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Connecting nature and health with local food

ISP Chennai Bureau

He is a farmer, musician, educator and local food movement activist. Meet Krishna McKenzie, the Englishman who adopted India as his home and is living for the last almost 25 years in a serene but happening place called Solitude Farm in Auroville, Tamil Nadu.

He believes that the crisis that we face in the world today is a result of the vast industrialisation on our planet as we have lost our relationship with Mother Nature. He says that a symptom of it is that we no longer know where our food comes from. Learning permaculture, natural farming and exploring local foods is the simplest solution we have to save our planet. He is working to develop strong neighbourhood community culture and insists on native meals as a prescient for social change.

Krishna McKenzie was born in England.  He did his studies at Brockwood Park School in Bramdean which lays stress on nurturing life skills. He is married to Deepa and has two children. He shifted to India in 1993 where he founded the Solitude Farm for creating a dynamic neighbourhood community and a movement for native meals, permaculture and pure farming.

Krishna calls his farming genre ‘social agriculture’. He lays importance on connecting to nature and making the meals more local and poison-free with natural farming without pesticides.

Apart from his farming and food movement, he founded a music band in 2006 called ‘Emergence’ and his songs help connect the audience to sing about the relationship of local food to ecology, economy, culture and society. He conducts the annual eco music pageant titled Energetic Up Your Earth (LUYE) at his Solitude Farm. He is also a gifted actor and has performed in quite a few theatre productions like Moliere, Shakespeare, Brecht, Pinter, Neil Simon and many more.

He is additionally inquisitive about coaching and mentoring people by hosting workshops and residential courses for interested families and groups to learn farming and nature-based solutions to health issues.

The modules of his workshops empower one to grow one’s own food. Learn urban gardening and circle gardens with enormous social implications. He also has a larger field module for those starting their own farms. The participants explore soil, seeds, local foods, medicinal plants, recycling water, enzyme & hand soaps and the importance of celebration in permaculture.

Krishna’s message to the world is that it is high time we changed the narrative on climate change and looked at solutions closer to home. He says the simplest and most direct action to save our planet is to eat locally grown food that undermines the vast destruction of industrialised agriculture.

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