Call for Volunteers at My Earth Store, Dharamsala

Sidhbari from the Mountains

Sidhbari from the Mountains

After a rather heavy monsoon, the clouds are easing up and have left the Kangra Valley in a lush green splendour. Based in Sidhbari, the land of sages, about 8km from Dharamshala town, My Earth Store is a house for natural, organic and hand crafted products. Started by a group of people from across India, we have been in the Kangra Valley from over five years now and have always had the good fortune of getting over some greatvolunteers at the store.

Monks on the roadside between My Earth Store and Gyuto Karmapa Monastery

Monks on the roadside between My Earth Store and Gyuto Karmapa Monastery

It is that time when we are looking for volunteers at the store and our farm in Dharamshala. Here are the details:

For whom?

Any one interested in organic and hand crafted products, organic farming and mountains will love a stint at My Earth Store.

The proposition is also good for people considering a move to the mountains for good.

What?

Volunteers need to manage the store which involves a wide range of activities- interacting with customers, taking stock of inventory, keeping accounts, etc. The timings are flexible but one is expected to devote 6-7 hours every working day.

In return, volunteers get a stipend which would be enough to take care of their food and lodging around the area. Volunteers also get a chance to meet the blossoming network of interesting people in and around Dharamshala. And ofcourse, fresh mountain love.

We are looking for volunteers with a commitment for two months but again, it is not strict. Drop us a mail and we can talk.

A bit more:

The store is located on Sidhbari-Yol main road, right opposite the Karmapa Monastery. There are a good number of eateries around the store. The nearby villages Rakkar, Tapovan, etc have options to take houses on rent. We can make introductions and help volunteers settle in.

We also have a farm in Banorru village which is a walking distance (2.5km) from the store and volunteers will also get some time to get their hands dirty on the farm. A lot of trek routes also start from Rakkar village, which is also an advantage. And ofcourse, McLeodganj, the tourist hub with His Holiness’ residence is only 45 minutes from the store.

How does this sound? Interested? Write in to us at info@myearthstore.com and join us! See you in the mountains smile emoticon

Website: http://myearthstore.com/

An organic web of questions

dharti

It seems a simple enough choice, as a believer in organic (user, grower, seller), a move towards organic. At the outset there are hardly any questions. However once on the path, the questions hardly seem to cease, it becomes not a destination or one about choice but a journey, a journey that extends from within us, connects to every aspect that we encounter and feeds within as an infinite loop. These questions don’t beget answers rather they ask of us to know them intimately without the boundaries of answers.

They start right from our basic expressions; the words we use to communicate, such as consumption, consumer, user, buyer, seller, local, global, nutrition…words that carry with them moulds of an existing system.

Does organic mean, tweaking small independent choices, yes that too, but is that all…do we carry the baggage of the existing consumerist system or do we challenge it continuously until no forms of previous associations remain…the challenge is not merely a matter of replacing ‘theirs’ with ‘ours’, for there no they, there is only us…

As someone whose belief in organic is covering all the associated aspects such as growing, buying and selling organic, we find the questions pouring in torrents (and glad for them).

Does organic mean local, can organic be global beyond the exchange in ideas and thoughts?
Does organic inherently defy scale?
Does organic mean a competition based economy?
Does it mean copyrights and patents?
Is organic inherently collective?
Does organic mean expensive?
What about organic packaging, transport, demands of ‘consumers’, dynamics related to local groups and their environment?
Does organic mean non-violence?

These questions are not independent of each other, they are webbed and knit into the others intricately, yet each of these questions can dived in explored independently until they converge, which is what we hope to do over the next few days in this space (within us though they turn into timeless explorations).

Sometimes one feels so grateful for the mysteries surrounding us, connections that we barely see yet feel so strongly in our most potent moments; Mysteries nourish our being and however much we unravel there is more to submit to with only the realization of indivisibility.

One mystery that feeds us everyday is our food (as it sows (or is sown), as it grows, as it is harvested and cooked). There are foods that deepen this mystery, food that feels like our bodies, food that we rediscover and discover. we dedicate our efforts to such foods. Thus today we have a salad that takes the following ingredients:

  • Sprouted Masoor Whole (raw)
  • Pomegranate
  • Peanuts (roasted/steamed/boiled)
  • Kala Chana (boiled)
  • Sunflower kernels
  • Beetroot and Carrot (lightly steamed)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Lemon juice
  • Our presence and wisdom of the body

(Discoverers: Anandi, Shivani and Shaaswati of the Himalayas)

ofcourse the most important ingredient of all is the love in our heart