Malvikaa SolankiThe Queen Bee at Swayyam
Malvikaa spent her early years in a village, rearing silkworms, milking buffaloes, sowing paddy, growing melons, and bananas. Later on, she lived in the city of Bangalore, working with nonprofits at policy and grassroots levels. During this period she worked closely with women and children on issues of ecology, environment, livelihood, health, and gender. She holds a Master’s degree in Ecology and Environmental Studies. She has also worked as a research scholar, studying the ecology of lakes and water bodies at the Indian Institute of Sciences, Bangalore.
After years of city life, she moved to a denuded piece of land in Yelachetti village in 2014, to start the Open Shell Farm as a demonstration farm for regenerative farming using Permaculture principles. Open Shell Farm has attracted over 50 volunteers from across the world, has been covered in leading national newspapers and magazines and has become one of the hubs of permaculture volunteering and training in Southern India.
Malvikaa completed her 1st Permaculture Design Course with Geoff Lawton in 2013 and subsequent PDCs with Rico Zook and Narsanna Koppula. She took her Permaculture Teachers’ Training with Rosemary Morrow in 2018 and holds regular workshops on Permaculture and Regenerative Organic Agriculture, drawing from her real-life experiences at the Open Shell Farm.
She is a certified Permaculture Designer, Educator and Consultant, a yoga therapist, an excellent cook, and a farmer whose real passion is digging her hands into the soil. She consults on farm designs for community and development projects, non-conventional farms, eco-tourism projects, and also devotes time to the design of subsistence model farms for marginal farmers.
She has lived on Open Shell since its inception and is currently working with small and marginal farmers in Yelachetti village on the 1000 Tree Project.