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Message from Krishna

Dear Friends,

On the 22nd of December Solitude Farm Cafe has been invited by MEEL Foundation to run a "Pop Up For The Planet" lunch at Grand Malabar Mess, T Nagar, Chennai. 
This is a wonderful opportunity for us to share with folks in Chennai, the message behind the food that we make at Solitude Farm Cafe. There will be 150 seats available from 12:30 PM till 2:30 PM. The restaurant has 70 seats and there will be 2 servings at fix times, 12:30 PM and 1:30 PM. I will be sharing what we do at the farm with a short talk 15 mins before each seating and i hope to be sharing my music with you all as well. 
Seats will only be available by pre -booking via Better India ONLY. We will not be accepting any registrations by phone calls or emails, please! 
We are also Looking for serious volunteers from Chennai to help with a pop up lunch preparation, please email to apply with a brief introduction. 
Don't forget to share the invite with friends and family in Chennai! 


“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

I would like to welcome a new member to the basket service, presenting ... the one and only Palm root.
Palm root traditionally was grown in every single backyard in every single village of Tamil Nadu. This starchy root is low in cholesterol and has high nutritional values. We steam the root, peel of the fibres and eat it as a part of the meal or as a snack.

What’s in the Basket

This week we also have Sisoo (Brazilian Spinach), an amazing salad kit with pumpkin flowers and tendrils etc, a juice kit with tulsi, soursop leaves, hibiscus and clitoria tarnatea, wing bean, banana stem, plantain, green papaya, pumpkin, sapota and the last of the custard apples. You too could start eating this food every week, contact us on for more details. 

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. 

Solitude Farm Cafe

Through the monsoon we have very few ripe papayas with the sun shine they have started to produce again. It is amazing to taste the difference with papayas from a shop or even sometimes from different gardens. These papayas are really sweet! On this thali there is also Upma made from horse tail millet. As we no longer serve white rice different ways of presenting millets is very important. Equally green papaya is such a regular dish we have a few tricks up our sleeves to prepare it in different ways. In this thali it is cooked with coconut milk and green chillies. 

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

Field Notes 
Giant Ladies Finger

This is the Burmese giant Ladies Finger. This plant has become hugely significant for us at Solitude Farm. We planted in July 2019 and it starts producing early December. It grows more than 3 meters tall and in these fields where light is often a scarce commodity, It's height, like a tree, reaches to the light. As it grows through both the summer and North East monsoon,  it grows a very deep tap root which makes it drought resistant. Its stem or even trunk! is like a small tree and towards the end of it’s production it’s perfect for beans to climb up. The tender fruits are thicker than a normal ladies finger and grow to about 10 CM long. 
It’s a heavy producer and invariably some of the fruits at the top of the plant get forgotten and become seeds. last year my Father-in-law who takes of the seeds in the farm, havested about 4 kilos of seeds. This year as with many other plants we have planted this ladies finger all over the farm, and we are hoping that it may self propagate in the future. 

Music from Solitude

This video is from one of our early Tamil/English fusion songs, "Passumai". Here we are performing at "Go Mad Festival" in Ooty. 
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 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 this month from 27th to 29th December and 10th to 12th January 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: 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

Please email us at to sign up


The workshop is an exploration of our relationship with and in nature at Solitude Farm and involves art, writing, sculpture, creative writing and poetry.  There are two-3 hrs session for adults on 23rd and 24th December afternoons and one session for children on 26th December
On the Sat 28th december, there will be presentation of all the work at Solitude Farm Cafe along with music. 
This is a beautiful opportunity to explore art in nature with a very interesting working artist.
Please email us at to sign up

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

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Krishna McKenzie · Solitude Farm · Auroville 605101 · India

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