The Three Bromptoneers - Mahandra Kumar, Piyush Shah and I - rode from Kelve to Dahanu to visit Nest Farms, a project started by a common friend and fellow Bromptoneer - Rajeev Lamba.

The ride is divided into five sections:

  • Part 1: Our journey started at Kelve Beach, where we visited the two Kelve Forts
  • Part 2: Next, we rode to Mahim Fort and Shirgaon Fort
  • Part 3: From Shirgaon, we rode to Satpati and crossed over the Banganga river to ride ahead to Tarapur Fort
  • Part 4:From Tarapur, we rode to Dahanu and stayed overnight at the Nest Farms (current article)
  • Part 5: On our return journey, we stopped at Dahanu Fort and then rode back to Kelve

Quick Tour

The above video is a quick tour of our stay at Nest Farms.

Snapshots


We reached Dahanu after cycling for about 67 km from Kelve, with a route that hugged the coast for most parts. On the last section along Dahanu beach we got a great sunset view


We were given a warm welcome to Nest Farms by its founder Rajeev Lamba at the cute farm house on his sprawling Chickoo farm. Rajeev left behind a busy city life where he was working with a highly successful technology company and started living on the farm with a back to basics life.


The farm has been carefully nurtured and grown by Rajeev using environmentally sustainable practices and is fully organic. The chickoos (Sapota) are plump and juicy and extremely sweet. Rajeev told us that his average yield and quality of fruit have improved drastically ever since he took over the farm.


Rajeev is kept company by several dogs that he has adopted from city dwellers who unscrupulously buy trophy dogs and are unable to take care of them.


We spent the evening chatting and singing songs with Rajeev playing a mean guitar! The food was outstanding, made with fresh vegetables harvested from the farm's vegetable gardens and cooked with love!


The next morning we woke up early to see a misty sunrise through the trees. A heavy breakfast of freshly made kanda-poha (classic Maharashtrian dish made out of flattened rice), Rajeev took us on a tour of the farm.


The farm is well laid out and uses the principles of Permaculture[1]:

  • Care for the earth: Provision for all life systems to continue and multiply. This is the first principle, because without a healthy earth, humans cannot flourish.
  • Care for the people: Provision for people to access those resources necessary for their existence.
  • Setting limits to population and consumption: By governing our own needs, we can set resources aside to further the above principles. This includes returning waste back into the system to recycle into usefulness.


The vegetable garden contains a healthy variety that provides the produce for all the yummy food that is cooked in the Nest Farms kitchen.


The ducks on the farm have a dual role to play - they graciously provide the eggs and also tend to the lawn. Rajeev explained that the lawn does not need mowing because the ducks do that meticulously.


The artificial pond seen in the background of this picture stores enough rain water to sustain the farm through the summer. The colorful insects in the foreground are the Red Cotton Stainers[2] and the plant they are feeding on is the wild okra.


After the informative tour, we were left quite impressed with the progress that Rajeev had made with the farm, and promised to come back and visit him again. We unfolded our bicycles and said our good byes to Rajeev and the dogs, and set out on our return journey.


After the railway crossing, the beach is a short distance from the farm. We spent a few minutes enjoying the sea breeze and the sand before we headed to Dahanu Fort.

Do not miss a chance to visit Nest Farms on your next weekend. A perfect outing for the family, and especially if you have kids!

Next: Ride to Dahanu Fort and Nandgaon Beach

References


  1. Core tenets and principles of Permaculture Design ↩︎

  2. Red Cotton Stainer / Dysdercus cingulatus bugs ↩︎