Natural Engineering

Kalyani, (otherwise known as Karen) is a trained engineer, completed a 4 year engineering apprenticeship in her teens, followed by a 3 year BEng (hons.) in mechanical engineering.  One of the many amazing things about this project, she feels is actually working with the natural principles of engineering, in nature.  She writes…
By taking a permaculture approach (holistic view) to the farm, we find that yield, a common measure of agricultural efficiency, is more than measuring the crops that grow on the farm.  It’s actually many, many things.  Let’s see if we can list a few of those things:
  • valuable research;
  • improved eco-systems;
  • improved soil;
  • improved aquifer replenishment;
  • education;
  • providing local jobs that lead to the betterment of the community;
  • cross-cultural exchange and providing inspiration to all those that come hopefully influencing or reinforcing decisions to co-create a world that embodies the real principles of sustainability.
In engineering we are taught about the science of energy – thermodynamics.  Lets look at the conservation of energy theory – the 1st law of thermodynamics.  The second law of thermodynamics teaches that when energy exchange takes place, the resulting state will never equal the energy of the original state due to various factors (losses).
In yoga we are taught that the manifest universe is one consciousness and one energy vibrating at different frequncies infinitely manifesting.  This is exactly matches the 1st law according to conservation energy.  The unmanifest universe merely exists as potential energy.  Therefore this ever expanding universe is but the conversion of that potential into creation.
Vedic, farmers like Bhaskar Save teach that natural farming too is based on one complete system, where no outside inputs are required (other than labour).  And that we must continually put back to the original system to create the original energy.  He teaches, actually, that the original state can be replenished because the second state is greater than the original state.  Thus we have complete conservation of energy without losses and in fact maybe we even increase the energy of the state!
Therefore if  we take an organic farm like the Saha Astitva one as a whole system, instead of a food production system, it  is a very efficient system for:
  • producing healthy food, that reduces the need for pharmaceuticals and health care caused by the consumption of unhealthy food or food containing chemical residues;
  • providing local labour, thus boosting the local economy and the quality of family life;
  • clean water;
  • clean air
  • good soil;
  • inspiration to others;
  • reducing poverty;
  • eventually creating natural protection against industrial development.
While so many engineers rush off into high tech. jobs like aerospace or motor sports, when this world is so turbulent and so unequal with so many technical problems; why not apply the principles of engineering on an expanded scale and develop low tech. solutions solve the problems facing all levels of society today.  Then we will begin to see to see a different kind of efficiency in society…
We welcome Utsav, an IIT graduate who is one such engineer…