Grounding Education in Nature with ‘Ankuram’
The Experiential Farm by ISH & Karma Lakelands
BY KUNAL VASUDEVA
I’ve always believed that the foundation of culinary education lies in understanding the intricate relationship between food and the environment. In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to overlook the origins of the food we consume and the impact of our choices on the planet. That’s why, at ISH, we’re continually seeking innovative ways to connect our students with the natural world, fostering a sense of responsibility and respect for the earth’s resources.
I’m proud to share that ISH has recently partnered with Karma Lakelands, the eco-friendly golf resort in Gurugram, to create an experiential farm, Ankuram, that will immerse our students in the fundamentals of sustainable agriculture. Through this initiative, we’re reinforcing the importance of grassroots education, enabling our students to better understand soil building, experience growing healthy food, and embrace living mindfully by minimizing waste generation.
In the realm of education, the concept of soil provides a compelling analogy. Just as a seed requires fertile soil to grow and flourish, a student’s learning journey is heavily influenced by the environment in which they are nurtured. Both soil and education share an essential characteristic: they are the foundations for growth and development. Consider the story of two seeds planted in different environments. One seed is sown in rich, nutrient-dense soil, while the other is planted in poor, depleted soil. The seed in the fertile soil receives the necessary nutrients, water, and sunlight, allowing it to grow into a strong and healthy plant. In contrast, the seed in the poor soil struggles to thrive due to the lack of essential elements required for growth.
This simple analogy highlights the critical role that a nurturing and supportive environment plays in education. Like the fertile soil, a well-rounded educational foundation provides students with the essential knowledge, skills, and experiences needed to grow and succeed in their chosen fields. By instilling a sense of environmental stewardship and fostering a deep understanding of the interconnectedness of food and nature, we can cultivate a new generation of learners who are knowledgeable and mindful of their impact on the world around them.
Our experiential farm ‘Ankuram’ will serve as a supplementary location for sourcing herbs and organic produce for our kitchens and provide a unique educational experience. Students will have the opportunity to participate in practical learning sessions with an organic and sustainable farming expert from Karma Lakelands. They will delve into organic farming, beekeeping, and other eco-friendly practices to nurture a sense of environmental stewardship.
This collaboration between Karma Lakelands and ISH is a testament to the power of combining education and environmental awareness. It serves as an inspiration for institutions and businesses worldwide, demonstrating the potential for creating compelling educational experiences that leave a lasting impact on students, the culinary industry, and the planet we all share. For our students, this is the essence of culinary education rooted in environmental stewardship. They will be the torchbearers of conscious living in India, crafting the science and arts of food in every sense of food culture, thereby creating a lasting and transformative impact.
The genesis of this collaboration between ISH and Karma Lakelands stems from the shared commitment and personal convictions of two remarkable individuals, Ashwini Khurana, and Dilip Puri. United by this common goal, grounding our students’ education in nature and sustainability, we’re cultivating a new generation of environmentally-conscious culinary leaders who appreciate the interconnectedness of food, the environment, and responsible practices.
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