What is Khula Dharma?
Khula Dharma is a natural farming community and retreat centre situated 10km inland from the coastal hamlet of Haga Haga in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. The name Khula Dharma combines the Xhosa word Khula, which means "grow", with the Sanskrit word Dharma which is generally interpreted as "a right way of living". The name embodies our intention to create an environment which nurtures compassion and mindfulness, promotes a peaceful coexistence among diverse people, and helps restore our conscious interconnection with Nature.
The farm is 180 hectares and lies in a sub-tropical climate zone which allows for year round cultivation. We are busy setting into place a system of land-regeneration to restore this farm back to its natural vegetation of beautiful riverine forest and coastal grassland. We practice natural farming with the aim to produce a surplus of organic, healthy food from our forest gardens which can be used for our own needs and to cater for our guests and events. We offer community members and visitors a chance to experience the joys and challenges of natural farming and living in an off-grid community and it is our hope that by establishing a mindful intentional community that it will inspire and support others to do the same.
As stewards of this land, we intend for our work to be a proactive response to the environmental and social challenges of our time. Our aim is to start telling a new story by showing that it is possible to live and farm in a way that supports Life. Our farm is just a seed at the moment; we are currently in the pioneering stage of development and we need people to join us to live and grow the story, to make it visible to the world. We look forward to this new and exciting chapter of the Khula Dharma journey
The farm is currently separated into two separate but mutually interdependent structures, namely Homesteading and Villaging.
A homestead is defined as "a lifestyle of self-sufficiency characterized by subsistence agriculture, home preservation of foodstuffs, and it may or may not also involve the small-scale production of textiles, clothing, and craftwork for household use or sale."
Khula Dharma invites those with a deep love for nature and a passion for living a sustainable/regenerative lifestyle to join our small community and establish a long-term homestead which exists in harmony with its surroundings. We hope to attract people who want to grow their own food and tend the land in an ecologically balanced way as well as people with specific skills who would like to start small businesses, for example, woodwork, craftwork, baking, value added farm products etc.
This is a valuable opportunity for people who want to build a small scale farm or homestead without the prohibitive outlay of purchasing their own land with the added advantage of having like-minded neighbours who would support each other in various ways.
Villaging is the term we are using to categorize the lifestyle of community members living on "The Hill", which lies at the heart of the farm and serves as the communal hub and retreat centre space.
This option is for community members who wish to live a fully communal lifestyle where they can focus their energy on communal activities such as helping maintain and develop the retreat centre and the surrounding forest gardens which nourish it. The village therefore consists of a number of quaint cob
or straw bale hand-built homes, sparsely scattered around The Hill area.
The retreat centre is slowly growing. We have enjoyed hosting a number of events centered on holistic living and healing. This quiet, natural setting provides a peaceful, healing space for our visitors. Sitting around the evening campfire gives people a chance to enjoy real dark nights with a star-filled sky while tuning in to the African night sounds... the bark of the bush-buck, howls of the jackal, the owls’ call and the beautiful song of the night-jar.
Our hope is to embody conscious, co-creative living and to work towards becoming a local example of low-carbon resource efficient community design.