Roundstone Farms – Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India 2017

We reached out to Simrit via Workaway and bumped into her in Goa whilst volunteering at Jamboree Creek. We soon bonded over our shared passion for permaculture, plants and people.

We left Goa excited to assist Simrit at Roundstone Farms, her beautiful permaculture homestead and demonstration site at the foot of the Palani Hills, in the Western Ghats, Tamil Nadu.

We reached Rounstone Farms mid February 2017 and experienced it during its worst drought in over 100 years. The normally lush green hills were covered in sun dried grasses and smothered with Lantana, except for the canyons and ravines where the indigenous Shola forest thrives. Scientific research revealed this ecosystem of Shola grasslands and forests is 35.000 years old. The indigenous trees regulate moisture and play a big role in water cycles. They are used in traditional Southern Indian Ayurvedic medicine, support a vast array of wildlife, give timber, essential materials used in traditional buildings. Simrit’s lime mortar recipe is like a medicinal soothing balm coating her home and it contains the following:

Lime mortar – Lime, tamarind, aloe, cactus, haritaki nut, palm jaggery

There is much to learn from observing the abundant succession of this fine tuned ecosystem that’s able to sustain wild elephants, leopards, monkeys and a myriad of birds and insects as well as an immense variety of fruit trees and food crops.

One day one of the workers picked a huge jack fruit and shared it amongst his colleagues, with us and Simrit’s family. After savouring the plump pulp around the nut, I scraped off the juicy, bubblegum flavored threads and shared them with Mufti and Charlie, our loving canine companions.

 

We explored ways to contribute and after a chance meeting with our good friend Helen Hideko, a talented film maker from Vienna we decided to make a little video to help capture the essence of Roundstone Farms and share with the world the wonderful ways in which permaculture ethics, principles and design have set the foundations for a solid and well integrated site. It is attached below for your viewing pleasure.

We were also inspired to “pimp out” a terrace and make some seating happen and a table for people to chill out in the shade of the glorious, Silver Oaks, Gliricidia, avocados and citrus sprinkled around.

Nicky set out to paint the rock walls we had build, the trees and an old door turned into an artsy tabletop adorned with moon cycles and Detura blossoms.

We absolutely loved being with Simrit, Aeko, Ridha and the dogs! Lord puppington remains nestled in our hearts. We look forward to returning sometime soon!

 

 

From the 9th to the 21st of  November Roundstone Farms will host their first PDC, led by John Champion, a permaculture elder from Australia, and Simrit’s PDC teacher. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience a unique learning opportunity in one of the most beautiful and bio diverse places in the world. For more details and to sign up please click here.