Vineesh, age 35, runs a Panchakarma Treatment center named Amruthoot in Palakkad, Kerala, India. He was discovered through our team of innovators at Vanavata Gurukulam in participation with the Free Earth Alliance during our grassroots efforts of spreading awareness and supporting local small farmers in their transition to natural farming and regenerative agriculture.
Across various parts of India, many farmers have been “educated” by experts and activists about the vicious cycle of debt traps, including the socio-ecological repercussions of industrial agriculture.
We experienced something exceptional in the district of Palakkad however, also renowned as the farming capital of Kerala; rather than just disseminating information to encourage farmers to convert to natural farming methodologies, Vineesh empowers local farmers to embrace a regenerative lifestyle based on the Five Elements Theory known as Pancha Bhoota — His transformational message? “We are what we eat… And farmers are the caretakers and caterers of nature’s bounty. ”
At Amruthoot we are self-actualizing by being an integral part of the soil-food-web and this has manifested in our natural farming community as local self-reliance.
One such transformed farmer with whom we spent a considerable amount of time was Ravi; who states that he was disconnected with the process of farming. He suffered from an aversion to working on his own land because of the psychological and cultural divide between the labour force and owners of farms which has become a status symbol. Ravi considers Vineesh as his teacher who encouraged him to grow a natural kitchen garden while educating him about natural farming according to Five Elements theory. He also learnt about the effects of different kinds of vegetables & herbs, on the five elements or five tattvas of the human body. By the time his natural kitchen garden was reaping natural produce, Ravi was consuming those as an entirely new person; who would now be seen farming all day on his farm alongside his workers, practicing meditation, and brewing natural fertilizers.
To celebrate this transformation and to educate the local community, Amruthoot organized a harvest festival at Ravi’s farm to harvest naturally grown rice. Participants included agriculture students & local farmers who harvested the rice crop together, which was covered in local media (newspapers and television).
For a group of socio-ecological warriors who are traveling and educating farmers in various ways, there was nothing else more satisfying than seeing this transformation of a farmer even on a spiritual level. This is what has inspired us to share the story of Vineesh with more people because he was providing this service for free and felt that it’s his duty to continue doing what he could by even digging into his own savings with a true devotion towards nature & this creation.
During the weeks of our stay at his Panchakarma Treatment center (Amruthoot), we have seen community gatherings on Sundays where tens of people would come together and cook natural food, eat as a family, & conduct talks. It was an experience which made us believe more in our own cause of seeing more locally self reliant eco- villages and farming communities.
On our way back from Palakkad, one of our team members from Free Earth Alliance who was still staying at Amruthoot had given us news about people who had shown up at the center to take away their belongings, to account for unpaid loans. It was painful to see the images shared with us on our phones and seeing empty halls without the chairs where we used to see huge gatherings.
But it was equally reassuring to see the Man, Vineesh, sit through this process in his usual Yogic stature with his back straight, legs crossed while seated on a chair while being composed even when his treatment center was slowly being emptied.
To our relief, our team member had told us that the process of accounting of possession was professional. From our local community, we have raised some funds for their immediate needs but we haven’t seen him- stop helping the community he supported in living naturally.
This man now needs our support to carry out his duties towards nature & people. The funds being raised are to find a new center for Vineesh; where he can continue transforming more people and farmers towards natural ways of living, eating, & farming.
Free Earth Alliance is an informal platform working towards creating self sustainable eco villages with least dependence on money. For this to happen, it was soon realized that to cross to that side of the river towards an abundance sharing model, money is key to build that bridge. By supporting local heroes like Vineesh to receive funds to create a self sustainable farm from where he can continue feeding natural food, and transforming more farmers around him.
Vanavata is driven by Steve Cosgrave, a permaculture trainer. I have been supporting small farmers to transition from annual crops to perennial crops thus getting out of debt traps of repurchasing seeds, pesticides, fertilizers and also damaging soil microbial quality due to annual tilling.
Why does he need your support ?
With so many challenges that nature is facing, we have been identifying local heroes who are last bastions of nature. By helping them to set up a Healing Centre, Gurukulam or whatever one can call it, these are actually becoming homestead farming clusters with local self reliance; established through natural food, perennial seed banks, natural housing spaces in nature for healing.
Vineesh has more than 40 success stories locally and he will go on without our support but it’s our hope that when this story reaches more people, he might be supported for his contribution towards keeping the food from farming to be a form of Elixir.
