Annapurna: a 135 acre “Certified Organic” farm comprising 30 acres food crops – rice, millets, oilseeds, with the remainder in firewood crops, fodder and forest. The farm, which uses electric and diesel powered pumps, and has catchment ponds for irrigation, has a dairy herd of predominantly indigenous breeds and produces a variety of cheeses. Accommodation is available for volunteer workers.
Annapurna farm was purchased in the 1960's. It is located some 10 km. from the Auroville centre, near Vanur.
During the 70's the farm failed to break even and the land was largely abandoned for some years. It was used for experimental tree planting until the mid-eighties. Thomas (present steward) joined Annapurna in 1986, beginning with a small plot of land. Till 1994 he had the help of tree planter Bernard; Andre joined the farm in 1989 and Brooks in 1995. As of now they employ seventeen farm workers and about 25 casual labourers.
Annapurna is the largest Auroville farm, totalling 135 acres. The farm grows mostly dry land crops, such as rice, varagu, rosella, and barnyard millet (on approximately 35 - 40 acres). A total of 20-25 acres is under firewood crops and regeneration fodder. The soil type is mainly a heavy black cotton soil.
The farm has a combination of solar and diesel-powered pumps, for current and water. The stewards have created a series of water catchment ponds, from which they can irrigate more land without tapping into groundwater reserves. Annapurna is the only Auroville farm where field crops can be grown on a large scale. Besides growing food for Auroville, Annapurna is an active research centre for ecological farming, and maintains a collection of non-hybridized local seed stock. They keep eight cows, and a small poultry. At present, they can provide basic accommodation for three voluntary farm workers.
Contact Tomas, Ph.9489693801