Located by Auroville main road near Edayanchavady village, Pazhamudir Cholai, a farm of five acres, is led by Renuka, her sister Lakshmi, and their mainly women's team. With a vision of creating an organic fruit orchard, the stewards of the farm offer their experiences of having grown up in their ancestral farmland. Gradually, the scope of the farm shifted to orchards and dairy to enable sustainability while generating awareness and educating local women and children on the benefits of organic farming.
Pazhamudir Cholai Vision and Mission
The farm was started with the primary aim of:
- Empowering village women by educating them on organic farming techniques
- Generating an awareness and educating the village children on agriculture - The farm was started with a vision to make everyone become aware of the joys of farming and to explore organic farming to produce their food and to serve the community.
- Offering healthy organic produce, primarily fruits and dairy to the Auroville community with a wide variety to choose from - avocados, bananas, custard apples, chikkus, mangoes, limes etc
- Organically grown fruits like avocados, bananas, limes, mangoes, etc for the Auroville Community
- An opportunity to interact with and learn organic farming by volunteering at the farm
Pazhamudir Cholai was started by Renuka and Lakshmi with a passion to do organic farming for the benefit of the Auroville community. The initial intention was to provide education and awareness programmes for the women and children from the neighbouring villages. Due to a lack of funds and support from the community to run such a project, the farm has turned its work mainly to orchards and dairy for sustainability. The farm is visited by women and children who learn much from the farm, and it plans to offer outreach programmes in the future to enable more interactions with those interested in organic farming practices.
The Pazahamudir Cholai farm initially experimented with mixed crops of vegetables, fruits, field crops and dairy. Over the years it evolved to orchards and dairy products due to many economic and ecological constraints. Currently, the farm boasts of the production of many varieties of organic fruits with around 12 trees for each variety of fruit that the farm produces.
Sisters Lakshmi and Renuka, the founders of Pazhamudir Cholai farm, nurture a passion for farming which runs in their largely agrarian family. To translate this passion to produce one’s own food organically and also provide them to the community, they applied to the Auroville Farming community and were allocated the current plot of land where the farm is located.
The farm was started with a vision to bring awareness and to educate women and children in the neighbouring villages on the benefits of organic farming. Gradually the focus shifted to full-time farming of fruits and vegetables to supply the Auroville community and to bring about financial sustainability.
Renuka is a very active voice in the Farm group of Auroville and represents the farmer community effectively. She serves as a bridge between the producers and consumers by collaborating with them as well as the distribution channels in Auroville and thus brings in solidarity and harmonious collaboration. They aspire to build on the consumer market within the Auroville community by their improvised, innovative farming activities and also in the long run aim to provide food to outside Auroville as well.
The Pazhamudir Cholai farm like many other AV farms is actively engaged in the process of working with the unique socio-economic contexts of the Auroville farming sector. Auroville farms are placed mainly to produce healthy food for Auroville residents. Engaging in healthy composting practices, using non hybridised seeds, sustainable use of water, mixed cropping and other practices make Cholai farm ecologically sustainable.
Organic farming requires a lot of manpower and patience in implementing its no-chemical ideal and thus controlling pests and wildlife in the farm requires a lot of diligence and financial support which the team is proactively working upon.
Commitment to ecological sustainability can only be rewarded by a conscious consumer base in the community, actively supporting the farm. The Auroville farm sector is working on this community engagement process with the Pazhamudir Cholai farm led by Renuka at the forefront along with other farms of Auroville.
The stewards of the farm foresee a tremendous potential of organic farming within and outside the Auroville community. They strive to achieve this mission by generating an awareness on the need for the same and by bringing about an active collaboration among the farming groups. Their vision would not only ensure a healthier community by its organic food supply but also ensure the sustainability of farms within Auroville involved in this mission.
Join the Pazhamudir Cholai community as Volunteers - Be part of the vision of this farm by experiencing organic farming first-hand by volunteering at the farm. Do your bit in making the farm self-sustainable by offering your service in farming, educating women and children etc. Accommodation is currently not available at the farm so volunteers may have to make their own arrangements.
Cholai farm is located on the main tarred road in the Service Area near the Reve community. Contact us to know more.
Siddhartha FarmA Farm for Auroville’s NeedsOne of the oldest farms, Sidhartha farm is a 12.5-acre farm led by Herbert. Siddhartha farm’s aspiration is to produce healthy food that is needed for the Auroville community. Basing their production on sustainable practices like crop rotation, non hybridized seeds and organic composting, the team at Siddhartha believes that quality food is available for the community. Herbert has been working for a few decades in the farming sector to make this vision a reality. Herbert is supported by his family; namely Suhasini, Selvi and Satya in the management and development of the farm. The farm also provides employment opportunities to villagers living close to the farm.
Brihaspati FarmHardwork and Dedication to Farming Tradition of Auroville Bio-regionLocated in Edayanchavadi village near Auroville, Brihaspati is a 20-acre farm stewarded by Iyyanar and his family where they experiment with organic farming. Iyyanar came to Auroville more than 31 years ago and worked in various farms and forests before moving to become the steward of the farm.
Aurogreen FarmNestled in the Greenbelt of AurovilleSet up by Charlie in 1975, Aurogreen (AG) is one of the oldest farms in Auroville (AV). Located in the northeastern greenbelt of Auroville, it covers 35 acres of land which includes 2 acres of irrigated land with the remaining being dryland fruit orchards. Presently managed by Charlie and Shanmugam, the produce includes fruits, vegetables and dairy products from cow milk. AG is uniquely a farm and a forest intertwined. Previously what was included in the farmland is now slowly being turned into dry-land orchards and forest due to stress on the water table.