forest hut

project::forest hut

Forest Hut, our farm, was the first property that we designed using permaculture design principles. The implementation of the design is an iterative and ongoing process.

This post offers an overview of the design and development progress of Forest Hut farm, highlighting its key elements and implementation updates.

location::velvandi valley, northern western ghats
area::4.25 acres

When we purchased the property back in 2017, it was exploited and degraded. But we loved it – its orientation and location suited our needs. Also, we wanted to take on a property that needed healing to make the journey fulfilling.

Forest Hut in 2017 with contour lines - Except for a guild of non-native accacia trees, there was not much vegetation. Also, topsoil was totally gone.
Forest Hut in 2017 with contour lines – Except for a guild of non-native accacia trees, there was not much vegetation. Also, topsoil was totally gone.

This place was destined to be our future abode. It was absolutely crucial for our family to possess clarity regarding the manner in which we would embrace this fresh chapter of our lives. Such clarity was meticulously curated through the establishment of SMART objectives.

The site analysis and assessment exercise provides data points such as contours, macro and micro climate, existing features, access, soil properties, energy (sun, water, wind) flows, views to preserve, high flood lines, forest fires, etc.

Permaculture Design Process - simplified representation
Permaculture Design Process – simplified representation

The combination of objectives, site analysis, and assessment resulted in the creation of a zone layout, which serves as a macro design.

Zone Layout - a primary energy-conserving placement pattern
Zone Layout – a primary energy-conserving placement pattern

Once we know how the energies are entering our property, we can place elements to harvest those energies to our advantage.

Post zoning, two concept design options were created. We decided to go with the following one.

Forest hut farm - permaculture concept design option I
Concept Design I

The concept design had various elements. We created element-specific designs wherever appropriate. For example, we created a detailed plant map for Zone 4/5. Similarly, we had a very innovative design for our kitchen garden beds.

Implementation Updates

The first year, 2017-18, we did earthworks for terracing, secured the river bank with vetiver, and had a couple of green manure cycles with jute and legumes to build soil organic matter.

In the 2018 monsoon, we began planting native saplings. In zone 4/5, we planted saplings of over 100 native species, totaling at over 3,000 in number. I’m pleased that we started the plantation early in the game.

Post-monsoon, we started building our kitchen garden and food forest.

Mar 2019 - Earthworks for terraces on contour & zone 4/5 plantation are visible.
Mar 2019 – Earthworks for terraces on contour & zone 4/5 plantation are visible.

During the rainy season, we keep planting more trees to create a favorable environment for the growth of new ones.

Also, some plants have started fruiting and playing a key role in spreading biodiversity.

Mar 2022 - On the path of recovery.
Mar 2022 – On the path of recovery.

And we also introduced new elements as we felt appropriate – working on a cob oven, cob house, and a bamboo veranda has been specifically fulfilling.

Here is the most recent one.

Oct 2022
Oct 2022

Forest Hut farm photos

zone 0 – natural building inspired from vernacular architecture.

zone 0 – backyard cob oven in service

zone 1 – kitchen garden’s upper terrace West view

zone 1 – kitchen garden’s upper terrace East view

zone 2 – section of food forest

zone 3 – field #1 having paddy

zone 3 – field #2 having turmeric

Open well – lowest part of the property for better recharging

East pond – water accumulate here before leaving the farm & it helps recharge the open well downstream.

West pond – Spill over going to bamboo swales.

7 Reasons to have wilderness in your farm

27 responses to “project::forest hut”

  1. Sudhir Chaudhary Avatar

    Me and my friend got the opportunity to visit the farm and meet Maulik sir.
    The efforts, planning and execution is wonderful and we were amazed to see the outcome of a Permaculture farm.

    1. Maulik Dave Avatar

      Thank you for your kind words, Sudhir.

