🇦🇺 Living in a van, dumpster diving, teaching at festivals, and oh yea, working for the man.
I am reemerging from the wild off-farm ride that was 2022. I certainly have miss ya'll; did you miss us too?
We went from daily communications via Instagram and in-person farm exchanges and newsletters, to a chasm of silence. Where did we go!?
You may remember that in Jan 2022, Kunal and I shifted to Melbourne, Australia for a damn cool job opportunity for Kunal to lead the circular economy movement within the city.
The role itself was inciting enough, but equally inciting was the opportunity to fill up our empty coffers with some high-octane Australian dollars. Keeping the businesses afloat through two years of lockdown in India was no joke, and like many of our fellow entrepreneurs, we saw a lot of cash go out without a lot coming back in. We've got big dreams for what we can do (and BUILD!) at The Odd Gumnut and those big dreams come with big price tags. So we both knuckled down for 2022 and worked for the man.
The pros? We worked hard and did save the sweet sweet AUD, enabling us to double the size of the kombucha brewery, hire a legit designer to rebrand Rise Up Kombucha, hire for essential roles to support brewing, and to (in-time) build the cabin porn of our dreams on our lower plot to eventually house healers, artists, curious minds and radicals of all varieties.
Being in Melbourne has also meant time with our beloved friends here; our chosen family of legends that we have shared infinite laughter and love with.
The cons? Never feeling like the hours in the day were enough. Balancing the 9-5 work with the post 5 pm demands of our work in India was chronically exhausting. We could never get done all that was needed. We worked every weekend. And we miss the farm: misty cool Panchgani mornings watching the chickens scratch around with a cup of coffee in hand; afternoons spent digging in the dirt and harvesting and cooking farm fresh veggies; interacting with all of y'all through workshops and farm tours.
And now? For now, we are still here in Melbourne. Kunal is rocking it as a senior consultant of circular economy, tackling some of the planet's largest resource issues and I have just left my corporate job to return full time to The Odd Gumnut (yay! Welcome back me!), Rise Up Kombucha and All Living Things Environmental Film Festival, our delightful trio of enterprises.
We will be back in Panchgani in September and look forward to seeing you all in person again! Till then, the farm is being loved and looked after by a fellow permaculturist, Amit, who is running farm tours and delighting guests. Be sure to book in a tour and tell any friends who are visiting Panchgani.
Joanna Beach, Great Ocean Road, Victoria.
Teaching our famous DIY Natural Products at Elysium Festival.
Adventuring around Victoria's coastline! Living in the van and sleeping under old gum trees in the forest.