Annapurna farm was purchased in the 1960's.
It is located some 10 km. from the Auroville centre, near Vanur.
the 70's the farm failed to break even and the land was largely abandoned
for some years. It was used for experimental tree planting until
the mid-eighties. Thomas (present steward) joined Annapurna in 1986,
beginning with a small plot of land. Till 1994 he had the help of tree
planter Bernard; Andre joined the farm in 1989 and Brooks in 1995.
As of now they employ seventeen farm workers and about 25 casual labourers.
Annapurna is the largest Auroville farm, totalling 135 acres. The
farm grows mostly dry land crops, such as rice, varagu, rosella, and
barnyard millet (on approximately 35 - 40 acres). A total of 20-25
acres is under firewood crops and regeneration fodder. The soil type
is mainly a heavy black cotton soil.
The farm has a combination of solar and diesel-powered pumps, for
current and water. The stewards have created a series of water catchment
ponds, from which they can irrigate more land without tapping into
groundwater reserves. Annapurna is the only Auroville farm where field
crops can be grown on a large scale. Besides growing food for Auroville,
Annapurna is an active research centre for ecological farming, and
maintains a collection of non-hybridized local seed stock. They keep
eight cows, and a small poultry. At present, they can provide basic
accommodation for three voluntary farm workers
Since 1997, Lucas had been searching for a plot of land, in order
to develop it into a demonstration site for growing organic cashew
nuts. In October 1998, the Auroville Farm Group offered him the northern
corner of Auro Orchard. The total area is fourteen acres, of which
4.5 were already under cashew. There are also about seventy coconut
palms and some land that Auro Orchard had been using, but had become
Lucas and his team put an additional four acres under cashew, with
the intention of growing peanuts and gram in between. There is a bore
well with an electrical pump and booster pump. The flood irrigation
for the coconuts (to be changed for micro-sprinklers) is supplemented
by mulching and ground cover crops, to prevent evaporation of water.
The area that is already under irrigation will be more intensively
cultivated with various fruits and vegetables. In the open fields,
fodder and field crops will be grown. There are a one bull, for cart
and plough work, and three cows to decrease the outside purchase of
The aim of Auro Annam is good health of the Auroville community, and
their immediate neighbours, by providing a natural and profitable alternative
to pesticide grown cashews in the bioregion, through research and experimentation.
Auroannam is quite unique among AVFG farms, in that its main income
is a cash crop from monoculture. The longer-term, and much broader,
aim of the farm is that Auroville becomes a viable eco-town that does
not financially compromise on health. The eventual focus is therefore
more on the broader AV community, and the immediate neighbourhood,
although at this early stage in the farm's development, activities
remain mostly at the farm level.
So far, the farm has received financial support from two German NGOs.
Lucas is also in contact with Indian NGOs that work in the field of sustainable
agriculture, and maintains links between AV farmers practicing biodynamic
farming. Auro Annam welcomes serious students, for whom guest accommodation
can be arranged
Aurogreen is one of the oldest Auroville farms. It lies in the Green
Belt, on the northeast side of the city. Having started it in 1975,
Charlie still manages the farm. It covers about 35 acres of which 13
acres are set up for irrigation. The irrigation capacity is currently
limited due to the cost of Tamil Nadu State supplied electricity, for
pumping, and the great depth of the water table.
Six and a half acres of mango and cashew orchard are grown under dry
land conditions, although this orchard is currently in a sad condition,
due to the lack of irrigation. Aurogreen has a dairy with seven cows
and keeps 300 chickens, to provide Auroville with milk, cheese and
eggs. The farm supplies mostly to Green Belt residents, in its immediate
surrounding, and to Pour Tous (AV shop) and the Solar Kitchen.
Since the water table has gone down drastically over the years, so
as to replace traditional flood irrigation, three solar panel pump
sets have been installed, combined with drip and sprinkler systems.
