Logo primary
Logo secondary
The Hummingbird Project
The Hummingbird Project
Last updated:
Cleveland, OH, US
Climate zone:
Cool Temperate

My Projects

(projects i'm involved in)

The Hummingbird Project

The Hummingbird Project

Cleveland, US

Jason Liechti Jyoti Deshpande Mark Brown Sarvesvara Dasa Thomas Sommer Vinit Rathod

Back to The Hummingbird Project

Living Soil Saves Lives, India (Fall-Winter 2012-13)

Project: The Hummingbird Project

Posted by Marilyn McHugh about 11 years ago

Based on the tremendous success of the first Living Soil training, THP returned to India to establish additional soil labs in the suicide belt.

The Living Soil Saves Lives project empowers individuals and communities to be more self-reliant and regenerative through organic farming methods. We provide training for rural Indian farmers on the soil food web and various composting techniques with the goal of assisting their transition back to natural, organic farming methods.

The Hummingbird Project’s successful Living Soil Saves Lives campaign funded our travels throughout the suicide belt to six states in four months. We personally trained over 1,000 at-risk farmers, instructors, students, and even government officials about the importance of living soil and organic farming methods. THP provided the supplies and training to establish two soil microbiology labs in India and one lab in Thailand.

Our first successful Living Soil courses were taught at an organic farm in northern India that forms part of the international organization, Navdanya, which is directed by Dr. Vandana Shiva, a renowned scientist and organic activist. Navdanya is devoted to reducing dependency on GMO seeds, training farmers in organic methods, and re-establishing sustainable agriculture throughout India.

Our microscopy program provides a missing piece to Navdanya’s existing farmer training, where farmers learn different methods of making compost, natural pesticides, and organic farming techniques. The visual proof and presentation of the underlying biology of living soil was absent from the courses, which makes our project “a fertile seed in fertile soil,” as Dr. Shiva describes it—a seed of knowledge and hope that the farmers are eager to cultivate. (Please see the Living Soil Educational Courses project for more details.)

In addition to strengthening our collaboration with Dr. Vandana Shiva and her organization, Navdanya, we have developed new relationships with several reputable NGOs doing outstanding work throughout India and whose goals parallel those of THP’s—to create sustainable communities by educating and empowering individuals to improve quality of life while fostering stewardship of the earth.

We look forward to returning to India in August 2013.

Farmer training Dead soil Group photo

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to comment.

Courses Taught Here!
Project Badges
Urban Rural Residential Community School Aid Demonstration Educational
Eileen Mello - Admin Marilyn McHugh - Admin
Team Members
Theron Beaudreau - Garden Manager 2015 season

Report The Hummingbird Project


or cancel

Hide The Hummingbird Project


or cancel

Hide Living Soil Saves Lives, India (Fall-Winter 2012-13)


or cancel

Legend of Badges

Note: The various badges displayed in people profiles are largely honesty-based self-proclamations by the individuals themselves. There are reporting functions users can use if they know of blatant misrepresentation (for both people and projects). Legitimacy, competency and reputation for all people and projects can be evidenced and/or developed through their providing regular updates on permaculture work they’re involved in, before/after photographs, etc. A spirit of objective nurturing of both people and projects through knowledge/encouragement/inspiration/resource sharing is the aim of the Worldwide Permaculture Network.



A member is a permaculturist who has never taken a PDC course. These cannot become PDC teachers. Members may be novice or highly experienced permaculturists or anywhere in between. Watch their updates for evaluation.

Male memberFemale member

Permaculture Matchmaker

One of these badges will show if you select your gender and the "I'm single, looking for a permaculture partner" option in your profile.



People who claim to have taken a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course somewhere in the world.


PDC Verified

People who have entered an email address for the teacher of their PDC course, and have had their PDC status verified by that teacher. Watch their updates for evaluation.



People who’ve taken a Permaculture Research Institute PDC somewhere in the world.


PDC Teacher

People who claim to teach some version of PDC somewhere in the world.


PRI Teacher

With the exception of the ‘Member’ who has never taken a PDC, all of the above can apply to become a PRI PDC Teacher. PRI PDC Teachers are those who the PRI recognise, through a vetting board, as determined and competent to teach the full 72-hour course as developed by Permaculture founder Bill Mollison – covering all the topics of The Designers’ Manual as well as possible (i.e. not cherry picking only aspects the teacher feels most interested or competent in). Such teachers also commit to focussing on the design science, and not including subjective spiritual/metaphysical elements. The reason these items are not included in the PDC curriculum is because they are “belief” based. Permaculture Design education concerns itself with teaching good design based on strategies and techniques which are scientifically provable.

PRI PDC Teachers may be given teaching and/or consultancy offerings as they become available as the network grows.


Aid Worker

The individual with this badge is indicating they are, have, or would like to be involved in permaculture aid work. As such, the individual may or may not have permaculture aid worker experience. Watch their updates for evaluation.



The individual with this badge is indicating they are, have, or would like to do paid permaculture design consultancy work. As such, the individual may or may not have permaculture consultancy experience. Watch their updates for evaluation.


Community Project

Community projects are projects that help develop sustainable community interaction and increase localised resiliency.

Report Living Soil Saves Lives, India (Fall-Winter 2012-13)


or cancel