“Back in time”

I found this organic farm only 12 km outside of Jaipur that was offering lodging for a reasonable price and seemed like a cool experience.  After I arrived I got a tour of the farm and was impressed with all the organic practices. They are almost completely sustainable with all the vegetables they grow.  Even the drinking water comes from the bore well nearby.  The farm is owned by a business man in Jaipur who hired a local couple to manage the farm.  They are from a small village nearby and spoke mostly Marwadi, so there was a little difficulty in communication. But all food was prepared on the farm and I got my own mud hut to sleep in.  I liked the experience, but started to wonder about the “back in time” description that was given to me. It occurred to me that the majority of Indians live like this and possibly even a majority of the world population.  My grandparents also lived in rural settings like this, without electricity and using the chula cook stove.

I even started to wonder how much “development” is enough..?  This couple running the farm seemed to have everything they need and live pretty well in contrast to their neighbors. Will trading up from a environmentally friendly chula cook stove to our modern appliances really improve their lives??  The only thing they really could use was a regular supply of electricity, but they otherwise seemed to be living a pretty good life. I wondered this in Mexico, too, last year. I learned that in the local markets, many of the farmer stalls were no longer occupied, as people had started to shop in the American-style supermarkets.  But us Americans are interested in local food from farmers markets!!

Pictures from my farm stay are below.

My luxury mud hut

Artwork on the walls

Artwork on the walls

The kitchen where all my meals were made

Cooking roti on the chula

Composting bin on the farm

Local farmer herding sheep back home

My host family

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4 thoughts on ““Back in time”

  1. Its funny how supposedly undeveloped countries want the luxuries and technology of the West, but here in the West people are wanting to return to the simple life where we do everything by hand and not depend so much on technology and material goods. You should read about No Impact Man and watch the movie on him and his family and how they went a year without throwing anything out and eating completely local. His experiment even included not using toilet paper, plastics, electricity. It was an interesting documentary.

  2. Awesome! Keep the pics coming!

    The world needs to reduce its consumption and be more sustainable if we want to survive, but I think would be unfair to say that the poor people living without modern convenience have everything they need or are happy. Perhaps they just don’t know any better. The Brazilians have a point when they say the world has no right to tell them not to cut down their rain forests, as the west consumed its natural resources in the same way or worse for hundreds of years. Now that we’re industrialized, how can we deprive others of the same? That being said, the undeveloped world can develop “smarter” with new technology. Solar & wind for power, grey water systems to save water resources, natural bio-treatment of sewage, energy efficient appliances.. just because we burned coal to generate electricity 75 years ago doesn’t mean the undeveloped world needs to do the same today. I think that basic modern conveniences like electricity, running water, washing machines, sewage and refrigeration is a human right. No one in their right mind would trade those conveniences in and choose to do them by hand! They can make a better life with their sudden found free-time!

  3. Ok ok, good point. I have seen some “smarter” development with rainwater harvesting here and also wind turbines (I was really surprised to see those!) and lots of solar panels – perfect for a sunny and hot country like India. In some ways it feels like the pace of development is slow and uneven. The changes in a city like New Delhi are exponential every time I visit. But in the rural areas, it feels like little has changed. I know the government is working to develop the rural areas with things like zero tax incentives for businesses to set up, among other things. But I am sure that corruption also plays a large part in funds being pocketed instead of used for true development. At the end of the day, I think it will be a combination of entrepreneurs with a strong interest in development taking advantage of opportunities in rural areas, as well as government incentives.

    Btw, I added pics to the last posting about Jaipur. Check it out.

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