In a previous post I mentioned that there were several options to own a farm. One of them being a managed farm. If you read that post you know why we rejected it. The other option was to go with a few like minded friends and buy a large farm where everyone can take care of it. A similar concept is group farming or community farming. Here too, a bunch of like minded unrelated people can come together, buy a farm and take care of it together. Although we were not too keen on this kind of arrangement, we tried it out. What happened next is coming up.

It all started when we were talking to various farmers that we could find from friends or found ourselves. One of the farmer mentioned about another person who was also looking for a farm as well as doing home schooling too like us. We thought it might be a good idea to meet another like minded person who was also planning to buy a farm.

We got an appointment and met with the person. Unfortunately we did not have a good experience. He was more interested in building a community of like minded home schoolers than actual farming. The plan according to him was to find a bunch of home schooling parents and buy a land together. Then, each family is expected to take care of the farm as well as teaching the kids. So every parent is a teacher and a farmer. He had lots of ideas about how the school will be designed, how the teaching will be done etc, but not much in the way of farming.

The idea was that the kids as well as the parents will participate in growing fruits and vegetables for the the community. It is like a self sustaining community. We all grow and eat what we need. We all teach what is generally good for everyone etc. With this kind of arrangement I see the same kinds of problems as with buying land with a group of friends. For example if any member of the community wants to leave with their share of the farm, how will we divide it and where will they get their plot of land. In the middle? On the edges? And so on. Then we need to get the land divided and registered etc. Not going to be simple.

I see even more problems with group farming when compared to farming with friends. For example, all the children may not want to learn the same things. May be some want to learn more math, may be some want to learn more art. Then each kid will need one teacher and the parents will be spread too thin to do any kind of farming. Moreover, the teaching principles he explained were not matching up with my taste.

As I mentioned before, the worst part of it is that there was very little discussion about farming. He did not show us the farm where he is planning to set up the school although he said it was close to his place. The only thing that aligned with him is the fact that he is unschooling or perhaps I should say homeschooling his kids. Otherwise I did not find anything else in common. So this model of purchasing a farm also was out of question. So far we rejected the idea of buying farm with friends, buying a managed farm as well as buying a group farm.

There are perhaps other way to own a larger farm with limited resources close to Bangalore, but we decided to go with buying a farm all by ourselves. May be we have to adjust with a small farm size and farther away from the city, but at least we will not have to worry about autonomy and like mindedness. Then we started searching for farms on our own and that story is up next in the sustainable living series.