“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Starting an organization is full of challenges, especially in the formative years. Our story is no different. In our experience so far faith in the process and ourselves can lead us a long way. Welcome to our first quarterly newsletter of 2023.
Mid-February is the transition time from winter to spring. So, our garden beds had gone through transformations as well. In this season we get to witness beautiful sunflowers and taste lovely tomatoes, okra, Bok choy, and different greens. After that, we planted new okra, chili, brinjal, and summer greens.
In our part of the world, many plants like Teak, Mahogany, Peepal, Kabamba shade their leaves and prepare themselves for the harsh summer months. People usually burn these dried leaves. This year we collected a lot of these leaves to make leaf mold/compost. We have also made foliar feed from fish emulsion using a dead fish that we got from one of our ponds. We are having pest issues. So our team is making dasaparni (mix of a different kinds of leaves) to repel the insects.
Bapi Sing: In our last newsletter we mentioned about Bapi, who is creating a garden with us. Seeing Bapi’s interest and dedication to his work we have decided to hire him as a gardener for our new project Tendril. Tendril is an extension of our last project Ankur, where over the next two years we will transform our current five gardens into forest gardens. Bapi has been a very valuable addition to our team as the speed of work has increased manifold.
Jeet Murmu: Last year we met Jeet a 12-year boy. Over a chit-chat, we came to know Jeet was a school dropout. He never went to high school after finishing primary school in 2021.
Jeet is a tribal orphan and is currently raised by her grandmother who sometimes goes to begging to meet their ends meets. Jeet neither had the money nor any person to help him with admission to high school. By then it was evident to me Jeet wanted to go to school. Sujit one of our teammates helped him to take admission to the school. Looking at the smile on his face when we went to meet him after he started going to school was very satisfying. What is more promising is that Jeet is interested to create a garden of his own. We will update where that leads us to.
In Janaury, we attended an alumni gathering of kanthari, hosted by Siddhesh Sakore from Agro Rangers in Pune. Later we attended a seed festival organized by OOO farm. They are working on saving traditional seeds and promoting their conservation through income generation. We have also visited a syntropic farm run by Antje Bauer.
During the kanthari meet we met team project DEFY and that put us in touch with the founder Abhijit Sinha. Abhijit is currently helping us in the next two years by planning and designing a program on community building.
We have also attended an unconference event from 23rd March to 27th March in Rajasthan, where people across the world from regenerative space to discuss how can co-create a livable world for all beings. In the event we met quite a few interesting personalities like ecologist Mr. Anand Pendharkar, leading figure in Indian alternative education, Manish Jain and more.