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Meet the very down to earth, inspiring urban farmer Kalpana Manivannan who started Kalpavriksha Farms, and can teach you how to grow your own stuff and many DIY organic products.
Translated from the original in Tamil by the author.
Kalpana Manivannan believes that we reap as we sow. This urban farmer, homesteading enthusiast, and zero-waste lifestyle practitioner is the quintessential social entrepreneur striving to make the world a better place.
“When everything is going well, what is the need to get down to farming?” she was asked, when she decided to do this. Kalpana gave up a comfortable, high profile teaching position to roll up her sleeves and take up organic farming. The decision was born out of a basic need and desire to provide her family with clean and healthy food from the scratch.
Today, she industriously runs the Kalpavriksha farms, a half-acre farm in the outskirts of Chennai which is on its way to becoming a self-sustained space of sorts. For starters, her farmhouse is solar powered!
Kalpana goes about educating children and just anyone with the will to learn the techniques of organic farming. She sincerely believes that children should perceive and learn farming as an essential lifeskill.
She conducts workshops on sustainable, chemical free living, where people learn to make their own organic alternatives to store-bought chemical infused products such as soaps, cleaners, vinegar and what not!
Even as you are reading this, she’s inducting another batch of willing learners into the essentials of sustainable farming.
She also conducts these workshops on Whatsapp, besides blogging and sending newsletters to willing subscribers who get to learn simple, effective homesteading techniques viz., gardening, DIY chemical-free alternatives and ways to go zero-waste.
Naturally, Kalpana has been conferred with a range of prestigious awards including the Rex Karamveer Chakra Award.
She wholeheartedly attributes it all to her husband and children, for believing in her dreams and supporting her in what she’s been doing.
While assimilating her journey of commitment, conviction, and courage, one is delightfully reminded of the famed couplet –
“…for people, though they go about in search of various employments, have at last to resort to the noble profession of farming.” – (Thirukkural: 1031| Chapter: Farming)
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