Most upper-middle-class and rich people invariably own a large farmhouse, generally about one or two hours drive away from their current residences in Chennai. From the eighties till recently, most of the salaried segment and aspiring middle-class people were content to own a flat in an apartment complex. However, of late, most of the salaried segment and aspiring middle-class people currently living out of multi-storied apartment complexes in Chennai have also realized the importance of owning a farmhouse. Unlike any other residential property, a farmhouse isn’t just a piece of land with a building and a few trees. A plot of land with trees, crops, gardens, ponds, cows, goats, sheep, hens, ducks, geese etc on it becomes our own private paradise on earth. Simply put, one is truly settled in life only when one has a farmhouse near Chennai that he/she can retire to.
A couple of generations back, everybody’s second occupation was farming. One would have been a teacher, a bank clerk, a postmaster, a tailor or a trader by profession or even a student or a housewife, but they still used to grow their own organic food and led a healthier life. Everybody lived on a farmhouse style house even if they did not call it a farmhouse. Come to think of it, every household used to have some parcel of land around their house in which they will have a couple of milch animals providing the family with milk and manure, a score of poultry offering the family eggs and chicken and a green patch yielding fresh vegetables, fruits and greens for self-consumption. Since the size of farming operations was small and the focus was on self-consumption, there was little use for chemical-based fertilizers or pesticides. Safe food for the family was the only mantra.
Along the way, in pursuit of greener pastures, we abandoned what we were taught early on in life – ‘Health is wealth’. Our lifestyle changed because of the pressure to get ahead in life. We progressed and prospered but it came at a cost. A part of our earnings is being skimmed by corporate hospitals, assorted gyms, health insurance companies and lately by so-called organic food stores. Even after all the skimming, we still find ourselves worse off after reaching 40 years of age. By the time we realize the scams, we find our near and dear ones already undergoing chemotherapy or dialysis or angiography.
Life is a cycle. Seeking better prospects, a lot of people moved from villages to the cities and after spending a few decades of a sedentary lifestyle and eating fertilizers stuffed and pesticides coated food, have started realizing the impact of the sedentary lifestyle on their health. However, technology has made work-from-home and homeschooling possible which in turn has offered people to spend more detoxicating and quality time in their farmhouses and reclaim their health. Trends of the past couple of decades show that Chennai has expanded vastly in the last few decades and indications are that it will continue to expand, not as a city though but more as an urban village. On the outskirts of Chennai, modern farmhouses encompassing village features in an urban setting will be the norm in the coming days and 10 years from now, those living in city apartments today will make their farmhouses as their residences, grow their own food, generate their own energy needs through biogas and solar power and lead a better quality of life.
The time has come to go back to our roots. The time has come to grow our own food. The time has come to offer our children a natural health immunity and a safer environment. The time has come to become a part-time farmer. If you already own a flat in an apartment complex, then the time has come to establish and own an affordable farmhouse. What a farmhouse will offer you is not just a roof over your head but also a source of safe food, a healthy lifestyle and a soul fulfilling journey back to happier days of contentment.
It may not be out of order to say that if you don’t own an affordable farmhouse, you are yet to settle down in life.
How to create a beautiful farmhouse with minimal efforts