Every aspect of the environment is useful and has a value of its own. Even a dead tree can never be considered a waste.
But today, man is focusing only on the commercial value of natural resources. He is completely ignoring their multiple uses, beyond commercial value.
If we want to sustain, we need to work with nature and not against it. To protect nature, we can create systems that are ecologically sound.
On this note, WeJan managed to talk with Swapnil Rao, an electronic engineer and a permaculture designer who is doing something out of the box.
Swapnil, along with his wife, Mrunmayee, started Neil & Momo Lifestyle, and practices permaculture in big crowded cities with less available spaces.
Permaculture is a sustainable practice that involves producing and consuming own food.
- What Is Permaculture In Layman’s Language?
Bill Mollison and David Holmgren coined this term. It is a system for creating sustainable human environments. It leads to no damage to the environment as it involves no use of chemicals. By practising it, we are working towards a better environment along with self-sustainability.
I think permaculture is the way of living life. Everyone perceives it in their own way.
I have created a small community by bringing like-minded people together. We work and develop people’s terrace, plots, lands.
My wife, Mrunmayee, really supported me in this venture. I also give training to people who are interested in doing permaculture. And thus, take a small step towards protecting our environment.
- What Exactly Turned You Towards Permaculture?
I was led to permaculture by a series of events that happened in my life. Though being happy and content, I was finding the very purpose of my life.
At the same time, I went to meet an influential personality who recommended the book ‘The One-Straw Revolution: An Introduction to Natural Farming’ by author Masanobu Fukuoka. This was where the seed of permaculture was sown.
Later on, my friend, though being an established fashion photographer, went to Kodaikanal. He purchased land and built a hut. He started practising permaculture. It was also a triggering point for me.
- Do You Sell Your Produce? How Do People Compare Them To Market Products?
I made strawberry jam from the strawberries produced on our farm. We distributed it to our family, friends.
As we totally handcrafted it, people liked it. Along with our love, it contained the essence of nature. It was better than the jams that go through numerous processes before shopkeepers sell them.
Each jam was different in its own way. Some were sweeter, some were spicier. But, every jam had a distinct taste of the ingredients used in its making.
- How Is Permaculture Different From Farming?
Farming is usually monoculture. Farmers produce only one crop in the entire land. So, the threat of losing the entire crop because of pests is more.
Permaculture is more of a polyculture, i.e. where people grow various crops in one space. So, the threat of damage due to pests is also less.
In farming, farmers use chemicals for the protection and growing of crops. On the contrary, people don’t use any chemicals in permaculture. Every process is natural and at its own pace.
- What Are Future Prospects Of Permaculture?
The future of permaculture is very bright. In my opinion, there should also be a proper formal education in permaculture. This will inspire the young generation to practice it more.
I strongly believe that once we enter the soil and get mixed with it there is no coming back. It is like a source of happiness.
Permaculture helps in not only living a sustainable life but also helps in solving our day-to-day problems including stress. It helps in striking a balance between our everyday hectic schedules and staying happy, hopeful and satisfied.
You can reach out to them at [email protected]