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Message from Krishna

Dear Friends,

Art, culture and music is an adhesive that brings society together. Cultural celebration is the product of a healthy society. On the 23rd - 24th and 26th December, Nicole Caodie*, an artist from England will be offering an art workshop at Solitude Farm, exploring our relationship with and in nature, the workshop, called “Metamorphoses”, will include drawing, sculpture, creative writing and poetry. The workshop is free, and will run in the afternoons. The first 2 afternoons are for adults and on the 26th December for children. On Saturday 28th December at lunch time, there will be music and sharing of the creations with the public.

We invite you join in, please email for more information at 

*Nicole Caodie develops, supports, and stewards connective creativity between cultures and local environments. Empowering circles of care and self-initiating impact initiatives through the visual arts. The vision is nothing less than realizing the full potential of each individual as an agent of change full participation in re-enlivening responsibility towards positive symbiosis.
To drive a new era of development, care and sustainability through collaborative learning and participatory research. Nicole is an interdisciplinary artist with a Masters with distinction in Interdisciplinary Arts and Social Sculpture. Researching performance, sculpture and participation as connective aesthetics within campaign direction she highlights pressing social and environmental issues.


“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

Over the last few days we been doing a documentary with a film group from Down to Earth, Asia's premier fortnightly magazine (Centre for Science and Environment, Delhi). This team invested three days with us to get an insight into what we are doing at Solitude Farm. I wanted the video to reach out to farmers, to give them a concrete idea of how practicing permaculture and running a CSA project can really make sense on an economic level but also to give them an insight on how it strengthens cultural identity, has a positive ecological impact and offers enormous nutritional benefits to a farmer's community. An obvious question that arose was, how does a farmer starts permaculture? We took the film crew into the fields and showed them our lush soil, fed by the diverse selection of organic matter, it is here in a healthy soil, which is the very heart of Mother Nature, where all permaculture begins. The crew were very inspired especially by the food they ate and we are hoping to enter the film into the Auroville Film Festival. 

What’s in the Basket

Can you ever get bored of amaranth? it’s so tasty, fresh from the field, steamed, fried, made into soup! this week there was also pumpkin in the box along with chickoo and bananas with which we have started making amazing smoothies in the cafe. Coming soon will be radish and then tomatoes. 

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

Amla in the season

Of all fruits Amla has the highest vitamin C content. The kids that grow up in this bioregion love its sour taste when eaten raw. If you drink a glass of water after eating it, the taste becomes sweet. If you are not born here it can take some getting used to. Fortunately there are many recipes that make it very appealing, such as alma pickle, alma candy, amla juice and sorbet. Amla is one of these crops that doesn’t bring the farmer much income unless he/she processes it. In the cafe we have started to offer amla pickle in the thali, in the next days we will make a new batch of amla powder and also try alma candy. 

Of course we have also offered amla in our CSA basket. and some of our amazing basket participants have enthusiastically shared recipes and ideas with each other on how to best make use of them. 

If you have any great (traditional) amla recipes we would be delighted to try them out in cafe and share them in our CSA group, Do write back to us! 

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

Field Notes 
Sesame, Mustard and Tapioca

This week we did a beautiful intercropping with Sesame, mustard and tapioca. The mustard and sesame will take off with the last rains and then grow with the dew in the cold morning, that start towards the end of December. After sowing mustard and sesame we planted tapioca throughout the field. The mustard will come out first, followed by the sesame and the tapioca will grow through the hot summer months, when it will a challenge to get anything else established. We will harvest the tapioca in September and as well as offering it in the cafe and the basket service we will probably make flour from sun dried tapioca chips. The field is very beautiful, peppered with rosella, soursop trees and bordered with bananas, papaya and drumsticks it doesn’t get much more permaculture than that!

Recipe Of The Week

From the workshop Secrets Of Our Salad: An Introduction To Permaculture, after foraging local leaves, flowers and fruits Krishna demonstrate how to use the produce to make a raw mix salad and a chutney (dressing). 

Music from Solitude

Here’s our take on Bob Dylan's original, All Along the Watchtower.

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 
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

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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