Tiruvannamalai is the most economically backward district in Tamilnadu, The communities in this district however are largely a happy and willing set of people despite the high amount of debts, increasing addiction to alcohol and lack of employment opportunity. The summers are extremely hot and the region gets very little rainfall. The land is dry and interspersed with big and small boulders.
This center was set up in June 2018 on an 80 acres of dry uncultivated land predominantly covered with stones and boulders in Thiruvanamalai District, Tamil Nadu, with the aim to form a community of individuals who want to spread the work about sustainable natural farming.
The challenge that the trust has taken up, is to show that through natural farming and following principles of agro-ecology, it is possible to revive dry, barren land and soil. This is what has happened over the last year and a half.
- Over 1000 tree saplings of at least 100 different native species of trees have been planted in the last year. Some have grown up to 5 feet tall within a year!
- Soil fertility has been revived in over 30 acres by replenishing with natural manure and growing appropriate crops.
- Several ponds have been created to store rain water
- Employment opportunity has been provided to more than 20 women in traditional method of farming, harvesting and processing of millets and pulses.
- Workshops on health, natural medicines and food have been held for the women working on the farm by Bhoomi Network Senior fellows and friends of Bhoomi, like Kumar Anna from Vanagam, Karur and Parvathi from Pondicherry.
- The women working on the farm have also visited DDS, Zaheerabad and a SHG in Pondicherry to learn more about millets, processing and producing marketable goods out of what is commonly grown on the farm.
- The women have formed a Self Help Group and are now making products out of the material available on the farm.
- Two day programs on Organic farming have been held for children studying in Marutham Farm School, Tiruvannamalai. The atmosphere in the farm lightened up when tiny feet set foot upon the rough soil. The children even compiled a book on the birds they spotted on the farm. Read it here.
- 4 day long village immersion volunteer program was conducted, wherein the volunteers stayed at a villagers house and partook in all activities. One of them even took goats grazing in the forest.
- What’s in the pipe line: Weekly organic farming program for the students at the Kurumapatti Govt. School.