This has resulted in reducing the overall dependency on electricity
and the all over water consumption on the farm. As a community, Aurogreen
uses biogas for cooking.
Charlies' current emphasis is on reducing costs and stabilising income.
The farm is open to guests.
See also: Farm
Auro Orchard consists of 45 acres of land, extending over the neighbouring
community of Hope. One corner of its land has on it a small shrine
to the god Ganesh. Gerard has run the farm from the beginning. It is
on one of the first land plots, purchased for Auroville by Mother at
around 1965. Larger development started in 1969 by bringing in electricity,
which enables two extra bore-wells with submersible pumps.
The Auroville administration paid for the initial investment, but
from the middle of 1969 onwards Auro-Orchard became a self-supporting
unit. This experiment of self-sufficiency had the full support from
the Mother, who gave guidance and instructions directly to Gerard.
The farm was developed acre by acre, by reinvesting all farm profits
over the next twelve years.
At present, about 25 acres are cultivated. Of these, about eight acres
are under irrigation for growing coconuts, fruits, vegetables, fodder
and peanuts. On the remaining 17 acres are grown cashew and mango.
There is also a very small plot of regenerative forest.
The farm has a dairy of fifteen cows, heifers and calves, and keeps
about 250 chickens. Recently three solar powered pumps have been installed,
along with micro sprinklers, to reduce the cost of Tamil Nadu State
electricity and cut down on overall irrigation costs.
Gerard sees farming at Auro Orchard as a way of manifesting oneself
through the work. His overall aim for Auro Orchard is a balanced ecological
farm, able to provide a good and reliable supply of food, while sustaining
article, January '02
After farming for three years in the community of Horizon, Murthy
set up Ayarpadi Farm in January 2002. It is on four acres of land located
along the road to Kottakarai, behind Bharat Nivas. He grows seasonal
crops on another eight acres, which the International Zone will eventually
take over again for its expansion.
The farm, with a house for Murthy & family,
has a solar system with submergible pump, an irrigation system and
a cowshed. The soil is a mixture of clay and sand, of medium quality.
Murthy irrigates a total of three acres with drip irrigation, for
growing cow-grass, vegetables and fruits. On the remaining acres
he grows rice, peanuts and kumbu. Murthy uses organic pesticides
(neem). The permanent staff is currently three men plus one amma.
The dairy has 30 cows, yielding a total of 85 litres of milk daily.
The dairy is supplemented with thirty chickens. So far no bio-gas has
There will be the possibility
of expanding the farm, along the road to Kottakarai. At this stage
in its development, Murthy's objective of Ayarpadi Farm is as follows: “To ensure basic income and profit,
through a substantial and consistent food supply to Auroville”. He
is one of the busiest AVFG farmers and is extremely focussed on his
work. On the whole he is happy with the progress on his farm, though
he could use investment money to do more than he does now. Helping
guests are welcome on the farm.
See also: Farm
Brihaspati farm lies beyond the village of Edianchiavadi , to the west of
Auroville on the edge of the Green Belt. The area occupied by the farm is
a former cashew tope. Iyanar, the current steward, moved to Brihaspati in
2002, immediately after the departure of former residents who lacked farming
experience. In the same year Auroville purchased land for a neighbouring
horse farm called Red Earth Riding School .
The farm totals nineteen acres of which twelve are planted with cashew.
The soil varies a great deal, from relatively fertile loams around a nearby
lake, to gravel in gullies. It currently employs seven labourers, one of
whom is Iyanar's assistant.
The farm recently got an electrical (backup) connection for a 5 HP submersible
pump. The main crops currently grown on the farm are bananas, papaya, cucumber,
vegetables, spinach, lady's fingers, gourds, lemon, and cashew. These are
supplied to two AV shops and a restaurant. The farm has seven milking cows
yielding around 30 litres a day. The milk is distributed to Aspiration community,
New Creation Corner and the Visitors Centre.
