What does a “Homestead” look like at Khula Dharma?
Our first homestead at Khula Dharma was established ten years ago by an intrepid Homesteader and Natural Farming teacher Tim Wigley, with his wife Anne Keating. They built a wattle and daub house, with compost loo, rain tanks, donkey boiler, and a solar panel.
Tim based the layout of his homestead plot on Permaculture lines. He took 2Ha, planted a living fence on the boundary, laid down swales, planted trees and a food garden and set up four bee hives.
Two year ago they were joined by Mischa and Indira who built their own house on the homestead. Tim and Mischa are currently establishing a fully fledged food forest with a highly productive food under-storey. They are also working with a small herd of Nguni cows which are regenerating the surrounding grasslands as well as dramatically restoring the soils on the homestead site itself.
It is from this base that the Vana Butyebi communal farming and homesteading area will spread out.
To this end we are appealing to men and women and families of integrity, courage and common sense, to join us in an endeavour to reverse the global chaos of our times by following the path of a co-creative relationship with Nature.
We will give you as much help as we can in the setting up of your homestead site, the building of you natural home, the establishing of your food forest..... By doing just this, you will be involved in perhaps the greatest work of our time – restoring the surrounding indigenous forest, and regenerating the once vibrant grassland which is disappearing rapidly from the face of the Earth.
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 and with the added advantage of having like-minded neighbours who would support each other in various ways.
Homestead Site Fee
Once membership has been approved, you will then be required to pay a once-off buy-in fee for your own site which will be discussed during the application process. Whilst we would prefer applicants to pay the joining fee in cash, we are also open to considering an applicant’s skills/talents as a form of “value exchange” based on the concept of the gift economy and would therefore be happy to negotiate an alternative method of payment.
How much would it cost to establish a self-sufficient homestead?
The total cost of establishing a homestead ranges widely depending on the choice one makes in tackling such a venture. You will be building your own house, fencing in your homestead area and developing your whole farming system. So, whilst the start-up costs are a considerable outlay, your ongoing cost of living could very well gradually decrease as you become less reliant on outside in-puts. We are strongly committed to building in an “earth friendly way”, meaning, establishing one’s house and homestead in a way that enhances the eco-system.