If you are traveling in Thar Desert (Rajasthan) and if you see a cluster of eggshells in the distance, stop by for an omelette or two. A friend told me he went there on a hunch and found this.
An enterprising couple opted out of the corporate world in 1992, and converted one of the most arid, desolate places in Rajasthan into a vibrant organic farm that sustains itself and educates the farmers in the nearby areas of Alwar district. Also, this couple lives there in a house they built - "The house consists of a series of catenary domes, built without framework, of fired brick and an ancient mortar recipe based on lime waste - the result, covered area cost a mere forty rupees (~one US dollar) a foot. The forms of nature, the compression strength of an egg, animal burrows, the beehive, natural caves and so on, inspired the catenary domes. "
On the farm, the primary technique they use is inter-cropping based on " the optimal utilization of expensive agricultural inputs, fertilize and water, by the varied root zones of the crops, trees and other plants."
Thanks for the great news, Rohit. I love worldchanging articles, more so when they shed light on what's happening in India :)
On a side-note, don't you think the menu on top, with the list of contributors, and the archives is getting kinda messy?
I usually read the articles from my feedreader and so hadn't noticed the changes till I came here to comment on this entry.
P.S. A weblog like worldchanging, with a free soul, shouldn't really be using MovableType, in my opinion. Why should it be preferred over better opensource alternatives, like WordPress? I will be overjoyed to help you switch to wordpress, with zero dataloss, if you ever decide to stop using MovableType, and support an open source project, which in my opinion makes for a slightly better world :)
If you haven't already, check our Hassan Fathy's book Architecture for the Poor. Written in 1973, he describes his process for building affordable housing in rural Egypt with traditional mud brick - a building material that's cheap, plentiful, and sustainable... not to mention its superior insulating properties. The buildings of New Gourna also had beautiful domed roofs. Unfortunately, the project was never completed and much has been destroyed.