Tsokar Fram, Dharamshala, March 2018

I was invited to Tsokar Farm to help stop erosion and rehabilitate the unstable slopes following on from a poorly executed land works design.

Guided by the first permaculture principle, observe and interact, I connected to the land and asked for what it needs in order to create abundant and productive terraces full of fruit and nut trees, shrubs, medicinal plants and vegetables.

We created a design following the contour lines of the land and implemented terraces made of local bamboo which we filled with gober (cow dung, from the Desi “holy” cow), leaves, twigs, urine inspired by Clea Chandmal’s Forest Floor method to create rich soil in situ.

We planted the terraces with a variety of nitrogen fixers, ground cover, medicinal plants, vegetables and fruit trees. The idea is to work with nature and the imminent arrival of monsoon to help trap and increase fertility and minimise erosion on the fledgeling farm.

Part of my ongoing commitment to give back to local communities and connect like minded folk,  my colleague Maria Fernades and I ran an introduction to social permaculture design course for some of the ladies in the area. Over the two days we familiarised ourselves with the ethics and principles of permaculture, observed the site, planted trees, shared stories and played with the Design Web by Looby Macnamara to identify ways to connect more with self love and care and become active agents of positive change.

With big thanks to Honey, Maria, Aditi and the wonderful ladies who took part.