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The Art Of Growing Your Own Food

by Atlanta Business Journal

Sakshi Bhatia (33), a data scientist, and Arpit Maheswari (33), a product manager, had successful careers with high-paying jobs in the US. But the couple could feel that their fast-paced life in a concrete jungle was missing something. So, in 2016, they quit their jobs and returned to India. “We wanted a life that is healthier, peaceful and close to nature,” says Arpit. “But we didn’t have any idea how to go about it.” The couple then decided to volunteer in a few organic farms in Auroville. “After spending some time there, we knew what to do. We also had the confidence,” he adds.

They bought a plot of land in MP’s Ujjain dist­rict and set-up Jeevantika, a natural farm, whe­re they grow their own food and invite people to live with them, experience a life that is a bit slo­wer and peaceful. The basic philosophy of Jee­vantika is that it promotes life. “Food is a bas­ic thing that connects us to nature,” Arpit says. “So we decided we will grow our food. Our second purpose was land regeneration. Bec­a­use, in the process of growing food, we destroy our land by using harmful pesticides, which damages the entire ecosystem. So we also do for­es­t­ation, but not on a bigger scale. Our purpose is to recover land.”

People who visit Jeevantika learn water harv­esting, making mud houses, forestation and farming. “Our design is very simple. We visit our farm twice a day. So we take people and inv­olve them in vegetable growing, compost making, seed building and so on,” Arpit adds. “Je­e­vantika is for those who want to live life connected to nature, this space allows them to enjoy a lifestyle that is not fast like life in cities.”

(This appeared in the print edition as “Return to Roots”)

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