Iyanar admits that it is hard work and that it is financially not easy
to start a farm. However, he feels that this is to be expected. He is confident
that things will improve. Like Murthy, he wants to insure a substantial food
supply to Auroville, maintaining a stable income and profit. Considering that
the farm is a very new one, Iyanar has done quite well in his first year as
an AVFG member. The acreage for vegetables has been increased, new crops are
tried and the all over food production has increased considerably, leading
to a relatively healthy economic status of the farm.
Buddha Garden was established in 2000 on a small plot of land that was then part of Siddhartha Farm. A vegetable garden was established with irrigated raised beds and dwelling places for Priya and her daughters were built. The main challenges in the beginning were to deal with the considerable number of pests that were there because the soil was very poor and the plants not therefore very strong. In the second year Auroville acquired land around the vegetable garden and Priya decided to expand into this with a number of integrated farm activities that supported each other. This led to the establishment of Buddha Garden as an independent farm separate from Siddhartha Farm.
Buddha Garden covers approximately twelve acres. Vegetables are grown on three different plots, two of which consist of brick raised beds and drip irrigation and two yards where sprinkler irrigation is used which is particularly good for leafy vegetables. There are three irrigated yards where bananas are grown and one yard of papaya trees. There are also a number of cashew trees as well as a wood lot and about 1.5 acres of forest on land too poor to grow anything else. There are 30 local chickens which are fed almost entirely from what is grown on the farm and which are used mainly for making compost. As a bonus they lay small numbers of organic eggs.
From the very beginning the work in Buddha Garden has been carried out by those living on the farm with the help of volunteers who come to experience the work of organic farming and what it means to live lightly on the land. At present there are four people living there permanently which include Priya, Vivek who is a newcomer and in the process of writing up his PhD thesis on how to maximise production using organic farming methods, Pierre, a newcomer who does Reiki as well as farming and Selvam who is an Aurovilian and organic farming student. We have five capsules and a dormitory as accommodation for the volunteers who come to help us for a minimum of two weeks and sometimes for several months at a time.
Education has always been an important part of our work in Buddha Garden and in the past we had a number of local young men who came for two years on an apprenticeship program. This year we have set up the Centre for Sustainable Farming which will be a centre for the increasing numbers of students that we have coming either to do an internship or to carry out research. It is also where the Lucksted Data Base of the Farm Group will eventually be housed. Every Monday we have an Introductory Course where people can come and learn about our methods of organic farming and look around the farm. We also have courses which we run both for the general public and for organisations. Vivek is also available for consultancy work.
Our vision for the future is that we continue to produce healthy food for the community of Auroville in a way that is environmentally, socially and economically sustainable. At the same time we would like Buddha Garden to be a place where people come to share knowledge and experience and to be a source of inspiration both practically and spiritually.
mob. 9443222653 (mornings only)
Since the beginning of 1994, Jeff ( Australia ) has been running Discipline
Farm, on a plot whose soil had been improved since 1986. Discipline
Farm is located near the village of Alankuppam , on the northern edge
of the Greenbelt .
Of the sixteen acres of land, close to two acres are drip-irrigated
and grown with fruits (coconut, banana, guava, papaya, passion fruit,
chikoos and citrus). Five and a half acres are used for dry land crops,
mainly mangos. There are further extensive vegetable gardens, watered
by micro-sprinklers, and cow fodder that is watered by large sprinklers.
The remainder of the land is forested.
A dairy with four milking cows supplies manure used for the composting.
The farm annually grows red rice as a monsoon crop, sesame or black
gram. The number of fruit varieties is gradually being increased. With
what funds available, the infrastructure of water tanks and pumping
systems is bit by bit being improved. The community uses a biogas converter
The objective of Discipline, as determined
by Jeff, is as follows: “For
Discipline, the primary objectives are a consistent food supply, generating
a basic income”.
