We believe we share a collective responsibility in changing the land we live on and to live life differently; closer to nature, using less resources and more awareness of our foot print on this world.
Our mission is to live life more naturally and to restore ecosystem functionality on this land and to provide a space conducive to living in a way that allows the earth to heal.
Living as Homesteaders will provide us with clean air, healthy soil, water, and life-filled food through methods of natural farming. We provide a space for people to come and to heal, learn and be inspired to live in a more life-enriching sustainable way.
Our intention is for Khula Dharma to be a place where:
- People of all ages, races and creeds live together in harmony.
- Mindful awareness is cultivated, rooted in self-observation and action.
- The setting is conducive to a peaceful and meaningful life.
- All members are considered in decision making.
- Conflicts are an acceptable part of living together and can be resolved peacefully.
- A rewarding livelihood can be gained while maintaining time for family, friends and leisure.
- We enjoy creative expression, playfulness and cultural stimulation as a way of celebrating life and having fun
- We build our homes, harvest our water, meet our energy needs, grow our food as much as possible and manage our waste in a regenerative manner.
The land we are not using for food production or living space, is restored to its pristine natural condition.
- We are actively connected to others seeking to live this way.
We deeply desire to live a life of generous and genuine service for the sake of the greater good, and also freely receiving those mutual gifts and offerings from people with whom we share relationships based on principles of:
We are governed with a consensus decision-making process whereby all members (meaning those who are part of the Closed Corporation which owns the land) are given the opportunity to be involved in decisions which will affect the community as a whole.
The Hill, which provides accommodation for courses, retreats, guests, volunteers and visitors, has an appointed management team looking after the day to day running of the farm, volunteers and guests.
Spiritual and Social life
We understand that it is vital that we each take responsibility for our own spiritual growth for the health and development of the village as a whole. Growing this way makes it easy to find our personal roles and ways in which we can enrich the life of all.
Mindless actions cause pain and suffering and we therefore find it helpful to cultivate mindfulness and compassion in our thoughts and actions and learn ways to support the safety and integrity of the community as a whole which include good health, both physical and mental, by practicing mindful eating, drinking and exercising.
Making a Living
Khula Dharma is an independent income community, meaning that each member is responsible for earning his or her own living. We are however in the process of developing our own village-scale, ecologically sound economy to enable members to earn an income on the farm.
Our ecological ethos is based on an appreciation for the wonder and the sheer mystery of all of Nature. We choose to be as responsible towards the land we are living on as possible; this means we build our homes, harvest our water, meet our energy needs, grow our food and use our waste in a way that is as environmentally sensitive as we can be.
We have a Land-Use Plan based on Permaculture Design Principles. This means we identified our specific land-use needs. They are: residential, recreational, agricultural, woodlots, forestry, water, roads and wilderness.
All residents should rely on rainwater harvest as a primary source of drinking water. All residents act responsibly with regard to the use of water, especially from the dam. Everyone understands that the river is a precious resource which we leave untouched, only going there as guardians to protect and beautify the riverine forest.
We use methods of food production that are cooperative with nature. We might put names like Permaculture, Co-creative science, Biodynamic or Natural farming to these methods, although what we seek to do transcends these names. We believe that this will ensure our health, and the health of the planet. We are committed to conscious consumption by favouring and supporting local, organic agriculture for the food we cannot produce here and where possible. We are committed to supporting local, small, ethical and fair trade businesses for our material needs as much as possible.
We accept that keeping some form of livestock may well be a natural and an integral part of a homestead design - Permaculture calls for the use of animals in its systems. Therefore a limited number of animals in your homestead is perfectly acceptable. We see all animals being treated with love and respect.
We strive that the materials we use for our dwellings and communal living purposes, are sourced directly from the farm, or from local, small, ethical and fair trade businesses. We however also accept that a balance needs to be found for the longevity of buildings and costs of maintenance and repairs. We encourage sourcing 2nd hand items, (re-use, repair). We all search for a balance to be maintained between building as naturally as possible, whilst building for sustainability using conventional building materials.
We harvest wind and solar energy for domestic and farming usage. We encourage and strive for more green technology, such as biogas digesters, to meet our energy needs. We suggest the use of petrochemicals for energy in machinery such as vehicles, generators and tools, to be kept to a minimum - balancing our current needs with the future we endeavor.
Organic waste is used in our worm farms and compost. Non-organic waste is sorted and what can not be recycled is taken to the waste disposal depot.
REDUCE, REPAIR, REUSE, RECYCLE, AND ROT. If you commit to these five actions, there is little that must be thrown away. Choosing to follow the 5 R’s ensures that resources are saved and/or reused, and the volume of waste is reduced. By keeping these actions in mind when purchasing, using, and disposing of materials, you will have done your share to keep our farm clean and beautiful.
It is our aim to restore the identified wilderness areas back to their pristine state. This means removal of some non-indigenous plants/trees and replanting with indigenous species. Our intention is to improve the quality of the soil, as we do at our homesteads for food production, through increasing plant diversity and increasing efficiency in harvesting sunlight and water.
The farm is covered with what most humans see as “alien invaders”, Black Wattle and Lantana, but from the land’s perspective these plants are part of the regeneration process that now needs human
intervention to speed it up.
These agreements and practices we have set out are a reflection of our vision and intentions. Our ethos is an expression of how we naturally aspire to be, not a set of rules.
As such we choose to periodically review our ethos and always remain open to discussion so that it may evolve and grow as we do.