Being self-sufficient can mean many things; it is not merely producing your own food, rather it is creating every product that you need for your daily life, on your own. In Krishna Valley we are striving to come to the point of being able to do just that: produce everything we need from products that we cultivate on the farm and even from our waste!
We started with the simplest and most obvious things: having our own wells to provide us with water, having our own solar panels (or candles) to provide us with light, harvesting our own trees to heat up our homes, creating our own eco-friendly sewage system and so much more.
Now we are starting to look at the smaller products that we also use on a daily basis and are trying to find ways to produce them ourselves. Have a look:
Recycling knitting – Why not reuse even our old clothes? Any piece of cloth can be transformed into a new and useful house accessory. Just tear apart an old sari, dhoti, t-shirt, anything really, and make strips of cloth from it. Turn them into a ball and knit (or crochet) away!
In Krishna Valley we have two Chinaberry trees (also known as Pride of India or Bead trees), growing on one of our many hills.
The fruits of these trees have been used for centuries as praying beads. They start up as small green oval shaped fruits which slowly turn yellow and shrivel up like a raisin. At this point the large seed hiding inside the fruit can be used to create prayer beads.
We took full advantage of this and created our very own homemade bead necklaces and (soon to come…) bracelets. Coloring the beads with boiled walnut tree leaves, turmeric, beetroot or just leaving them in their natural color, we have created our very own line of products.
One of our latest projects, ‘Syama Handmade’, is to try to create our own clothes! Although we are not yet producing our own fabric, attempts have been made at growing hemp and cotton. For now, we are using bought string to weave our very own shawls and this is the latest creation.
Realizing that the necessity to produce all of our essentials might become a reality sooner than expected, we took on the task with great enthusiasm. Here is just one of our newly created products. What can be more essential in the life of a practicing Vaisnava than Tilak?! (A sacred mud marking we place on 12 parts of our body).
These are just a few examples of our attempt to become self-sufficient while thinking about the tiniest of details. We are confident that more and more products and possibilities will manifest with time.