See also: Farm
Djaima Farm is a part of the Djaima community, along the road between
Kuilapalayam and Bommaipalayam villages. Kumar is in charge of the
ten acre farm, which has good topsoil and produces fruits and seasonal
vegetables. They have a solar powered pump set on their bore well,
with an electric generator as a backup. There is a small dairy and
a poultry of 200 birds. The project is not self-supporting at this
time and Kumar would like to extend the operation by incorporating
more of the currently unused land.
Kumar proposes for Djaima farm: “Food processing and improving the
collective food supply. My secondary objectives, closely related to
this, include basic income and profit as well as research and experimentation
at the collective level”.
The research and experimentation would be done on improving the coordination
between the farmers and the processors
Amudha and Sundaram manage a long-time agricultural area of Auroville,
Kottakarai Farm. The soil is very good, with two acres of irrigated
land, two acres suitable for dry land farming, three acres of orchard
and some forest. They grow vegetables and rice, traditional millets,
pulses and some oilseeds. The farm produce go to a lunch scheme at
Isaiambalam School . The setup is supplemented with a bakery and provisions
shop, and a food processing and research centre. With so many related
outlets and processors in the immediate area, the farm is very much
Amudha describes her aims as follows: “Ensuring a basic income through
a reliable supply of food, while seeking ways of reducing the risk
of crop failure. Through these means, production may be modestly expanded
without compromising the farmer's health and well-being”.
See also: Farm
Service Farm, one of Mother's original land acquisitions, is located
behind Morratandi village, on twelve acres of sandy red soil. In 1990,
Mechtild took over the management of Service Farm. Since then she has
been investing in the farm from private funds and with the help of
Mechtild manages the farm with an all-women team of village workers.
A wide selection of fruit trees are grown, though parts of the orchards
were planted only in recent years and are not yet bearing fruit.
The farm has a bore-well with one conventional electric and one solar
submersible pump. These pumps supply water into three tanks. From there
a solar booster pump system irrigates six acres of trees by drip irrigation
and micro-sprinklers. The farm supplies its fruits mostly to Pour Tous
(AV shop), the Solar Kitchen and to the AV food processing units.
Mechtild: "I want to grow consciously,
as far as possible in harmony with nature and the environment, to
produce organic food for Auroville. Priority is the aspect of growing
in consciousness. Consequently the quality and quantity will improve
for the benefit of the farm, the farmer and the consumer."
See also: Farm
Siddhartha Farm is located in the traditional rice-growing region surrounding the Irumbai water tank. It started in the mid 90s and is located roughly 1,5 km from Matrimandir. Herbert, one of the founders, is the steward and his aim is to convert the open fields into an integrated farm project, connected to bio dynamic farming. He envisions the farm to become a large-scale community supported project, growing a maximum of rice and grains for Auroville. There is still an option for growth of the farm. Land in the surrounding is available.
At present, the farm mainly produces rice, sugar cane and black gram, crops which are rotated with green gram, peanut, sesame, millet, dhal and cashew. There are cows (milk, Yoghurt) as well as geese, chicken, dogs and cats living on the farm.
Solar panels and drip irrigation are used on some of the crops and on some fields we use flood irrigation from the nearby lake as well as sprinkler irrigation.
Herbert wants: “To ensure a good, stable food supply to Auroville.
Flood irrigation is extremely helpful specially for rice production where about 90% of the water is coming directly from the lake. Because of this, the farm can even have 2 rice harvests a year. The farm uses biogas for domestic cooking. A large proportion of the farm income comes from processing food, for sale in Auroville.
This will be achieved by managing the physical environment effectively and ensuring financial sustainability.
In the wider context, it is also necessary to put in place better systems for collective food supply and distribution”.
See also: Farm
Located near the Visitor Center , behind the Tibetan pavilion, Solitude was started in January 1996 by a group of young Aurovillians with the vision of creating a self-sustainable farming-community. Krishna, one of the pioneers, has developed the farm with the ideas of Masanobu Fukuoka (one straw revolution) and permaculture techniques.
