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Making a Collaborative Effort

Posted by Sandeep Saxena on
Aranyaani model is all about Collaboration, and not competition. That is how good food forests and ecosystems work. We (Aranyaani) have unlimited potential for new thoughts and ideas.
As some of our ecosystems grow and many more are becoming forests and we add more and more, we have also worked with several entrepreneurs - both business and social. It takes some brainstorming and experiments to plan monetization or outcome, and the journey is very satisfying.

Our collaborative process and model is also getting better with these learning. The structure is almost akin to Forests !
In addition to it, we are continuously improving the Technology to support ideas and realize them faster.
Primarily, so far our collaborations can be summed up in 4 directions:
- Food forests creation and region wise effort to restore local ecology
- Projects
- Natural Products
- Free Health items distribution

Food forests creation and region wise effort to restore ecologies

Region after region, natural food forests are the need of our age. Many folks and institutions have joined us in this effort.

Our collaborations are in multiple locations, from North to South as follows:

Srinagar (Uttarakhand), Vilĺage Thapla:

Entire set of mountains is calling for setting up a role model for Garhwal and kumaun. We have started with one patch.I realized the potential of high altitude food forests. The area once was the natural habitat of very diverse flowers and exotic herbs. More about the flora and products in another post.
The terrific views of snow clad mountains and Pauri below, from this farm, add to the beauty of food forest here. One wont get a better experience in upper himalayas than this project.

Kinnaur and Solan :

Beautiful sahjivan farm is our base and guide.

Apart from planning many products for Aranyaani from Sahijivan project, We also are planning how to restore mountains around.

Another great thing to happen is that a very devoted team from Punjab is seeking guidance here.

They have been trying to create food forests there but struggling with models.

Bithoor (Kanpur):

Ganges belt. Multiple small.guava orchards are the starting point.

We are working with the farmers and UBA-IITK to change the orchards' economy and ecology.

First year of our work, will slowly convert to full ecology food forests.

Madhya Pradesh: 40 different villages in 5 districts. Each project differently and more beautiful than the other.

Chandrapur: Another project 12 kms from city , in the midst of open mines.

The above are already started ones.

In addition, we have received dedicated interest from many areas and have prima facie reached a comfort level with long term goals in some places. So these shall start sooner than later- Delhi, Imphal, Sikkim, Chandigarh ( Punjab may have many more Projects as word spreads) , Shimoga, Tanjavore.

Apart from it, from seeded areas, the word backed by the sight and action spreads to neighboring villages afar.


Each of our location has multiple product/service possibilities, and each can be taken up as a project.

Some projects can then extend across different locations too or other products in the same area.

Anyone, irrespective of location, can pick up and idea and steer that. Learning can be on the project. We will do some matching of values, interests and attitude, before involving.

Food forest program example:

This hill behind me is in Malpur, Dindori, MP. It is about 140 kms East of Jabalpur on the bank of Narmada.
We have a 100 plus acre project here to be done over next many years, right next to Narmada. But acreage is just a seed to transform the whole belt.
Our food forest programs typically have these stages:
- Set up a demo/ replication food forest on a limited land.
- Start replicating plants for lands with this project and any nearby ones. And start creating food forests.
- Connect it to consumers and our supply chain
- Enable local communities to join - with their land/ food or products knowledge/ whichever way they know best
- Involve larger community to live there, experience it and be connected.

Anyone who wants to volunteer, stay there and steer it, for Long term, please contact. We will manage your living costs, and link the further financial progress to project progress. It can be lifelong benefit once forests are built. Once the baby is big enough or locals are able to fit in this role, you can leave for other projects/jobs after transition to local villagers, but your credits and association shall continue.

Natural Products/ services:

Sharing a few examples, some have gone live and some are in process:

1. Natural turmeric soaps: I shared a video last week. From a product idea with a person in Bangalore passionate about making natural soaps, it got extended to using forest raw turmeric and involving village women as its handmade soap. The process took 6 months to reach a production training.

With this we shall launch Grandeur Aranyaani range of products!

Video here:

2. Vetiver loofahs and hand made products from dal to achaars using natural ingredients- As above, working with a person in love with vetiver loofahs.

3. Free roaming desi cows- Before adopting the idea, worked with an entrepreneur with love for cows and having a dairy farm for 2 years on pilots to understand the ecosystem advantage and other dynamics. Now slowly rolling out.
4. An artist wants to set up a drama academy in a food forest located near a tourist area.

5. Village women came up with a proposal to use their stitched bags instead of packing in polythene. We have started the process.

In addition there are lots of others e.g. turmeric tea, natural colors, growing medicinal plants and so on. Some of the food forest raw products themselves create ideas..e.g. Guavas and berries in Kanpur belt shall one day be used for many natural products. The first lot of Bael fruits from the UBA (IIt kanpur) adopted villages.

Free Heath items distribution

Our food forest ecology is full of abundant and free natural herbs; hence we believe no one should be deprived of their health benefits.

That is how our free health network program works- supplying free herbs at minimal cost i.e. logistics and handling, to anyone in India.

These pics have been sent by Apna Ghar, New Delhi. Apna Ghar is home to many lost, old and distressed folks. We had offered them to use our Free Health package that has raw turmeric, giloy and other herbs. Turmeric drink is made and given to residents everyday. This is the minimum we can do by taking nature's benefits to everyone at no cost.

Important : please let us know if you are aware of similar places where we can start Free health package.
These four directions are just indicative of our collaborative direction, and effort for a different world.