Hello Gardeners,

I think you all will like this  Mela. Why? There are seeds!.  Malnad Mela brings to you lots of organic seeds, food, crafts and a lot more.

If you are gardener, you would have read this as ‘seeds, seeds, seeds and a lot more seeds”.

Below is the announcement about Malnad Mela that gives complete detail about the Timing, Venue and what is in store for all of you.

Thanks to our forum member “Beena RB(BRB)” who forwarded this to me.

Unfortunately I won’t be able to attend it :(. So those who attend, feel free to write back on how it went and what all the seeds you guys bought. I will really appreciate it.

Here goes..

Dear Friends,

The Malnad Mela in Bangalore is back once more!

Date: February 5th & 6th (Saturday & Sunday)
Time: 10 A.M. to 6 P.M.
Venue: Golden Beads School, 157 Richmond Road, Bangalore 560025
Coming from Brigade Road side, go past Hosmat Hospital, take a left onto Richmond Road, go past Books for
Change, and turn left into Rathna Avenue [here watch out for the Golden Beads School board]. Once at the school,
take a left which will lead you to the Mela ground.


Contact Sunita at 9480299200 for details

The theme for this year is food gardens, seed saving, and recycling.

We will have the following displays/stalls from the malnad and from a variety of organizations in Bangalore and elsewhere:

1. Vanastree’s range of seeds, garden produce & traditional malnad foods and snacks ( honey, kokam nectar, tambli,
podis, todadevu, pickles, preserves and more), non-foods and crafts (kokam butter balm, patchwork quilts and runners,

cashew resin wood paint, insect repellents, seed jewelery, vegetable hair dye, soap nut scrub,
cotton shopping bags with an earth logo and others)
2. Malnad snacks and drinks stall (sweets, savouries, kokam juice, and kashaya to keep you going)
3. Exhibition of photos and posters on the malnad gardeners, food gardens, and vegetable diversity
4. A Hundred Hands with traditional and contemporary crafts

5. Namma Bhoomi with handloom clothes and village crafts

6. Daily Dump with composters
7. Daman Ganga with recycled tetrapack roofing sheets and paper products
8. Biome Solutions with dry toilets and a display on ecological sanitation
9. Bhoomi Network with publications
10. Vanamitra with films and a display on wildlife, camps in the Western Ghats, and animal rescue initiatives – all this
complete with a tent set up for kids!
11. Falcon Tools with garden implements

12. Eco-Save India with solar lighting
13. BG Handmade Paper with recycled paper products

There will be a meeting and skill share space for experienced and aspiring organic gardeners and earth stewards to share notes, and we will help with discussions and queries to the extent possible. Lighting for the mela is with rechargeable LED lamps and solar lights. Our shamianas and sun shades are of recycled parachutes and cloth garden umbrellas. Golden Beads School has generously given us the use of their playground for the mela. We have been running the mela on our own steam, have not sought any sponsorship, and continue to aim to keep this a sustainable endeavor.

This year we have 12 volunteers from Bangalore – school and college students, teachers and techies – a hopeful testimony that bridges between the urban and rural are being slowly forged. There are also 7 of us are traveling down from Sirsi.

The year gone by has been rather mixed – the whole issue of genetically modified (GM) seeds reached a head with Bt Brinjal slated to be introduced in India (with the decision revoked – for how long we don’t know), there was too much or too little rain depending on where you were ( here in the malnad most of our food gardens got drowned out), the so-called food crisis that continues to make one wince every time you go out to buy vegetables, and the ongoing debate on the Food Security Act – the list is endless.

We have tried to voice our opinions where possible, while keeping up with what we know best – continuing to sow, garden, share, exchange seeds and food, and hope that small, local initiatives do have a place in a world that has spun out of control for the large part. Keeping track of a pan-perspective and macro vision while being anchored in our microcosms will always be tricky territory to navigate!

Our seeds seem to have fared much better in Bangalore than the malnad (proving yet again that Bangalore and environs are really perfect for vegetable growing) and several generous seed savers have been able to give back to us seeds to sow and give away.

Thanks for all your support and involvement.

We do look forward to meeting you at the Malnad Mela.

Sincerely,

Sunita Rao
for the Vanastree Collective

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