Blogs >> Schumacher and the beginning of my Himalayan trajectory, by Hari Pant

Schumacher and the beginning of my Himalayan trajectory, by Hari Pant

At the young age of 70, I am starting an organic farming community, The Himalayan Farm Project. Many question what inspired me and my desire to create a model sustainable organic farm in India that re-imagines farming. This is my story – how Schumacher influenced my life, my switch from arms to farms, on how I started thinking about my place in the earth and what I want to contribute towards its sustenance.

In the winter of 2007, I was burning the candle at both ends and burning myself out. After 33 years of service in the Indian army, I had not paused to reflect where my life was going. Settled in the lower Himalayas, I was working with village and boarding schools in the community. That spring, through a series of connected serendipitous events, accidental friends and conversations, I arrived at Schumacher College. My two weeks in the Illness to Wellness course, my conversations with the faculty and fellow participants set me on a trajectory, reflecting on my goals in life and my role in this world. I returned to Schumacher in 2008 where I met Cathrine Sneed whose course ‘Reconnecting with Nature as Healer’- led me to re-view my efforts at farming as part of a global story of rediscovering the joy of growing one’s own food.

The next big step was a six month apprenticeship at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, UC Santa Cruz. My rediscovery of farming was speeded by intensive farming practice and conversations with fellow apprentices, the faculty, and volunteering at The Garden Project led by Cathrine Sneed in San Francisco. Filled with ideas and energy, I began to imagine how to realise my hopes of reintroducing farming in my Himalayan community, which was increasingly becoming alienated from the land.

The Himalayan Farm Project seeks to inspire and connect rural and urban communities with the land. It aims to create an alternative model of farming that will inspire young people to look at farming as a possible vocation. It wants to be a bridge connecting local, national and the global community of practitioners, philosophers and fellow dreamers. Join us in making this dream a reality!

A retired Brigadier from the Indian Army, Hari is engaged in educational, health and farming initiatives in the Lower Himalayas. You can read more about his work and dreams at and