Welcome to Navdanya

Navdanya is a network of people passionate about agriculture and gardening across 18 states in India. This female-centric organization promotes biological and cultural diversity.


| Winter 2015-16



sunset

“Navdanya means “nine seeds” (symbolizing protection of biological and cultural diversity) and also the “new gift” (for seed as commons, based on the right to save and share seeds). Conserving seed is conserving biodiversity, conserving knowledge of the seed and its utilization, conserving culture, conserving sustainability.” - www.Navdanya.org

Photos by Quint Smith

Arriving at Navdanya from the swarming surrounding world feels like entering a peaceful oasis set in the middle of a beautiful mango orchard. On the little road that leads to the farm, we were greeted by a group of hill ladies coming back from work in the fields.

One Perfect Day at Navdanya

This might sound a bit like one of those promotions for tourists, but Navdanya is, in fact, a place where one can spend a truly perfect day as opposed to the very troubled and hectic world we live in.

The day starts at day break with a walk to the nearby forest where villagers are already busy collecting large leaves for their cows, and wild peacocks are sending their morning calls. The majestic birds can be spotted flying from tree to tree. On the way back to the farm, the wheat fields dotted with dew-covered spider webs gave a magical feeling to the moment.

The morning walk was my choice; some went jogging around the farm while others attended a yoga class, but by 8 a.m. we were all lined up for a frugal breakfast of parantha (flat bread with onions), yogurt and masala chai. After breakfast, Drona, a young man from Bhutan in charge of the internship program, would allocate tasks from harvesting the wheat to weeding in the kitchen garden. In the middle of the day, feeling the intensity of the heat, our joyful crew would then be rewarded with a vegetarian lunch.

The afternoon free time was a good opportunity to chat with some of the interns. Maeva, a graduate student in Agronomy and Plants Sciences from France, was looking to bring a spiritual dimension to her busy life and would like to focus on sustainable agriculture. Carl from Switzerland was learning about seed saving. After some rest and before sunset, the ritual of the volleyball game would bring a great deal of excitement to this otherwise very quiet place. Then an invigorating cold shower would be followed by dinner and then listening to the local stories by the local guys to the sound of the guitar and the tablas.





elderberry, echinacea, bee hive

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