To take a decision that will change your life completely wouldn’t have been an easy one. But for Malvikaa Solanki, the decision to become a full-time farmer changed her life for the better. on her farm that is situated close to the Bandipur Tiger Reserve, Malvikaa is having the time of her life staying in close proximity with nature. With her 1000 Tree Project, Malvikaa along with a bunch of farmers plan to plant 50,000 saplings that will sustain farmers throughout the year. In a chat with her, we find out more.
Malvikaa was introduced to the farming life quite early on as her father was a farmer from Rajasthan. She says, “We would frequently visit the farms there even though it was for a brief period of time. After I got married, I lived on a farm as well. Therefore, it was natural progression to leave the city life behind and become a farmer full time.”
Her life changed for the better when she made the decision to buy a 5-acre farmland that was barren and restore it. “Around the farm, there were a lot of people who were practising wrong farming methods. I realised that rather than telling what to do, I wanted to lead and learn by example,” she shares adding that the motivation to do this started when she saw problems around her.
Talking about how life was the first few months after shifting to the farm, “Since I don’t belong to this village, initially things were bit challenging. I had to start everything from scratch, right from making a connection with the locals to getting vendors. But, there were people who stepped forward to help,” she shares adding that knowing the local language helped too.
Before her tryst with farming began, Malvikaa was a research scholar in Bengaluru and it definitely came as a shock to her parents. She says, “Eventually they came around and my father said that it requires a lot of courage to make this shift and also choose a degraded land, to begin with.”
Ever since changing her lifestyle, Malvikaa shares that she has been more connected to ground reality. “I am aware of the kind of effort that goes into getting food on to our plates. I have learnt about the hardships a farmer faces,” she shares adding that her son who used to help her out on the farm is back in the city to do a course in sustainability so that he can apply it back on the farm.
Talking about the farm, she says, “We grow almost all the food that we consumes. From staples to even fibre and timber.”
Malvikaa has now connections with the farmers around her who were initially sceptical of her. “After realising the work that I do, they have become more open. I learn and hear from them while also sharing my own experiences as well,” she concludes....