Clea Chandmal

 

I consult and informally teach Permaculture ways to farmers and other landowners in Goa. I provide Permaculture solutions to their problems as well as design and implement Permaculture in several naked and degraded lands.

I am developing my farm as a demonstration and a model Permaculture site.

The work on my farm in Goa (Foyts Farm- marked on wikimapia) is to demonstrate low input high output (both in terms of money and labour) farming and living. All techniques practiced are permaculture compatible or permaculture based. One aim is to address the problem of farmer suicides and malnutrition, a growing concern in India and the other is to educate landowners on how to go about developing their land into a productive and resilient largely self regulating system .

My farm was barren when i bought it 10 years ago. Except for a patch of unchartered forest. This forest is still unchartered and i have left it to grow its own way. I dont have measurements for its size . A panther has been spotted living there. He/she appears to be roaming the farm at night- has been spotted regularly on our mango and jackfruit trees at night.

I have focussed on creating a stable and diverse food forest i.e., layers, nitogenfixing plants, live mulch, plants for soil conservation and succession. We also have a large vegetable growing area. These are established and growing. We use our own fire wood for cooking. We wash using products made from plants on the farm. Kitchens are outdoor in all seasons except the monsoon. We buy absolutely no inputs for farming. All our waste is a resource. We are currently focussing on making rainwater harvesting more efficient. I am now self sufficient in vegetables all year round. We grow several high value crops such as passion fruit, vanilla and french herbs. The list of crops is long.We use a chicken tractor, a cow for its urine and dung which combines with other waste to make a fantastic compost, this acts also as a pest supressant. We have a zone five of timber and biodiesel trees. There is no house. We have a small basic mud structure, it is basic by even indian village standards. The roof is green. I am currently building a model home, using permaculture compatible ways that would last a 100 years in theory. I am working with a local architect. I am using materials and methods that would be affordable to poor farmers and also be attractive to a wealthier population. Briefly, we will be using rammed earth for walls and local wood (such as coconut from dead trees on the farm) for other structural features, passive cooling, and rain water harvesting.

So in a nut shell. We are self reliant on food, water and will be for energy shortly. Our methods ensure that soil fertility and water conservation keep on only improving naturally.