A Conversation with Madhu

MadhuTell us a little about yourself.

Originally from Hyderabad, I grew up in Delhi and Goa where I spent 18 years of my life. After that spent 16 years in Bay Area and specially in San Francisco which shaped who I am today in terms of my social, environmental and other liberal ideas.

I am essentially a traveler, a wandering soul. I spent many years on the road and have documented some of it in images which can be seen on my flickr site: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mreddy

My journey came full circle when i came to live and work on our family farm where my aim is to bring back the soil fertility and with it the abundance to the land.

Why did you choose to run this farm while there were so many other things that you could have done?

What caused to take this turn in life?

Each generation does its part and one part of me is doing this for my nephews but largely is a purely selfish part which wanted to return to a space which has many wonderful childhood summers spent in the village.

This is not a turn but just a stop on my journey. Maybe its permanent stop or maybe its a pause. So only time will tell.

Yes, many things I could have done but I personally feel that the land, the soil is the basis of all good life. From great civilizations all over the world we can learn how soil is connected to who we are. We loose that and we loose ourselves.

What are your goals for the Farm?

What are your plans in life on the farm?

The farm is called Aiyor Bai, which is the traditional name of the farm. Aiyawari Bai...meaning "well of the lord". Bai is the large water well which exists on the farm and before bore-wells this was one way of irrigating our lands.

The goal of the farm is to bring back the soil fertility of the land. With that will come good food. The plan is to live on the farm eventually and be a part and parcel of the land from the time I wake up to sleep. Hopefully that happens soon!

Are you open to people volunteering on your farm?

If yes, how do they get in touch with you.

If not, why not? :)

I welcome serious volunteers on the farm but I cannot host for months. I can have folks over for a week. The farm is a working farm and not a "farmhouse" atmosphere...so those who want to learn and teach me are welcome. We will have some fun in the process of sharing but the farm is not a "party place". Some rules and guidelines need to be followed which are more social norms of a village living. Absolutely NO Drugs and Alcohol.

Families with children are welcome. Those with pets need to know I have some dogs on the farm who dont too kindly to competition. They are village dogs and not vaccinated.

If bugs, critters, lizards, spiders, rats, snakes make you squeamish then perhaps not the best experience for you. We have a humble two rooms with a small kitchen and bathroom. I expect folks to be self sufficient.

Please do not bring in non bio-degradable and try and leave no human foot prints.

How do people get in touch with you?

You can reach me at mreddy10@gmail.com or message me on https://www.facebook.com/AiyorBai