree Project. We began our first rainfed field crops producing 50% of our staples.


The Learning Center was established to offer trainings and host farmer meetings. 70% of staples and edible oil are being produced through a multi-cropping/alley cropping system.