Some of my best memories of childhood & teenage years are the carefree summers I spent in my Dad’s ancestral village in West Bengal (India). Many hours spent in the fields running around, chasing the farm ducks, hens and goats just for fun (oh! how my grandma used to be fearful lest they drop dead due to exhaustion but she never scolded us), eating fresh fruits, jaggery and other farm grown products. I always have wanted to go back with my family to my Dad’s village, especially now with my toddler. But hectic work schedules and distance from Delhi means we can just about spend some time in Kolkata (and my husband’s native place Asansol) when we visit West Bengal. It was the husband’s quite dogged efforts on internet, that we found a real functioning Organic Farm – Satya Jyoti Trust Farm, near to Delhi/NCR, in village Sare Khurd, in Tijara ( Alwar district, Rajasthan).
We spent the long weekend of Holi/Good Friday last week at Satya Jyoti Trust Farm and it was a lovely family getaway from Delhi for us. Sharing my experience of Farm stay at Satya Jyoti Trust Farm in Sare Khurd.
We found the Satya Jyoti Trust Farm through AirBnB and connected with the hosts, who were very responsive to our queries about the possibility of a long weekend family getaway with our toddler. We booked our stay for the long weekend of Holi/Good Friday. The host provided us the directions along with google map for easy navigation closer to the day of our travel.
The Satya Jyoti Trust Farm is located in Alwar district of Rajasthan, which is around 4-5 hours driving distance from Delhi (depending on exact location within Alwar). We have been in different parts of Alwar (like Alwar city, Neemrana Fort Palace, Kesroli Hill Fort, Dadhikar Fort) so we sort
of knew the way but it was quite helpful to see the google map and reach Sare Khurd village, which is a bit off the way in Tijara.
The Satya Jyoti Trust Farm is the labour of love of Ms. Jyoti C. Saikia, who bought the barren land in the small village of Sare Khurd around 25 years back, with the aim of experiencing a little bit of nature heaven. It was a nice coincidence that she happened to be at the farm during our stay and we had many interesting conversations with her. She told us about the trust’s past & present endeavours, turning the barren land into a nature haven (albeit an organic haven), engaging the village community in many self
help initiatives and training programmes (you can go to their website for details). The farm practices many sustainable and organic farming methods, such as biodynamic agriculture, indigenous herbal composting, vermicomposting, etc. It was interesting for me to see the practices in action, as I have mostly read only literature about it during my academic years.
The Satya Jyoti Trust Farm has been offering farm stays for about a year now and presently, has 3 guest rooms, in which they host guests. We were put up in Yellow Room, which was neat & clean and had an understated charm.
We spent most of our days at the farm walking around, my toddler chasing butterflies (it was the first time she saw butterflies in real!), me chasing the ducks (old habits die hard!!), foraging for Indian Gooseberries (Amla) at the Orchard. In the mornings, I got up early to watch the sun rise and in the evenings, we stayed late to watch the stars.
The Farm has a caretaker (Ramesh) and a cook, among other farm hands. All the people at the farm are very friendly and our toddler had the best time with them. We loved the farm to table meals cooked lovingly by Poonam (the cook), who was a lovely lady. All the vegatbles were literally freshly picked; Poonam would ask us about our preference for the upcoming meal and then I would spot her picking that specific vegetable from the Vegetable farming patch! She also told us many interesting stories about harvesting season. Out toddler did not miss Television at all and we loved our family time together.
We spent a wonderful 3 days/2 nights at Satya Jyoti Trust Farm and when it was time to leave, we were already thinking of when we should come back next! The friendly staff, the beautiful farm and our host Ms. Jyoti – all of them made our long weekend family getaway something we would cherish for a long time. We also took home interesting ‘organic’ souvenirs – Cold Pressed Mustard Oil, Mango Acchar (made by Poonam ) and fresh vegetables.
Farming (even conventional farming) today is not a preferred profession even in rural areas, so I think it is very important that every ‘organic’ farmer to be commended for their efforts. More importantly, we and our children need to reconnect with our land & nature –
see how and where our food comes from (not from the supermarket for sure!!). A Farm Stay is one of the best ways not only to relax and rejuvenate, but one of the best & interesting ways to reconnect with nature and food chain.
We loved our farm stay at Satya Jyoti Trust Farm and if you are looking for a weekend break from Delhi/NCR, this is one of the good options. Please do remember these pointers though while going for farm stay:
1) Farm Stay (or Home Stay) is very different from staying Hotels, so please do not expect everyone to be at you beck and call.
2) A Farm has birds, insects and mosquitoes, so be prepared with the possibility of being bitten (an organic farm does not use pesticides, so there are more insects here). It is good idea to carry and apply mosquito repellent creams.
3) Electricity and Water are precious commodities in rural set up, so be judicial in use when at a farm.