Producers and consumers meet here on the first Saturday of every month. They interact, take walks together and share stories with each other. This farmer-consumer interaction takes place in ‘Bhoomi Santhe’ which was initiated by Bhoomi network, an NGO based in Sarjapur, Bangalore working for sustainable and ecological development.
Earth as Home
This novel initiative is the brainchild of Seetha Ananthasivan, founder and trustee of Bhoomi Network. She finds nature fascinating. An IIM-Ahmedabad graduate, she was never inclined towards high-paying corporate jobs, but always wanted to be close to nature.
Bhoomi Santhe brings organic, local farmers together from Sarjapur area and other parts of Karnataka. Consumers can buy fresh vegetables, oils, jaggery and coconuts from farmers. But unlike a normal transaction where one goes and buys a product from a seller, here, there is a chance of directly interacting with the farmers.
The farmer’s market takes place at Bhoomi College, Sarjapur which is home to hundreds of trees and various species of butterflies and birds. The college was founded in 2010 by Seetha Ananthasivan and offers long-term and short-term courses in ecology and sustainable living.
“Our very aim is to cut out the separation between consumers and producers and to get the children involved. Consumers can bring their children, and they can also learn. Children are our future promises. We encourage people to come together and to get involved in local eco-projects. People from in and around the city participate in this initiative,” said Adil Basha, Media and Communications Head of Bhoomi network, to The Logical Indian.
Farmer’s market is a place for children to come in and understand what sustainable development is and encourage the community to come together. It is not only about consuming, but it is also about experiencing and connecting. More than 300 people participate in these santhes.
“We don’t really know from where the food we eat come from, how is it grown, or who are the people involved. We get food from the market. But the human who produces the food is not connected with the consumer. In Bhoomi Santhe, both the producer and consumer come face to face, they talk and interact. We cut the degrees of separation,” said Adil.
The organisers also conduct workshops on sustainable development, waste recycling, mud brick building for students as part of Bhoomi Santhe.
“We want a lot more farmers to come in. Let it be an inspiration for other people to conduct similar kinds of projects. We should have more such markets in our towns and cities,” Adil said.