We organise a variety of festivals, in different seasons, revolving around the diversity of food, emphasising the importance of slow cooked meals, the forgotten goods, the uncultivated greens and much more. These festivals speak of multi-faceted food systems and the importance of varied foods in our diets, thereby promoting health and nutrition among the urban people. We reiterate the fact that there are endless possibilities in which one can prepare and eat their favourite foods.
These festivals are not organised in the form of melas but an experience of something extremely rare, a culture that is rooted in its land. Every element – from food and agriculture to architecture, art, music, religion and dance, that has evolved naturally from the needs of the earth, and belongs solely to the region.
We conduct three main festivals structured around Sugarcane, Kokum and Rice in February, May and August respectively. All three revolve around a level of acrobatics and community engagement, which challenge unsustainable urban living practices.
The Angadibail forest has plenty of naturally grown Kokum – a fruit tree species endemic to the Western Ghats. The kokum fruit found in abundance in this region has a short shelf life and much goes to waste, so the rural people and us at BuDa decided to revive this fruit and come up with a concept to harvest, process and sell the fruit in a traditional way. Together, we designed the Kokum Festival – an experiential learning program to pick, process, pack and sell this product.
We celebrate the harvest with community participation, a beautiful way to harvest and process Kokum fruits. We invite participants for a week in the summers to join us for the complete journey of the Kokum fruit from tree to jar. Learn to make juice from the pulp, preserve from the shells smothered in sugar, and butter from grinding the roasted seeds. Also get to experience an alternate way of making wine, soaps and bio enzymes. Apart from that, climb trees, sit around a fire under the night sky and sleep in machans surrounded by fields!
At BuDa, we are not just bringing an understanding of growing paddy, but the importance of land and seed preservation through the cultivation of folk rice varieties like halaga, ratnachuda, kempu-halaga and hegge. Get to experience plucking paddy from the roots, traditional farming with plows drawn by bulls to upturn the soil and transplanting the paddy back to the soil. Hands deep in dirt, listening to tribal women sing to the plants, some mud slinging and fresh juice will give a new meaning to a simple staple rice – not just nourishing for the body but the stories of the hands that grow them through song, make it food for the soul!
Take this celebration off the paddy field and onto the kabaddi court with locals showcasing some incredible game! Have a thrilling three days of paddy transplanting, bathing in streams, no cellular network, no electricity, bath products and toiletries made with forest finds, foraging for food and tasting new ingredients; live the slow life at BuDa.
The ‘Alemane’ or Jaggery Festival at BuDa is an effort to celebrate the harvest season once again in a region where land-based celebrations are dying out in favor of modern universal ones. With this festival, we brought back the tradition of jaggery making and the forgotten delicacies made with it, buried under modern industrialization and replaced by refined sugar.
How many delicacies could one ingredient possibly make, it is worth a thought. See expert cooks from the tribal communities make a myriad of foods you have never heard of – Huriakki Hunde, Kadabu and Airavata – making their presence felt with wafts of jaggery in the air.
Get to experience the traditional process of jaggery making as bulls walk in circles around the pivot to extract sugarcane juice. While the modern machine can extract 30 tins, this one merely produces 3 but the romance of the experience is unmistakable and the taste of hard work, even more so.