The old “travelling the path less chosen” chestnut. The term is attached to any and every person choosing to do things “their own way” and not strictly follow the proverbial road society paves for us. Some fail, many prosper and it goes without saying that innovation is possibly the greatest thing the world would lack if it weren’t for the idealistic few hatching their hairbrain schemes, going against the grain and turning thoughts into action.
We recently had the pleasure of meeting H.R. Jayaram, someone for whom travelling the path less taken has led to greener pastures (pardon the overuse of metaphors). The Karnataka-based organic farmer and environmentalist operates The Green Path, a multi-purpose eco-business which encompasses an organic farm, eco-hotel and organic store on the outskirts of Bangalore. An extremely personable and passionate man, Jayaram has become somewhat of a “go-to” person for all things organic farming in India.
Born into a farming family in rural Karnataka, the former civil lawyer developed his green thumb early, helping his family with farm duties before setting off for the city to pursue his legal studies. An ongoing connection to agriculture prompted him to eventually purchase some (then) barren land at Nelamangala and transform it into a viable farming area.
The turning point came when, faced with then-everyday farming techniques which were pesticide-heavy and harmful to the environment, he broke away from the norm, determined to put to use the traditional organic techniques he had learned from his family when he was younger. Today, the farm, dubbed Sukrushi, is 100 percent organic, harnessing solar and biogas energy, harvesting rainwater and foregoing the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
This dedication to an organic lifestyle weaves throughout his business philosophy. In 2008, he launched the Green Path eco-hotel, a 50 room complex where everything from the ventilation system to the furniture has been designed so as to have minimal or no impact on the environment, with another multi-purpose eco-resort/conference location located in Coorg opening just recently. He also hosts volunteers from across the globe year-round who help out with farm duties, hotel ground maintenance or assist in online communication. The hotel’s restaurant the Green Bowl follows a slow food mandate, using produce grown in the region and minimizing output of energy to get food from the ground to the plate.
With organic farming and consumption of organic products spreading in India, Jayaram’s enthusiasm for sustainable living is palpable. Check out all of the Green Path’s ventures at their website. Who knows? It might just spark an idea to get you rollin’ down your own individual path.