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 :)


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