Another Season, another Walk ;)

After the super heavy monsoon that took all of us by surprise this year, nature has shown its full splendour! Whilst we were preparing new raised beds behind the SAAIER building in December, we got busy organising planting days with the neighbouring communities.

In January, whilst Ricky was in Italy, we invited residents of Maison Des Jeunes, CItadines and Mitra to come together on a Sunday morning to spend some time in the vegetable garden, planting and creating new space for fruit trees, vegetables and new ornamental plants ( mainly hibiscuses).

Here is two videos of the event: 
The first was made by Serena Aurora, through images of day it helps to understand the nature of our work -->

The second was made by Fred Cebron, and it has interviews in English, Italian and French.
It gives a better feeling of the vibe present on the day. It can be seen on this link:

After this successful event, we kept on planting in the vegetable garden until the beginning of February. We now have more Banana's, Papaya's, Lemon's and two new Mango trees. We also added one Avocado tree close by the old one, hoping they would be of different sex and so make fruit one day. Vegetable wise we replanted Basella Spinach and Lady Fingers out of our own seeds from the last season. Moreover, if you come visit, you will see more pineapples, Tomatoes of different varieties, Brinjals (egg-plants), Sweetcorn, Lettuce and Rucola, different varieties of creeping beans alongside Garlic (experiment) and Calendula Flowers. We also planted Cosmos flowers to keep some pests away, and finally harvested the Tapioca we had planted in front of the bathroom of Maison Des Jeunes. 

In the meantime Ricky came back, and we got to organise this year's open day, organised just like last year by the Auroville Green Center.

The walk went very well, we had only around 20-25 people coming, mainly due to the marathon and other big events happening that Sunday morning. We met at 8.30 and gave them a quick tour of the city centre, to explain the context and the different “players” with whom we are working. Than we did a moment of warm-up/body movement, in order to get the body ready to do some work and also some little exercises to build a sense of group with the people. One example is the exercise where one closes his eyes, whilst another person guides them in the garden, in order to feel the place through other senses but sight…

Than we divided the group in 4 smaller groups, and whilst some were digging to plant Kumquats and Hibiscuses, others worked on a synergetic raised bed, guided by Mira who is a Synergetic horticulture passionate. Others were mulching and generally helping around the other groups. 

At 10 we had some refreshments, with tea & coffee, cookies and fruit from our garden. During this break we went into a spontaneous conversation about the role Auroville should have in inspiring an integrative approach to community life.

Finally Ricky took them on a tour of the forest, citadine roof-top and Mitra Youth Hostel, so the group saw our work in progress. To finish we had a powerpoint presentation in Citadine, with Luigi, Mira and Ricky explaining different areas of our “applied research” and discussing with the group ideas about how to create green and breathing cities.

Overall is was a success, pretty much everyone stayed with us until 12 and as a follow up a few of them offered their help.

We are also very happy to see improvements on our side regarding the organisation of the event, and having such an opportunity to have a critical eye on our performances allows us to grow as a team.

Our next move is to organise an exhibition on the "City Centre" and our work in the townhall, so if you are in Auroville come and check it out! It should go alive right after Auroville's birthday.

Finally, in case some of you do not know, we have opened a Facebook page called "Auroville Urban Farming", where we are uploading pictures weekly and we connect with other people in and out of Auroville! Check it out!

It seems to be all for today, remember to keep it green!

A big hug from Ricky, Mira, Luigi, Giacomo, Ion, Valentina and Ridvan :)

Growing together towards Abundance

Finally, after months of trials and experiments, here we are ready to announce our first participation into a Permaculture Design Course held in Auroville. Through the School of Permanent Culture, this 80 hours PDC course will be certified and recognized by Gaia Education!

Starts on Jan 27th and ends by Feb 8th.

Having both theoretical, didactical and practical aspects of holistic design, this course will allow the participants to experience different realities of Auroville and learn directly from the experts about how to work in harmony with Nature!

For a more detailed version of the program, fees and venues do not hesitate to email us at

See you soon Folks!
For the Team!

Summer, Rain and some fresh vibes!

Time has passed since our last entry, many things have changed, some have remained, and the sun keeps on shining :)

First we would like to thank Ing-Marie and the staff of Auroville Today for publishing a good article about our project, that you can find here. Also to Dhartisatra, who has translated it and published it on his website. Many people have come to us with new ideas and feedbacks, and we feel great being part of this immense project which is Auroville. Also we would like to invite you to give a fresh look at the blog, as some enhancements have been done here and there!

