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Message from Krishna

Dear Friends,

Many people ask me, how can I start Permculture? Well, it all starts with understanding the importance of healthy soil. All organic matter growing around us, our bio-resource, has to be returned to the soil. This is our profit, not financial but nutritional. The next step would be to explore intercropping, to bring bio-diversity and create this dense agro-forestry that you find at Solitude. We also have to explore how to use these local foods that have often been forgotten and that means cooking and using them in our daily lives. There are so many other aspects of permaculture that will emerge from starting this adventure such as soap making, medicinal plants, CSA, education, nursery, celebration etc etc. ultimately we come to see that Mother Nature is beyond our understanding and her benediction lies in acceptance and gratitude rather than concepts and strategies. 
This December 13th to 15th and 27th to 29th, we are conducting 3 Days Intensive Permaculture Workshop at Solitude Farm, which aims at empowering you to start on this road back to nature. 
Register for the workshop here

“Nature does not change, although the way of viewing nature invariably changes from age to age.”
― Masanobu Fukuoka

Community Supported Agriculture | Fruit & Vegetable Basket

Recently a friend who runs a top-end restaurant in Pondicherry, re-joined the basket service and her appreciation of all the local plants has led us to develop the Salad Kit in the basket. It's so much fun for us to go around the farm and harvest these different leaves, flowers, stems etc. In this picture, you can see pumpkin flower, pumpkin tendrils and leaves, Ivy Gourd and ivy gourd leaves, Sweet potato leaves, Pipali (long pepper) leaves and Drumstick leaves. These are some of the "Secrets of Our Salad". 

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. We are able to value these foods because we are creating a community around the subject of nutrition. The longer participants subscribe for the baskets the cheaper they are and the closer their connection with the farm and their understanding of these local foods the more we can offer. 

Baskets are available for pick up from the farm on Monday and Friday and there is a Pondicherry pickup Wednesday afternoon.
Please email for sign up. 

Localicious Thalis - Solitude Farm Cafe

Selvi with her creation of the day! 
Solitude Farm Cafe - Open | Mon-Sat | 9AM - 3PM

Recipe of the Week

Selvi, Solitude Cafe's head chef explaining how to make Green Papaya Soup with Krishna's translation and subtitles. 

Field Notes 
Seeds: The Foundation Of A Culture

The relevance of these seeds is incalculable. The indigenous cultures of South America revere corn as the Mother.  Shamans carried the corn seeds in special bags and the villagers would kiss the corn in acknowledgement of her status, as the foundation of their culture and traditions. 
This corn seed has been grown at Solitude Farm. This harvest is a benediction. Most corn is hybridized and to find open pollinated, traditional varieties is really not so easy. We were lucky to receive seeds from from our dear friends Pravin Soni and Deepika from Pebble Garden; hopefully by the next harvest we will have enough seeds to return to them and also make the seeds available in our seed bank. 
The corn plant is a wonderful intercrop as it grows vertically and can be sown in-between other plants, such as beans, gourds and pumpkin that makes use of its structure to climb up. It creates a lot of organic matter and the corn is wonderful fresh, roasted, boiled or made into flour for chapati. An amazing  discovery we have made is the corn silk. It can be used in a tea and  has high medicinal and nutritional values. We were very spontaneous in our use of it, we simply tossed it in with garlic, onions and green papaya, the whole dish tasted of tender corn. 
When you see the huge bright yellow corn being sold on the road, yes it looks really good but most likely, well, almost definitely, they are hybrid seeds that are dependant on chemicals and create an F1 generation which do not yield next generation of seeds. Thus industrialisation is the main cause of erosion of the beautiful cultures in our world. The seeds are the Mother. 


Recently we hosted Labour India Gurukulam Public School for 3 day exploration of reconnecting with Mother Nature. We divided the children into three groups, one Natural Soap Making to understanding importance of recycling water, another learning how to make circle garden - a small permaculture that they could easily replicate at their homes and schools. The third group explored revaluing local foods through the "Secrets of Our Salad" and Tribal Booster Juice workshop.

The values of these workshops were equally for the teachers as for the students. We explored with the teachers how to integrate these activities into their curriculum and daily lives. Our discussions touched on the importance of an authentic relationship with nature and how academics and success as it is perceived in our society will not solve our present ecological crisis. We discussed nutrition, diet and how that creates cultural identity.

These posters were made everyday by each group as a means for the students to reflect on what they had learnt and to consider how they could later teach these activities to their families or other children in their school and schools in their bio-region. 

Music from Solitude

Music art & culture are an adhesive that binds our society together. "Kuthu Song" is one of the tracks from Krishna's band's third album, "Can You Record Me?"

How to make a Permaculture Circle Garden 

What is happening on the farm ?

Regular Workshops 

Every Saturday 11:30 A.M - Weekly tour and introduction to the Solitude Farm

Every Friday 9:30 AM | Natural Soap Making Workshop 
It is imperative that we stop polluting our water sources with chemical soaps. By making our own soap with natural local resources, we can recycle all our waste water to grow food. The Process is simple, easy and fun. 

Every Wednesday  9:30 AM | Secrets Of Our Salad: An Introduction to Permaculture 
Secrets of our Salads is an exploration of the values of local food which is at the very heart of permaculture.

Every Tuesday 9:30 AM | Cooking With Local Food
The wealth of local foods, their nutritional and ayurvedic values reflects the greatness of this culture. Many of these foods have been eclipsed by the industrialised agriculture and this workshop aims teaching people how to revalue them in traditional and fusion cooking styles.

Please email us at to sign up for the workshops. 
Contribution required  for all the workshops, except the weekly farm tour. 

3 Day Intensive Permaculture Workshop 

This workshop is to empower you to explore your relationship with mother nature and take the first steps on your road back to nature. 
The modules in this workshop will empower you to grow your own food; urban gardening, circle garden with enormous social implications & a larger field module for those starting their own farms. We will explore soil, seeds, local foods, medicinal plants, recycling water, enzyme & hand soaps and the importance of celebration in permaculture.
Dates for upcoming Permaculture workshop: 13th to 15th December 2019 | 27th to 29th Dec 19
Sign Up Here

On-going Project:
Mid-day Meal | Local Food Presentation 

We are also looking for volunteers to work on our upcoming festival "LUYE - Lively Up Your Earth 2020" Please email us for more details. 

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Krishna McKenzie · Solitude Farm · Auroville 605101 · India

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