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Earth Kitchen: A short story

Updated: Sep 27, 2019

Many friends and guests have asked us about our time here in the village, and how we developed nothing into something beautiful. The long one will take many days, so here's the short story:

The story starts in January 2002, when we first visited the farmland together.

It was then just a rolling side of a shallow valley, with a rain-fed stream running through it, draining a kilometre of terrain on north and south.

We walked the land, appreciating it’s stark beauty. Cloudy skies and light rain rendered the landscape magical.

The only man-made structure visible to the eye was the Taj Kuteeram’s water tower.

We take our time thinking about this. Is this the life we want for ourselves? Can we give up our thriving careers to make a move into the unknown?

We decide that this is for us.

In 2008, we start work on developing the 6 acres according to an ecologically sustainable master plan.

The land is levelled, preserving the natural gradient. Trenches and bunds are created to stop water flowing in speed, eroding top soil and running off the land.

The whole land is water harvested, and the rainfall channelled into a 100,000 cubic ft pond, dug at the lowermost point of the land, to recharge groundwater. (Composite image).

We started with one tree.

The first trees we plant are on the boundary. A selection of flowering trees are chosen for the periphery and bougainvilleas planted to climb the fencing.

We also plant an orchard of 75 fruit trees, of every variety possible.

A 30’X40’ tank, 5’ deep, is constructed on the highest point of the land to store borewell water overflow. This water is used to drip irrigate the fruits and vegetables by gravity.

It can also double up as an organic swimming pool in hot weather.

A mud brick home we designed ourselves starts to take shape. The bricks are made from our own soil and sun baked on site, minimising ecological impact.

Work on the house moves too slowly. So we decide to move into the unfinished house and complete it while living on site.

Once we move in, the first task is to plant trees on the stark landscape.

We chose to develop our home not as a commercial farm, but a patch of mixed forest. Every conceivable tree we can find is brought and assigned a space.

In the first batch, we plant a full garden and 2000 trees.

We choose every conceivable variety of shrubs and trees, to increase biodiversity.

Slowly but surely, the land regenerates.

Trees take hold and flourish as soil moisture increases.

Earth Kitchen is transformed from a barren grassland into a rich, bio-diverse habitat, with over 100 species of birds and numerous mammals, reptiles and insects calling it home.

Today, we have a young, growing forest of over 3500 trees.

In 2014, we launch Earth Kitchen, a weekend farm bistro offering Mediterranean cuisine.

Home cooked gourmet food, replicating original flavours and aromas from Southern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

We grow organic vegetables and exotic herbs for our own consumption. The produce also finds its way into the food we offer our guests.

We also offer our organic produce for sale - processed, cleaned and packed.

In 2018, we build a cottage with 5 ensuite bedrooms and launch our homestay.

It offers rustic but comfortable, well appointed rooms.

And scenic, quiet and ecologically sustainable spaces for guests.

A return to a natural way of living.

Gardens and orchards to rest weary senses.

And an unforgettable experience.

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Nrityagram Road, Hesaraghatta

Bangalore, Karnataka 560088

+91 991666 8738 | +91 9663847522

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Homestay / Farm stay / bed & breakfast

Homestay in bangalore outskirts for couples family