Now we would like to say goodbye to Roberto, who has finished his time in Auroville and will continue to travel throughout South'East Asia. We are very thankful to Roberto, and wish him all the best for his future! Also Kranti, who has been with us for a month and helped us to create a system of documentation, both by drawing on maps of our different zones and building and Excel template that
allows us to log every new element in the garden.

You can see this template and its contents at this link (once there, download it to see it properly). The aim of this tool is to enable a monitoring system that will tell us what needs replacement, what is lacking and where we are not using space efficiently. Moreover the Template can be expanded to include a census of every kind of vegetation present in the city centre, namely fruit,vegetables, TDEF species and flowers.

Davide, Nicola and Syam

Balancing this departure we are happy to welcome Davide, who has come from Italy to spend some 3 months with us.

Beside Davide, Nicola and Syam have joined us!
Nicola and Syam, who will also stay some 3 months, are now taking charge of the works on the ground, especially the maintenance of the experimental zone and the green corridor, due to their past experience in agriculture and garden design.

With this great fresh energy we are planning to organise each zone, in these hot months of summer, so that it is ready to host well-functioning models of community gardens by the times of the rains.
This means we have a lot of work to do, and we need some more arms to do it!

Invitation at Mitra Youth Hostel

Indian Beans ready to climb Mitra wall
We have gone again into the garden in Mitra, were we found as a nice surprise some new chilli plants within the herb spiral, put there by the cooking team. We have added a Basil plant, an Aloe Vera and a Lady Finger within the spiral, and some beans on a plastic net that was added to cover the back wall. Finally a watermelon and a pumpkin were planted along the back of the garden (see pictures in album). It was a good day filled with smiles and jokes, and some 5 people from Mitra joined for the work.

We have started to work in front of Townhall,  if you are in Auroville you may have seen a few bananas and other fruit trees (lemons, custard apples, bananas), at the entrance of Townhall area and around the water treatment (fito-depuration) site.
Maison Des Jeunes Kitchen Garden 

Simultaneously we have started working on the kitchen garden of "La Maison Des Jeunes", which will contain a combination of vegetables, fruits, spices and medicinal plants. In MDJ, we are quickly approaching the time of planting, where the people living in that community will be invited to participate and choose what they want to self-produce. We have already planted some passion fruits to go over the kitchen roof!

Passion Fruit

Finally big up to these recent rains were truly a blessing, they gave a boost of life to all the living community around us, making our job easier and less demanding.

Speaking of boost of life.. we have a fundraising page up!
Planting Passion Fruits

Yes we are in great need of some financial donations, so if you feel you can spare a tenner or want to  give a "long-distance" contribution, check out our page on the blog and on the Auronews website (Following the "donate" button).

Thank you all for keeping an eye on us,
may the force be with you!!

for the AV Urban Farming (city centre) Team.

Summer is coming!

April 13th 2015

Its getting hot!!

As Auroville is turning hot with the advent of summer, more energies are now going into fundraising efforts and into organising our activities for the monsoon and post-monsoon seasons. When some of the above will be ready we will publish them here!

Recently we have been working with different people and groups, to help to organise a wider movement of Urban Farming in Auroville.  So as we concentrate on the city centre, some other friends are gathering energies to promote this sort of approach to other settlements within the Auroville Area. 

Meanwhile we have kept planting fruit trees, adding drip-irrigation lines to nurture these new trees. Also we received some Corn plants (6 plants), from a Mexican friend volunteering in Pebble Garden; We will make sure they grow well and save their seeds, hoping this variety proves to be able to adapt well and perhaps enhance the nutritional biodiversity of the place.

Also our experimentation with medicinal plants has grown a bit, as our friend Kayananda has planted some Brahmi (bacopa monnieri). We are now looking for somebody interested in taking on the medicinal aspect of the project, nurturing, documenting and establishing collaborations.

We would like to thank all the people who have helped us in the last weeks, to name some of them Alain, Tomoko, Andrew who helped us to plant fruit trees and Arjan who provided us with a lot of interesting material to share. A particular thank to Nurlan, who showed a very strong interest in the project and offered his precious support!

Here are some pictures from our last days, just a taste of our daily life.

Also, at the bottom, our map that describes the different zones of work in the city centre according to Permaculture zone analysis. The lower the number the higher the frequency of visit/use, and vice-versa.

Finally here below is Luigi presenting seedlings of “Progress” (Catharanthus). 
Mother’s comment: "The reason why we are on Earth". 
These will be added to the landscape of Citadines as they are researching on the connection of Mother with flowers. "Progress" should help us to lay the foundation for the future of the city centre!

