Our last stop in Bangalore was visiting one of my first friends in India (Kiran and Vibha) and some of my closest friend still. They are getting ready for their first child.
After living in NYC for the last years, we were ready to try our hands at farming to see how we handled farm life and to be more hands on with our food. We were lucky to have a friend arrange a biodynamic organic farm for us to work on in Gujarat.
We were told this would be very simple living and not to expect much. It didn’t take us long to realize how lucky we were to have a month working and learning on Dr. Patel’s Bhaikaka Farm.
Before I even get to the farm aspect, let me just make it clear how nice he and his wife are. They spoiled us beyond belief and we felt like we were kids again. They also told us that it was as if we were there kids. (His wife kept saying she would adopt us…even if he didn’t want any part of that). The amount that we learned about farming over this month was just so incredibly valuable and we can only hope to put it into use sooner than later.
Surrounded by a beautiful garden and a swimming pool, our room was set up in the guesthouse with a large balcony upstairs to enjoy our meals that we made mostly from what we picked directly from the farm.
There is nothing like hands on learning. We would work from 5-7 hours a day doing all different sorts of things, trying to get a real feel for how to run and work a small farm. We were in great company with all of the workers who smiled a lot, even though they spoke very minimal English if any. Dr. Patel is so well known in the organic farming world and his endless supply of information and antidotes kept our minds very active throughout our stay.
It was such a great setting and our souls were so relaxed and in a good place that I thought it was the perfect setting to propose to Vanessa. She has been such a great teammate in my life and such a trooper to have faith in me when I throw her into all these random scenarios...and she’s still ready to sign on for more..a lifetime of it that is. After lunch and a bit of a treasure hunt, I proposed on the balcony that has the great view. It turned out that ring sizes in India and in the US are different, so the ring didn’t actually fit her. Luckily, Mrs Patel was so excited and wanted to see the ring on her that she helped us get in touch with a jeweler who could help us out. This, of course, was not an easy task (as little is in India) since all the jewelers in the country were on strike for an extended period. After meeting him in back alleys and a couples days of waiting, we finally got the ring that fit. J This proposal took place on April Fools day, so there were some people who we let know, who didn’t know whether to believe us or not. Even for us, we couldn’t know if it was real or not.
We give so much thanks to the Patel’s for everything!!!!!
I was able also to finish the first kids book I was working on. This is one of the first prints of Animal Life, which my friend Ana did the pictures for (such a great job!)
We got to take a few pictures with our new Sari Saks as well. Seemed fitting to take some pictures with them on a organic farm.