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Message from Krishna


Dear Friends,

Recently I met a guest at the farm, a Tamil lady with her 2 children. I started interacting with her little daughter, talking in Tamil and I noticed that she wouldn’t look me in the eye. Her mum told me she had Autism. I am no expert but autism seems to me a product of a sick society, a society that is malnourished; not only nutritionally but also by pollution, living in apartment blocks in overcrowded cities, with poor air and water and a loss of social context for life in general. It's all about the job, school and all the activities that are geared towards financial gains. One asks oneself WHY? that's not my narrative, that's not my story. This story has been imposed upon me, and this little girl, this beautiful flower with so called autism is a result of this narrative that does not belong to her. Her mum had come to explore a different lifestyle to get out of the city and I shared with her some of the wonderful plants that directly address her daughter's needs, such as Portulaca (Parapu Keerai, in picture above) which is high in omega 3 and essential fatty acids and has been recognised as beneficial for children with autism and ADHD. We discussed how it is simply by honouring foods that she IS familiar with, foods from her Tamil culture that her daughter may blossom in an unexpected way but she must be given the opportunity to live in a natural environment with essential values such as community, nutrition and a creative space. 

I think this is why people need to start exploring their relationship with Mother Nature. It is not about organic farming, or even permaculture, it's about rediscovering the roots of our culture, who we are, the meaning of our lives. By exploring our relationship with Mother Nature by putting our hands in the earth, learning how to create a simple circle garden, to identify and harvest the incredible nutritional bio-diversity offered to us by nature, to learn how to cook and use these plants, to understand the philosophy of non-intervention in farming and how that spills over into non-interventional education and non-interventional medicine, this is the reason why we run our Permaculture workshop. This workshop is a renaissance of essential values that haven’t gone anywhere, they are always present in the heart of Mother Nature, but we have forgotten how to see.
We are hosting a Permaculture workshop at Solitude Farm, Auroville, this December, 27th to 29th; Its an intensive weekend workshop that which will empower you to take the first step on this road back to nature. We welcome you to join us and rewrite our own narrative! 

Register for the workshop here
  
Yours,   
Krishna

“The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.”
Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution

Community Supported Agriculture | Fruit & Vegetable Basket

This morning I was writing nutritional medicinal values of the foods that we offer in the cafe for the new menu board we are putting up. It is amazing to see each and everyone of these plants is actually a superfood. Different parts of the plants have different nutritional and medicinal values and all these plants are offered in abundance in the basket service we run at Solitude Farm. One beautiful example is Banana Flower. It's benefits include: wards off infections, reduces free radical activity, reduces menstrual bleeding, manages diabetes and anemia, a rich source of vitamins and minerals, boosts mood and reduces anxiety, helps nursing mothers and it tastes awesome! 



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 solitudepermaculture@gmail.com for sign up. 

Solitude Farm Cafe

Superfoods On The Menu 
For the last few years I have been trying to get a good menu board up in the Cafe and finally it has come together. An old friend of Solitude, Meenakshi, did a beautiful job of the layout and painting the menu and another old friend Chris wielded, drilled and put up the board with our volunteers. I am so happy with this board and it's really nice to see again how the things at Solitude may take time, but they happen in an organic and beautiful way! 



Solitude Farm Cafe - Open | Mon-Sat | 9AM - 3PM


Field Notes 
The Nursery and The Silly Season!

The nursery is very much at  the heart of the farm. It is here we sow the seeds into trays, then after a couple of weeks we transplant them into cups, where they have time to grow while we get the fields ready. At the moment there are lettuce, cauliflower, tomatoes, brinjals, chilies, basil, pumpkin and zucchini all at different stages of germination and growth. 
The farm is already so full of tapioca, carrots, sweet potatoes, a diversity of ladies fingers, wing bean, long beans, lab lab beans, corn, cucumber, bottle gourds, snake gourds and endless papayas, bananas and fruit trees. Not to mention all the blue flowers, thoothuvalai, turkey berry, mudakathan, wild yams and the incredible diversity of spinaches that are so well known in old Tamil culture. So the question is, where we going to plant all this stuff? A lot of these plants can be squeezed in between existing plants because of the difference of their physiology and time duration. This intense intercropping is so full of adventure and creativity. It always offers you surprises and shows you Mother Nature will always do something different than you thought possible. 
This is also a season where volunteers and friends come and stay. The weather is just a little bit cooler if you want to see solitude at its pick, you really should come now. Saturday mornings we do a farm tour at 11:30 AM and after that there's lunch. It's also a very beautiful time to get a basket with all the nutritional bio-diversity that the fields offer.
Silly season is on.


Recipe Of The Week
How to get your kids to start eating local food | Tapioca Chips

Music from Solitude

Badman is a track from our 3rd EP, “Can You Record Me?”. Here we are playing it live before going to perform at the Maximum India Festival, Kennedy Centre in Washington DC.

You can listen to all Emergence tracks here

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 solitudepermaculture@gmail.com 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: 27th to 29th Dec 19, 10th to 12 Jan 2020, 7th to 9th Feb 2020, 21st to 23rd Feb 2020, 27th to 29th March 2020, 10th to 12 April 2020
Sign Up Here


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

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Our mailing address is:
solitudepermaculture@gmail.com

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Krishna McKenzie · Solitude Farm · Auroville 605101 · India

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