One Love, 
Ricky, for the Urban Farming city centre team!

We are official!

March 10th - 2015
Hello everyone!

Long time since our last post, we are starting to realize that it will be difficult to update this blog on a regular basis for as long as we don't have a dedicated person, and times be so busy.

Anyhow we have big news!

We have gone to different working groups in Auroville, the farm and forest groups, and they showed appreciation to the project and offered their support. This means we have the green-go to slowly approach our various partners, along the suggestions we received to initiate collaborations with both farmers and foresters to being their energy into the city center. 

We have almost completed all the formalities to be able to host volunteers, so there is a new page in the blog about how to volunteer with us. Check it out!

Last Sunday we also hosted a tour of the project, where some 35 people came to see what we have done so far, the vision, the scope and the future action plan. We received many positive comments and suggestions, along a few offers of help.

Four people came the day after to plant some fruit trees, and thanks to them we have 1 lemon, 3 Chikkus (sapodilla) and 1 guava, 1 super tasty mango 'Bagan Pali' in the area between 'La Maison des Jeunes' and the main SAIIER building.

Very Important announcement!
Our dear friend Gino is back, and he's joining the project with a great spirit!
With his experience he will probably take on the more educational side of the project, leading tours, classes and explaining to our volunteers, guests and residents the reasons behind we chose to work in these ways.

So as you all can see its been busy, hectic and challenging, but the joy that we are experiencing along the appreciation of the local residents shows us that we are indeed on the right track.

One Love

for the Urban Farming team!

Our first mission: Surrender!!

Feb 8 2015
Today was the first time that our newly formed group went to a community who wanted to start a kitchen garden. This community, Surrender, has some amazing gardens, but one of the youngest buildings had yet to start one. Following the steps of other people before us, like Krishna and the Localicious team and incredible edible, we dug a trench around a rectangle in the garden, which we turned into a kitchen garden.
We filled the trench with organic matter, starting with the thickest logs at the bottom to attract the worms in the area. Then we filled those spaces between the logs with green manure, full of nitrogens and other nutrients, and finally added palm leaves and other dry leaves, making sure that some space was left throughout to allow oxygen to play its part in the biodegrading process.
The island surrounded by the trench was the intended space for the allotment so, after aerating the soil [without tilling or revolting], we covered it with soil mixed with compost, dry mulch and charcoal. Finally a big layer of mulch was added on top, in order to allow the Surrender people to start their own small nursery and plant the seedlings that they will prepare, after we show them this new method of preparing the nursery that we learned from our dearest consultant Mimmo.
It was very interesting to work following Mimmo’s instructions, as for us he’s a walking encyclopaedia and he loves to share his knowledge with us. We are growing and improving everyday just by listening to him and observing his approach to nature.
Practically speaking, today we were a team of eight, comprised of Robi, Ricky, Mimmo, our friend Piero and four members of Surrender. It was great to see them fully engaged and participating in the process while having loads of fun together.
It is really not Permaculture without having fun!

Wednesday we will go back there to bring them some seeds, such as chilly, lettuce, beans, spinach tomato etc.. and show them Mimmo’s easy technique to start a small-scale nursery, along ways to dry and save their own production of seeds for the future.
It was a great day today, our hands are falling apart but the sensation of working together, doing something useful and fun on this Sunday morning is a great motivator for us to continue.
Community building can really happen around self-production and local food, but we see everyday that the loving, relationship-building element gains the outmost importance, if we desire people to choose this lifestyle.

A new beginning!

Feb 9 2015

First entry into our online Diary!

Today we practically finished our first fundraising brochure. We will use it to kick-start our project, so that the monetary aspect will not be felt as a burden at this phase, where many other thing are keeping us busy. This small publication contains an adapted copy of our project proposal to Auroville, some background about Urban Farming in other realities across the globe, along pictures of our progresses so far.

Tomorrow we will present the project to the Farm Group, the collective of farmers of Auroville, seeking feedback and their support. We hope that the collaboration will start along all people who have the will and the resources to help empowering Aurovilians through self-production.

We are a bit nervous about entering the political realm of the community, but so far many of those who will sit at the meeting showed interest in the project, and some came to see the vegetable garden giving precious advices to improve our work.

Anyway, we will have the chance to pick up a basket of 40 lettuce seedlings to plant on the first floor of the Citadine building. Loving these exchanges!

We really hope to manage to continue to update this page!