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Message from Krishna

Dear Friends,

In Ayurveda there are so many parts of different plants that are used in medicinal preparation; leaves, seeds, roots, flowers, stems etc. If you are local farmer you grow brinjals and maybe peanuts, your income is limited to a few crops but with the right support and communication local farmers could easily dry neem leaves and neem flowers, tamarind leaves, papaya leaves, papaya seeds, gauva leaves, mango leaves, soursop leaves, moringa leaves, ivy gourd leaves, pipa longum pods and leaves, Keeranelli leaves, turkey berry leaves, giloy leaves and stems, nagamotta roots, hibiscus and butter fly pea flowers, black velvet bean powder, amla fruit power etc etc. 
There is such a wealth of plants that are part of a local farmer's cultural experience, many of these plants grow wild the farmer simply has to honour his own cultural heritage to create a secondary income. We now have a de-hydrator with which we are also drying fruits like banana and chickoo. There is a lot of interest in these powders, of course this is a secondary income for the farm but most importantly it shows how local farmers can branch out, conserve their cultural heritage and create a decent livelihood for themselves. 



“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

Pondy Baskets this week, Green and ripe papaya, guava, chickoo, red and white radish, cucumbers, capsicum, wing beans, ladies fingers, lemons, arugula, chicken spinach, juice kit. 
Every week there are now between 14-20 different items in the basket. What more can you ask for? 

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. 

Field Notes

This is one of the back fields at Solitude. It doesn't get much attention because it's difficult to irrigate. It has a bunch of fruit trees and some drumstick spinach and this year we manage to sow it with Sesame. The sesame was sown at the end of of the monsoon so it germinated with some good moisture and then there were few irregular rains after that which along with the morning dew, that the sesame loves we again have some beautiful field crops that are relevant to this season.  

The Sesame has a beautiful bell shaped flowers and pods in which the sesame is stacked and packed in the most tidy and efficient manner! Only Mother nature could do this! 

We harvest ladies fingers three times a week, now along with the harvest comes seeds from the variety called 'Burmese Giant Okra'. There are a crazy amount of seeds, already last season we had at least 4 kilos of these seeds. The abundance of seeds only goes to show the viability and value of this plant! 
As with the rosella, that is from the same family as the okra - Malvaceae, which we just broadcast over the fields and they germinate with the summer rains, this summer we are planning to make seed balls with the Burmese Giant seeds and we have a strong vision of them germinating on the farm and creating even more abundance. 

Last week we shared with you how we wanted to use all the trenches in between the vegetable beds to grow green gram, cow pea and ragi. These photos are a close up of one of the trenches in between tapioca with cow pea happily germinating! We also have fields with green gram germinating, but ragi will need a little more time. 

Solitude Farm Cafe

Turmeric Harvest 

Wow Wow Wow 

Finally we have turmeric harvest that we can talk about, it's been couple of years since we been trying to establish turmeric on the farm. There are so many spaces with too much shade in which only turmeric will grow. We been using the fresh turmeric in juices and salads and now we are planning to make our own turmeric powder. 
It's such a beautiful plant with an extraordinary flower and leaves are traditionally used to stem certain dishes, the water in which the turmeric leaves are boiled can be used for cooking and the leaves can also be used for a steam inhalation.  
We are hoping this turmeric will grow again on it's own and to deepen our relationship and understanding on this dear plant. 

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

Music from Solitude

Fly To Me - EMERGENCE | Chosen By God
This is a beautiful track that I wrote in Auroville with Matt Littlewood featured on sax. 

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 7th to 9th 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, 27th to 29th March 2020, 10th to 12 April 2020

Please email us at to sign up

Update on Mid-Day Meal Scheme
We are looking for an enthusiastic, pro-active individual who is willing to intern for three months to help facilitate preliminary mapping and analysis. This internship would provide the opportunity to experience starting with the ground work to run the pilot project. 
1. Fluency in English and Tamil
2. Advanced computer skills, data compilation and analysis and creating presentations
3. Grant writing and project report writing. Any experience in facilitating a project, background in social work, development studies will be added advantage. This position is open for candidates in and around Pondicherry.
Interested candidates who meet this criteria can email their CV to

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Krishna McKenzie · Solitude Farm · Auroville 605101 · India

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