At his new center, he is willing to continue his duties for free of charge and we are welcoming the donors to experience the art of eating different naturally grown food & herbs in a way to restore balance of elements (tattvas) within, and to connect with natural ways of living. The rewards to the supporting community are in fact to also bring you a step closer to experiencing this realignment with nature. From our learnings and experience we gain in setting up self sustainable homestead farming clusters, we will be providing a Blueprint for you to be capable of feeding from the farm/land and living in union with in natural wood/bamboo housing. Which you can use to champion the same cause in your territory.
We are not just supporting this, we are going to organize workshops to teach various segments which make up an eco-village: Natural Housing Workshops, Setting up Home Gardens using different natural composting methods. And we’ll be celebrating Harvest Festivals with the local communities as a transformational festival for many to come and experience nature while enjoying Meditation, Poi, Flow Arts, Pottery, Bamboo Weaving, etc. While these can be planned, we never know what one might experience at a drum circle around a fire by the river, seated amongst local traditional wisdom keepers.
Why are Vanavata & FEA members supporting Amruthoot?
Seeing his dedication towards service despite his financial struggles, we suggested Vineesh to try crowdfunding, which was an alien concept to him. He was surprised to know about such platforms and agreed to document his journey and mission, for like minded people to support him. This was another challenge we have identified during our grassroots efforts across India: a lack of awareness and capability to use technology/platforms which are connecting the world. Hence, we are raising funds on behalf of Amruthoot and are planning to give this technological/digital support by not just bringing more inspiring stories to the world but to also build direct-to-customer sales platforms for local farmers identified by us. Thus enabling many more deserving beings who have been selflessly contributing towards nature & well being of people.
How will the funds be used?
The funds will be used to secure a land either through lease or purchase under community farmland trust guidelines and towards setting up the Built to the Biological required to create a local self reliant farming cluster.
Once the location is finalized, while securing it through documentation and negotiations, work towards site mapping according to permaculture design methodologies will begin. This process will be in a workshop model where different teams of beginners and experts will conceptualize permaculture site mapping for natural housing, farming, etc from the built to the biological. Interested people will pay to participate in this workshop. However, 25 backers from specific reward tiers will be invited to participate in the process of initial Blueprinting for setting up this Gurukulam/Homestead Farming Cluster.
This will be done in 3 phases:
Establishing a center:
- Securing the land.
- Planning the built, team, infrastructure, food, wellness centre to facilitate natural living and transformation of essential farming communities.
- Working with farmers: creating value added products, equipment sharing among farming community, aligning with future road map to plan sowing of multiple traditional seeds/crops in the bio region.
Setting up a homestead farming cluster.
Transformational events promoting participatory culture.
- Expanding the natural living and permaculture design into larger farming spheres in the vicinity.
- Regenerative Agro Tourism/Responsible Tourism.
Project backers from specific tiers will have special access to the process, and to engage with various experts from different fields involved in bringing about these transformations. If you are backing us, you are already part of the community and we’ll be looking at ways in which we can accommodate your participation according to your interest.
A detailed list of the expenses will be shared as project updates as it can be helpful for other intentional communities to set up similar eco-villages, homestead farming clusters in their bio regions.
Amruth (nectar) + Oot (feed) = Feeding Nectar; of Nature from Food, providing Knowledge & Practical human connections with laws of nature.
Just the way a mother wants to feed, Amruthoot wants to feed good food and bring in changes needed in society through this way of connecting with Healthy Food prepared in Tasty way.
Started as an organic shop.
Currently it’s a Panchakarma Treatment Centre (Services: (Nasyam (Nasal Drops), Steam Massage, Navara Rice Peel, Massage etc.)
Providing natural food for the community to experience healthy eating.
Helping farmers convert to natural farming
Safeguarding more natural/traditional seed varieties and making the current seed bank available for worthy farmers.
Rewards we have made are for bringing you –
Blueprint for setting up your own Homestead Farming Cluster (PDF)
Custom designed natural building for life
Custom designed natural building for life + Site Selection
Custom tailored wellness program based on 5 Element Theory
Food Forest in a Box
Kitchen garden of Ayurvedic plants (trusted sourcing support)
Live in a cob house (300 sq. ft.) – 1 month/year for 5 years
One month experience at Amruthoot Gurukulam post July 2023
Transformational festivals/gatherings passes for 1st 2 seasons