One of my goals for the last week of my trip was to visit the garden/farm south of the ashram as well as the one across the bridge near Amma’s Amrita School of Ayurveda. The land in both places is very dry, and water is scarce, so developing the gardens has been a process of trial and error over many years. This year the change was mind-boggling. In both places, I felt like I was walking into paradise. This post will be dedicated to the garden south of the ashram which is now called Kuzhitura Farm.
When I visited this farm last year, I had learned that they were focusing on using permaculture techniques. One of those techniques was the banana circle. I still remember how shocked I was when I researched bananas and banana circles later and learned that banana palms are not trees, they are actually considered a grass! (Banana Circles in Amritapuri).
When Premarupa and I arrived at the farm this year, I was struck by how different it looked. It is amazing how fast trees and plants grow in the tropics. While there are vegetables growing throughout the area, the big vegetable garden I remembered from the previous year wasn’t even in the same place. My guess is the trees and banana palms had grown so big that there was no longer enough sunlight in the original area. There is now a garden that is about triple the size of the previous one a distance away.
Here are pictures of the farm this year.
(Click to enlarge pictures)
This property is also now home to Amritapuri’s food composting and vermi-composting (worm composting) centers. I will share more about those projects in the next post.