Kalpana Manivannan- Living a Zero-waste Lifestyle through Her Half-acre Organic Farm

27 November 2018



Nature showered man with its bountiful gifts since the beginning of mankind. Nevertheless, in the 21st century, in the name of improvement and headway, we are fleeing from nature, harming our very own nourishment and devastating the biological system where we live in.

However, there are few people like Kalpana Manivannan who are trying to achieve the goal of making the environment pollution free, and healthy. She began by taking the initiative of creating her own organic farm.
Kalpana is from Pondicherry and has been working as a teacher in Chennai for the past nine years. Belonging from an agricultural family, Kalpana always had the knack for farming. She is currently known for her organic farm which she bought in 2016. In this half acre land, she grows her own seasonal vegetables. She also has 20-25 fully grown coconut trees in the farm.

The disturbing side of the food industry was the major reason behind starting the organic farm. Kalpana and her husband do not prefer GMO based products. For growing their organic veggies, they never use fertilizer. They only use pure manure. One cannot be 100% sure if the vegetables sold in the market are pesticide free. The only vegetables that she didn’t grow yet are potatoes and onions. She is very conscious of the food that she and her family consume.

Kalpana’s idea about maintaining the serenity of nature is so sober and beautiful. Apart from growing vegetables and fruits, she also grows various flowering trees and herbs which attract a lot of butterflies to the farm. Being a true nature lover, she ensures that she is using the gifts of nature in a judicious manner.




Her home is even solar powered. Kalpana’s house is constructed in such a manner so that she could go for rainwater harvesting. Kalpana future plans are also so innovative that it actually inspires others to do the same. She plans to install a biogas plant so that they can have their own biogas. There are several things that she and her husband are aspiring to do at present.

We have seen many times that there have been several campaigns regarding maintaining the cleanliness and purity of the environment, but ultimately very lesser number of people takes the initiative. However, Kalpana was one of them. The idea of starting an organic farm was never planned. But it is because of the increased pollution level in the environment and the news about the food industry made Kalpana and her husband start a farm of their own.

She is a passionate learner. Today she makes her own soaps, body butter, detergents, and cleaning solutions. She even bakes her own bread, prepares her own fresh fruit jams, sauces, pasta along with cooking everything from the scratch; avoiding the market products as much as possible.

Kalpana is also highly mindful about her waste management techniques. The organic wastes that get generated on a daily basis are dumped on a kind of compost pit. All the organic wastes get turned into manure which again becomes useful for her. Being an environmentally conscious citizen, she even uses her own paper or cloth bags instead of using the plastic ones which most of us don’t even think of doing.




She says, “Working with your own hands, toiling and caring for the plants adds to that much more satisfaction when it’s time for harvest. I don’t think anything that we get easily can ever give you real satisfaction.”

Her goal is to move on in life in a self-sustainable way as much as possible. Her husband remained her support system as growing the organic farm was her dream, but her husband fulfilled her dream and supported her in every step. She wants to help the local communities and artisans who are preparing something on their own by using the natural ingredient.

Kalpana even leaves a message for her readers, “Food is life and agriculture is a life-giving occupation. If we can grow our own food, it is possible to bring about a change in the quality of the food we consume and feed our children. Please grow your own food; as little or as much as you can. Let’s break the vicious cycle of poisoning our bodies and stop believing in the dubious promotions by food industries.”

Choosing to focus on her organic farm by leaving her full-time teaching job is something which requires guts. But nothing stopped her to pursue her passion for farming and enhancing the purity of nature in every way she can. She is proud of her decision and this is the reason why she stands as a woman of courage.



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