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Message from Krishna

Dear Friends,

Pongal is here! Various TV channels have contacted me to do programmes around the Pongal festivities. Being the extrovert that I am! I enjoy very much to share the work we have been doing and the message that is becoming more precise and clear.

"Eat Local Food!"

I really want to use these platforms to share the Mid-Day Meal Scheme project and the CSA Basket service, with the hope that it connects to relevant people and these ideas grow beyond Solitude Farm and become collective social values. It is quite strange to see the power of TV and media exposure on an individual but in general it has been extremely positive and I have received so much warmth from the average person of the street. The message is getting out there, now it's time for the next step, the project have to start with local farmers and local schools!

Here's the project that we have created, please take time to read it and share with your neworks, we would be very keen to hear about your feedback. 

Mid-day Meal | Local Food Presentation 


  

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


10 Years of Solitude CSA!

Week in week out for the last 10 years Solitude has been running a fruit and vegetable basket service. As the project has grown participants who agree to accept only what vegetables are offered seasonally, have been treated to a growing diversity of local foods in their baskets. Soursop, palm fruit, bael fruit, ramphal, custard apple, mangoes, papayas, pineapple, sapotas, guava, banana, turkey berry, toothvalai, modakathan, brinjals, corn, capsicum, chilli, drumsticks, green papaya, palm roots, tomatoes, lemon, banana flowers, banana stem, coriander, microgreens, nanari roots, a host of spinaches, hibiscus, Butterfly Pea Flowers, a diversity of beans including cluster beans, long beans, wing beans, lab lab beans, french beans, carrots, radish, turnips, sweet potatoes, tapioca, spring onions, okra, pumpkin, bottle gourds, ridge gourds, snake gourds, ash gourds, bitter gourds, cucumbers not to mention our amazing salad kit with portalaca, bael fruit leaves, chicken spinach, rosella leaves, tamarind leaves, thipli, rocket and lettuce. 
 


The more participants  connect with the farm and the values of local food, the more produce we have been able to offer them. We started off with 2 pickups a week, delivering them to central pick up points, but soon realised, that  people needed to connect to the farm and know where their food was coming from. Over time we have made one exception which is a third harvest on Wednesdays where participants from Pondicherry send an auto rickshaw to pick up their baskets. Whatsapp has been very helpful to communicate between the community of participants, sharing recipes and logistics etc. This basket service is really an awesome example of how a local farmer can switch to permaculture and grows foods that are relevant to his culture, uses less water, has no ecological cost, offers amazing nutritional and medicinal benefits to his customers and brings him respectful income. 

For local farmers, who know how to grow all these foods, serious support is needed to help them create a community of participants and set up systems with the community that allows the project to function; logistically and administratively. The economic potential of the basket service is huge. Of course in Auroville we have a particular economy and demographic that has allowed our basket service to grow but the essential values of the basket service which lie in nutrition and access to healthy tasty food make it in every way possible for a village farmer to equally succeed.  This is our next aim, A CSA project in a local village. 



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. 

 

Field Notes
Wing Beans



Wing beans are an amazingly productive bean, planted with the summer monsoon in early August, we start harvesting towards the end of monsoon in December. The beans are huge and viscous, they make an excellent stir fry and are added to sambar. The tender beans are tasty raw, and the flowers, which taste like candies can be used in salads along with tender leaves that resemble licorice. The roots of the plants are also high in nutritional value. and the seeds can be used like a lentil. It's strange that this plant is not more visible in local vegetable markets, it grows easily and is highly productive. 
This year we planted them all over the farm, especially on gliricidia hedges that divides the fields and we have even noticed that it has self seeded in a few places. 
For some years now we been maintaining our own seeds, so if you would like to try to grow it yourself then come and get seeds from us before July 2020. 




 


Solitude Farm Cafe



Some of you who have come to the Cafe to eat may recognize this face, this is Selvi who tirelessly puts her heart into the local food that she cooks everyday. The local ladies and their cultural cooking knowledge are really at the very heart of Solitude Farm Cafe, they always bring a smile and laughter, which are two ingredients that makes Solitude Food extra special! 

Thali Of The Day 

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

Music from Solitude

Emergence live at MAD festival, Ooty. Ballad of the Open Road, a funky tune with carnatic  violin and super bass solo by Mishko M'Ba.
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 
People have so many concepts about everything even about Permaculture! It means different things for different people. For me permaculture really boils down to the food on the table. This is a photo from the Secrets Of Our Salad, which is one of the module from 3 day Intensive Permaculture Workshop which is happening 7th to 9th Feb 2020 and 21st to 23rd Feb 2020. All this produce was harvested by workshop participants and transformed in the most amazing salad that demonstrates all the important characteristic of local food, include a direct solution to climate change. Learning about local foods in this very practical way starts to integrate permaculture in your daily life. 
Dates for upcoming Permaculture workshop: 7th to 9th Feb 2020, 21st to 23rd Feb 2020, 27th to 29th March 2020, 10th to 12 April 2020

Please email us at solitudepermaculture@gmail.com to sign up
 

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solitudepermaculture@gmail.com

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Krishna McKenzie · Solitude Farm · Auroville 605101 · India

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