The farm is a 6 acres plot and grows indigenous millets and rice, oil seeds, grams and pulses, a wide diversity of vegetables and 16 varieties of fruit trees.
They aim of creating a dynamic integrated lifestyle, leaving space for music and arts with farming as the foundation of the community.
The farm also runs an organic restaurant, called CHANDNI' S and serves lunches and dinners with food grown on the farm and from other Auroville farms. The produce from the farm also goes to Auroville shops and the solar kitchen.
There are 6 people living at Solitude with a healthy floating population of volunteers who are welcome to dive into the life on the community.
The farm is self sustainable financially due to the restaurant and contributions from volunteers, but they seek donations for infrastructure development.
The farm has just submitted a project to get funds for the construction of an educational centre, to develop courses on experiential sustainability, a new dormitory and a food processing unit/kitchen/restaurant.
Mobile : 9976681458
Facebook: solitude farm auroville
LIVELY UP YOUR EARTH !! Eco-Music FESTIVAL
29th January 2011 at Solitude Farm, Auroville
This festival is an exploration of community, permaculture, ecology, food, artistic expression, a Reconnection with nature , a celebration of music ; it's a movement..our movement...our music...we are free to create our world.. So come and join us and LIVELY UP YOUR EARTH !!
This is a one day festival with workshops in permaculture, fusion cooking, eco-building,handicrafts, a diverse gathering of ecological/ alternative lifestyle presentations and stalls ranging from electrici bicycles, spirulina and the bamboo research centre to indigo dyed jeans and the auroville farmers market. There are also some great bands playing including Zamasanga reggae, Fertile Johnny´s Rock n´ Roll Hero´s, Emergence, Matt Littlewoods new jazz quartet and The Bamboo Band.
With swimming in the well, bonfire and the party going late into the night,
we are welcoming people to stay for the weekend - camping style / sleep where you can, acomodation is limited)
For more info please see www.solitudefarm.blogspot.com
See also: Farm
Windarra started as a farm community 1998 on 22 acres land between the villages Kottakarai and Allankuppam with 2 Australians, Friederike, a German, with her children and an Indian woman.
The vision was to establish a mixed farm with cows chicken, fruit orchards, rain fed field crop, vegetable and forest and share the work.
Soon after, 3 members left Auroville and Friederike was in charge of the farm for 12 years.
In January 2011, Joan, Sandyra and Jorge came to Windarra and started a holistic farm project.
TerraSoul community was born.
The community carries the aspiration and realization of the whole project.
We are a learning community, our holistic approach embraces farming, arts, education and healing.
Everybody is involved in farm related work, and at the same time all have the chance to develop individual talents through workshops and projects.
We enjoy common living, common working, common facilities and common activities.
Our vision is to live a holistic natural life, to respect and enjoy mother earth and all living beings, to celebrate human unity and to express ourselves in fullness.
Organic farming is our foundation with the goal to provide food for Auroville.
Our approach is to combine traditional farming in its most natural form with permaculture and biodynamics.
We cultivate a variety of vegetables originated in the region, grains like red rice and varagu as well as peanuts, tennai and sesame.
In our organic orchard grow among others: guava, mango, banana, papaya, coconut, rosella, citrus, chiku.
Papaya and salad are our bestsellers, followed by rucola, spring onions, rosella, bananas, cherry tomatoes, bottle gourds, long beans, basil, cucumber, ladies fingers, eggplants and eggs, chemical-free from our free-range chickens.
The water is pumped by a windmill, a solar pump as well as an electrical pump.
One of our aims is to be independent from outside labor and manage our daily work together with the volunteers.
As essential part of TerraSoul community, volunteers provide help in the farm, fresh ideas and a cultural exchange. The sharing of knowledge and mutual inspiration enrich our life.
Hence our volunteers are fully integrated in all aspects of community life and activities.
Please visit our website www.terrasoul.org
See also: Farm