‍Dewalokum, Organic farm, Family Homestay, Thodupuzha, Kerala

Sonya Hogan
Jul 23, 2023

Dewalokum is a third generation organic farm in the spice belt of Kerala.  Jose’s grandfather was a businessman who, after loosing everything in 1918, purchased the 22 acre farm in Thodupuzha, Kerala. The organic farm of today continues the way of life that was started by Jose’s grandfather.  Jose and Sinta took over the farm after Jose’s father stopped farming at the age of 88.

The farm is located on the banks of Kannadipuzha (Kaliyar River) and is enveloped by forest on one side and a two thousand acre rubber estate on the other, completely isolated from the outside world. The sounds of the river rippling by, birdsong and insects are always in the background.

In 2006 a new building was added as a guesthouse, and for the last 10 years visitors have been welcomed to Dewalokum.  The name, and the whole place embodies the concept of a paradise, an eco-friendly, sustainable, and responsible farm.

The organic farm provides all the homestay needs to cater for its guests.  The menu changes according to what is in season and available on the farm.  In the kitchen, vegetables neither go into or come out of the fridge.  They are picked that day and arrive, in a delicious range of south indian dishes, on the communal dinning table.

The kitchen stoves are fuelled using bio gas produced from the fermentation of the dairy cows and buffalo’s dung.  The methane is produced under pressure and piped to the kitchen, the remaining slurry is used to fertilise the garden.  The milk from the buffalo, goats and cows allow the kitchen to provide a range of dairy options including freshly made paneer and yogurt.  Scraps from the kitchen help feed the free range chickens and fish.  Nothing is wasted.

Solar panels heat the hot water.   Boiled water is available in the rooms giving visitors a choice to use this instead of bottled water.  The boiled water even has a hint of the spices grown on the property for a bit of extra flavour.

Being situated in the spice belt of Kerala means that there is an all year round supply of banana, papaya and pineapple.  But the garden’s organic produce reaches well beyond that.  What might look like a forest of random trees on first sight is a garden rich in spices and Ayurvedic medicines.  Every tree and plant has a use.  Jose, Sinta, Tara and Paul have a wealth of knowledge they willingly share about each of the different plants, the role they serve on the farm, and the philosophy that has been a part of the farm since its establishment.  Rubber is also grown on the farm and sent off-site for processing.

The farm and homestay employes 23 local staff.  Many have been with Dewalokum since Jose and Sinta started the homestay.  Over the years Jose and his family have supported staff in the same way that you would support extended family.  Helping staff to build houses, get married and provide for their own families. Giving back in such a way is part of what creates such a strong feeling of community at Dewalokum.

The activities available to visitors echo the rhythm of the farm itself.  You can start the morning with yoga, enjoy a guided walk through the local villages, take the spice walk, go for a forest walk and see thousands of fruit bats roosting, learn the secrets of the incredible meals that come out of the kitchen in the daily cooking demonstration, swim and raft the river as long as it isn’t monsoon season (the natural water swimming pool is a lovely substitute), and if you still need to relax there is the chance to experience an Ayurvedic massage.

Dewalokum is a way of life for Jose and his family.  If you stay there you will soon feel like part of the family and quickly fall in to the daily rhythm of the organic farmstay.

Visit the Dewalokum website for more information

July 23, 2023
5 min read