Pebble Garden is an eco-restoration effort that has completely transformed a severely eroded land - stripped of all vegetation and topsoil by past deforestation – into a thriving biodiverse forest and a productive seed conservation and food garden.
Acreage: 8 Acres | Stewards: Bernard and Deepika
Since 1994, Bernard and Deepika have worked at Pebble Garden hands-on, using absolutely no external inputs of soil, biomass or compost and achieved this transformation by simple powerful methods based on observing and replicating natural processes. The primary method has been to identify and use select pioneer species to produce biomass insitu and then recycle this biomass in various creative ways to enable plant growth.
The Garden area of a 1000 sq m was created by an intensive process in which soil literally had to be ‘built’ to create raised beds. These beds support a plant collection of more than 100 useful plants ideal for Home Gardens. These include rare and outstanding traditional varieties of vegetables from across India, forgotted indigenous tubers, neglected fruits, perennial and wild leafy greens, medicinal herbs and flowers.
'A Garden for Everyone’ is an outreach initiative to share these hardy plant varieties, with home gardeners and farmers throughout India. They are shared within known organic farmers’ collectives via organic fairs, seed melas and through personal contacts and references and local farmers on request.
Aspirant farmers, students and visitors on open days every Saturday get to learn the Soil Regeneration practices and Seed conservation methods used at Pebble Garden. As part of the traditional seed revival movement in India, seed workshops and training programmes and the book “Reviving Vegetable Diversity” out in 6 Indian languages have contributed to a collective effort to revive our agricultural heritage.
The forest area of Pebble Garden has a heritage grove of ancient Diospyros melanoxylon (Karingali), outstanding regeneration of Red Sanders. Located on the top of the Usteri watershed, the forest is indispensible to rebuilding soil and fertility.
A place of continuous learning, Pebble Garden, also has a charcoal/wood vinegar production plant and conducts research on terra preta.
A tour is offered every Saturday at 10:30am.
Baraka ForestA Sanctuary for Rescued HorsesIt was the mid-70s when Vijay started planting trees in what is now Baraka. Many fruit trees were planted, and a beautiful fruit orchard was established with mangoes, tamarinds and other varieties.The community consists of 40 acres of forested land and 5 acres of orchards and residential area. It is run with solar power, there is no connection to the grid. There is only a backup generator for the solar pump that is used during the cloudy monsoon days.Acreage: 40 acres | Steward: Achilles
Nine PalmsNine Palms is an expansive forest that was started in the early days of Auroville, around 50 years ago. It protects a major canyon system and allows for percolation of rainwater. The Nine Palms dam systems hold large amounts of water as well. Agricultural activities are undertaken in certain areas, and livestock are also kept.Acreage: 62 | Stewards: Shivaji, Shanti
Shakti Nursery and HerbariumRe-creating the Indigenous ForestRain Tree, planted in 1985, with a circumference of 218 inches and a crown span of 38 m Shakti Nursery is part of a wider project that aims at re-creating the indigenous forest in the Green Belt area of Auroville.Acreage: Stewards: Walter and Luk