  2. Seemantinee Avatar
    Seemantinee

    I consider myself fortunate that I had the privilege of witnessing this transformative work on an ongoing basis! This has been trully inspiring and fulfilling experience. As a bordering farmer i have all the benefits from sharing moments of joy and uncertainties, besides fruits and vegetables! Dhruv, Shree, Nishita and Maulik are undoubtedly my best buddies .. a gift of life! Cheers to their efforts and salute to their dreams! Amen!

    1. Maulik Dave Avatar

      Thank you for your support through the process, Tai.

      The “gift of life” feeling is mutual.

    2. Dhruv Dave Avatar
      Dhruv Dave

      Thank you Seematai, for these beautiful words. They mean a lot to us.

    3. 9373829604 Mahesh Bhagwat Avatar
      9373829604 Mahesh Bhagwat

      Hi
      I had learnt about your project from Seematai. My wife Archana visited it yesterday. I find this very interesting. Would love to visit you soon.
      Best wishes.

      1. Maulik Dave Avatar

        Sure, Bhagwatji. Will love to have you at our farm.

  3. AANCHAL KAPUR Avatar
    AANCHAL KAPUR

    I have had the privilege of seeing and being at your space transforming, regenerating, living, breathing and smiling…making of your home and the natural environment nishita, dhruv, shree and Maulik. I wish I could spend more time with you all..thank you seema for your home next door as and for the friendship…thank all of you for how you nurture and share.

    1. Nishita Dave Avatar
      Nishita Dave

      Thank you AK. Glad to have a friend like you.

  4. Kedar Upadhyay Avatar
    Kedar Upadhyay

    This is superb. The way you guys have visualised and designed the entire farm/forest is commendable. Your passion clearly reflects through your hardwork and dedication in crafting the entire property. Will certainly come to visit once

    1. Maulik Dave Avatar

      Thank you, Kedarbhai. Looking forward.

  5. Raj Naik Avatar
    Raj Naik

    This looks mindblowing.
    Kudos to you sir for all the hardwork done for this. Best of luck for your future endeavours.

    1. Maulik Dave Avatar

      Thank you, Raj.

  6. 9850409767 Avatar

    Excellent thought and execution Maulik sir, we would be meeting very soon at your place.

    1. Maulik Dave Avatar

      Thank you.

  7. Sachin Kankaria Avatar

    Great work Maulik and Nishita and the efforts you have taken to reach here are unimaginable.. very soon we will visit your place… God bless you.

    1. Maulik Dave Avatar

      Thank you, Sachin. Looking forward to catch up with the gang.

  8. Sudhir Lamkhade Avatar

    This place is amazing sir…As I know it from beginning, Every time I visited here it looks different with some added greenery. This place is very close to nature. I can imagine the efforts you and your family taken to develop such a beautiful property. See you soon sir !!!

    1. Maulik Dave Avatar

      Thank you, Sudhir.

  9. Ashwin Prajapati Avatar
    Ashwin Prajapati

    We have been to Maulik’s house twice, amount of hard work & dedication they as a family put, just unbelievable. Love to visit again. True nature lover.

    1. Maulik Dave Avatar

      Thank you for your kind words, Ashwinbhai.

  10. UMESH BHATT Avatar
    UMESH BHATT

    It’s a master work by Maulikkumar and family….its inspiring to live with the nature and creator’s world instead of living in our own…..thanks for sharing the journey..would love to visit and feel the nature. Once again great work✨️👏👏👏🙏

    1. Maulik Dave Avatar

      Thank you for your kind words, Umeshkaka 🙏

      Looking forward to have you all soon.

  11. sangramsingh amarsingh thakur Avatar
    sangramsingh amarsingh thakur

    Thanks Maulik dada for sharing your beautiful journey! I’m privileged to witness minute level preparation and spend some time with you all! It’s your hard work, commitment and dedication! Its inspiring! Love to be at your place! Always! 💚

    1. Maulik Dave Avatar

      Thank you for your encouraging words, Sangram. 🙏

  12. Kristijan Kuš Avatar

    That looks very good!

    1. Maulik Dave Avatar

      Thank you, Kristijan.

Leave a Reply

%d