Fertile Field Forest
Fertile Field was started in 1996 once the first 20 acres were bought. Jana took up the stewardship of what was then mostly barren land and a young cashew plantation. The forest has been “designed” by Jana, an entomologist, for the preservation and reintroduction of insects; selecting trees and bushes varieties and establishing meadows and open fields that most appeal to specific butterflies and other insects.
Jana was joined by Jan as a co-steward in 2015. Fertile Field also hosts a nursery which produces evergreen seedlings. These seedlings are supplied to the Northern Forests of Auroville (NFA) and many other Auroville communities.
Acreage: 40 | Stewards: Jan, Jana
A seed orchard is being planted with rare trees which will supply the nursery with seeds in the future, as well as disseminate naturally into the surrounding forest. It will take a few decades before it's fully established.
The stewards of Fertile Field are also stewarding some collective forest area as a sanctuary; nothing is cut or removed from the sanctuary.
Fertile Field has now doubled in size, from 20 to 40 acres. The new lands are cashew fields which are turned into forests by planting thousands of seedlings during the rainy season. Now the main effort is the reforestation of these new lands.
As Jana is also very dedicated in the field of education, from time to time there are children that take part in the reforestation effort; as well as some educational activity in the field of entomology.
There is only minimal financial support for the forest maintenance from the central budget found, so most of the expenses are covered by personal resources.
An aspiration for future achievement is to get more land for the collective sanctuary.
Another project for the future is to establish a small educational center for the entomology activities conducted by Jana.