If you knew there was a place on Earth that was solving humanity’s most pressing problems, would you fight to preserve it?
We urgently need to preserve strategically important land
Please join us by donating.
As few as 50 acres makes a huge difference. It is estimated that Auroville needs $3 million for this purpose. Every purchase helps and this campaign is a step in achieving greater goals.
Auroville’s Master Plan includes a surrounding greenbelt that is a critical for the overall functioning of the community and is a critical component for engaging regenerative design practice. The greenbelt is an eco-research laboratory supporting sustainable and integral development. Land use is designed to promote biodiversity enhancement, environmental management, land regeneration and water management with three main categories of uses, agriculture and farming, forest and land regeneration and recreation. Greenbelt process, methods, and know how are disseminated in technology transfer for wider application across India and the world.
Auro Orchard Farm
Auroville’s second biggest farm, 44 acres and oldest since 1969, Auro Orchard organically produces 6 t of fruits, 10 t of vegetables, in addition to 250,000 eggs per year. In 2015, Auro Orchard received the first PGS (Participatory Guarantee Systems), organic India certification for fruits and vegetables. It focuses on regenerative organic farming using the ‘thick mulch technique’ and develops 100 % organic feed for its chickens. It practices regenerative agro forestry, and is developing solar and wind power for sustainable energy use. Auro Orchard is the prime demonstration site for educational programs offered by the Center of Sustainable Agriculture (CESA), under Sustainable Livelihood Institute (SLI), reaching out to participants from Government, university students and farmers from Tamil Nadu and beyond.
Annapurna farm is the first certified organic dairy farm in South India and at 135 acres is Auroville’s largest farm. It’s mainly heavy black clay soil produces field crops, fruits and dairy products. The farm`s granary processes grains, grain seed from legumes, and oilseeds. Annapurna’s dairy, consisting of a crossbred of indigenous cows, serves as a demonstration site for Indian dairy farmers through the (full name please - SLI) program. Farmers are exposed to a structured dairy management system (breeding techniques, feeding methods, management practices), as well as to milk processing, and regularly hosts school children from across the region to expose them to organic food production.
Kamataru Wilderness Sanctuary
Kamataru Wilderness Sanctuary of Auroville is developing from present 12 acres, to 200 acres of wilderness sanctuary, non-irrigated seed orchard and arboretum with an abundance of fruit-bearing trees for fauna and natural vectors. The sanctuary is a safe refuge for (original fauna) wild animals such as the monitor lizard, the barking dear, jackals, snakes, rodents, birds of prey, the jungle cat, the pangolin and other animals. Kamataru is a step towards protecting northern greenbelt lands from illegal pebble mining that impacts vital water recharge areas.
Pebble Garden Seedsavers
Pebble Garden Seedsavers, with Bernard Leclerq and Deepika Kundaji, well known in India is a vibrant indigenous forest with returning wildlife, a productive bio-diverse garden and a fledgling fruit tree area regenerated from severely eroded, barren land in the west of Auroville. A garden area of a quarter acre is devoted to seed conservation created by an intensive process of soil building, using select pioneer species. Today the garden holds a plant collection of more than 100 endangered traditional vegetable varieties from all over India - root crops, herbs, perennial and wild food crops, medicinal plants and flowers. Pebble Garden also has a charcoal/wood vinegar production plant, and conducts research on in terra preta. A place of continuous learning, methods are shared with home gardeners and subsistence farmers throughout India, and with organic farmers’ collectives via organic fairs and seed melas.
Auroville’s Botanical Garden
Auroville’s Botanical Garden contains more 2400 plant species, over 300 tree and shrub species of TDEF planted in a 25-acre arboretum, 5,500 specimens planted in the 10-acre conservation forest, and a TDEF plant nursery capable of producing 50,000 seedlings per year to promote the re-introduction of the indigenous flora o and women groups and f the region. There are 9 themed gardens and an educational center that receives yearly more then 4500 visitors from schools, teachers, teacher trainings, and women’s groups, a garden shop and botanical consultancy service.
Pitchandikulam Forest is a 70-acre sanctuary dedicated to community and environmental initiatives. The forest is home to a rich and diverse forest ecosystem and a research and education center that cooperates with 27 village initiatives in the bioregion. Pitchandikulam takes a holistic approach to environmental conservation, with over 40 years of experience in landscape restoration and reforestation, environmental education, community development and eco- art work., and is a restoration site of the Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest, one of the rarest ecosystems in India.
Siddharta Farm is situated on traditional rice land close to Irumbai lake. The farm grows different varieties of rice, sugarcane and black gram in rotation with green gram, peanuts, sesame, millets and pulses, as well as dairy and poultry, a bakery and a small food-processing unit, using biogas. The water is sustainably used with a solar pump for irrigating cultivated areas and lake water for use in the paddy fields its 90% water directly from the lake. The farm is cooperating with Sli, which is in close proximity. The wetland in Irumbai are is one of the few highly fertile agricultural lands within Auroville masterplan area, and funds would enable to extent the farm by 15 acres, directly accessing the monsoon fed Irumbai lake for natural irrigation.
Solitude Farm is an abundant 5 acres of food crops, both wild and cultivated, fruit and forest community. The vision of the farm is to reconnect people with their food source akin to local farm to home and farm to restaurant movement. They conduct trainings and provide internships in permaculture and natural farming, and have been instrumental in setting up food gardens in Auroville and the local villages. Solitude also operates a café featuring only their farm produce, delivers farm baskets, and hosts workshops and music events bringing wider attention to farm production methods.