Paving way for an eco-friendly future with permaculture

Bharath says that it has been nearly 5 years since they started planting. Despite being a struggle, he feels it has been an interesting journey.
Mansa Organic Meadows in Damal village ; (inset) Bharath M
Mansa Organic Meadows in Damal village ; (inset) Bharath M

CHENNAI: Fifteen acres of land with a setup of an integrated agroforestry model. The entire farm is surrounded by a three feet trench on all sides. The perimeter of the farm is raised like a bund which is two feet higher than the inside. This prevents any rainwater from going outside the farm. Welcome to Mansa Organic Meadows, a permaculture farm in Damal Village, Kancheepuram district.

“Our farm is divided into 35 segments and each segment is surrounded by trenches. All these trenches are interconnected and lead to three ponds of variable sizes located at different spots within the farm. The excess water in the pond is also channelled into one of the two borewells we have, so it directly recharges the water we take from it all year round,” says Bharath M, founder of Mansa Organic Meadows.

Bharath shares his inspiration, “Back in Tasmania, I would spend my time walking in the forests. I was motivated to lead a life that was closely connected to nature. I wanted to bring back the forests that were destroyed in the last few decades in Tamil Nadu. It was during this time that I came across the term permaculture. I was perplexed by the dangerous chemicals that we are dealing with daily. My degree in marine biology made me aware of climate change and its impacts on the planet.

“Permaculture is the design and implementation of sustainable agriculture systems. Through permaculture, I would be able to give back to this planet rather than always taking from it. It’s a career that does not pollute this planet but instead gives hope for a greener future. Permaculture is the perfect solution with ensured food security and a sustainable ecosystem for anyone who follows it.”

He says that in comparison to regular agricultural practices, where seeds, pesticides, and chemical fertilisers are regularly bought from external sources every year, in a permaculture-based farm like theirs all inputs are created within the system.

For example, the waste from the chickens is used to fertilise their fields and in return, they use the biomass that is produced to feed the cows and fish. Permaculture is a closed energy system which means every nutrient is sourced from within the farm and nothing leaves outside except for their harvest. This ideology is what they are trying to achieve.

Bharath says that it has been nearly 5 years since they started planting. Despite being a struggle, he feels it has been an interesting journey. He aims to make the farm both sustainable and financially successful in the coming years so that it encourages more youngsters and farmers to follow a path towards a greener future. He wishes youngsters to choose a future that will help both the planet and the ecosystem grow.

“I want people to know the medicinal benefits of naturally grown fruits and vegetables so that they spend less money on hospitals and use their money to support local farmers by buying directly from them. To battle climate change, food scarcity, and poverty, permaculture becomes an excellent solution that can tackle all these issues at the same time,” he says.

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