Anshul has a background in soil science, Permaculture design and education. An engineer in Mechatronics, he worked with pedagogy and design before turning to Nature as the most meaningful and urgently needed source of learning. He has been farming since 2015 in different geographical and social contexts learning from indegenous communities and pioneering scientists about the relationships between ecological, social and human health. At his farm in Himachal Pradesh he conducted regular courses on soil health and systems thinking. He joined AuroOrchard in 2019 with the wish to develop an integral farm and serve AuroOrchard’s purpose of growing food for Auroville.
Farming, Food processing, Waste
Aurovenkateshan has a background in academic studies in biochemistry and management, has been in the health care management with over 12 years of experience in Aravind Eye Hospital, near Pondicherry, especially the environmental sustainablity management of a big hospital. He worked in public health in Nigeria. He is involved in research and publications with special interest in environmental sustainability and in assessment of food systems. His family background is traditional South Indian organic farming Focus is projects in sustainability, farming, food processing, waste recycling.
Soil expert, traditional grains
Bernard came to live in Auroville in 1975., and stated dryland and wetland farming in 78, specializing in indigenous rice cultivation. Bernard collected 78 endangered indigenous rice varieties and maintained seed stock for 14 years. Since 1994 he is working on the reclamation of highly eroded soils for forestry and agriculture. Bernard and his wife Deepika Kundaji regenerated 8 acres of pebbly eroded laterite land without any external input (compost, labour, water), by working hands on and in sync with nature. Bernard specific interests and research are Terra Preta, the role of termites in soil regeneration, the impact of birds in seed dissemination and ecosystem regeneration., traditional grains in India., and many more. Bernard Leclerq has been closely associated with Nammalwar, the godfather of organic farming in South India.
Bernard shares his experience and knowledge actively through talks at farmers educative events, seed saving markets and in Pebblegarden Forest, the regenerated 8 acres.
Erik Jan Segers
Agronomist Tropical Agriculture
Erik was born and raised in the Democratic Republic of Congo before moving to Belgium. Qualified as a tropical agronomist, he worked for seven years with ‘Terre & Humanisme’ in France (international agroecology organisation, created by Pierre Rabhi). Erik also brings his experiences as a project manager in African and Asian settings, and as an environmental activist, beekeeper and writer. He has been a valuable member of the Auro-Orchard Farm since 2015, supporting the ongoing develepment of organic farming practices with his considerable academic, professional and hands-on knowledge and expertise.
Island has lived in France, UK, and the Pacific after his youth in Auroville, and returned living here in 2017.He qualified as a Professional Tree Inspector, Level 4 Diploma in Arboriculture in the UK. He offers planning and consultancy in the context of land regeneration, urban tree planting, afforestation with his expertise tropical trees. He works with Carbon offset calculation and GIS planning tools.He founded and leads Treescapes India since 2017
He is a faculty and tutor with the Auroville Botanical Gardens annual 4 months Horticulture training course since 2020.
Island is a steward for Auroville`s forest since 2017. He is further developing natural succession of indigenous tree species for eco- systems regeneration.
Organic farmer, trainer, musician
Krishna joined Auroville at 18years, after growing up in the UK. Since 1996 is heading Solitude Farm in Auroville.
He has developed Natural Farming and Permaculture approaches here, and offers various experiential trainings. The farm has added a “Farm – to Plate” Cafe , operates different Farm Distribution Schemes, offers trainings in Soap making and various farming related activies. Its a place for celebration and music, as Krishna is a band leader and guitarist for his Indo- fusion style band “emergence”.
Regenerative approach in farming and human waste
lived in Auroville from 1975 onwards, qualified as medical doctor (MD) from Germany.
1988-1998 clinical practice at Auroville Health Centre;
1990 onwards involved in programs of solid waste management and of composting of biowaste; initiated and involved in construction of toilets, as well as decentralised sewage treatment plants
EcoPro is an Auroville unit founded by Lucas, executive since 2007, He is engaging since in programs in ecological sanitation in villages and municipalities, teaching environmental management and agriculture at a school in Chennai, as well as in colleges, national and international conferences and workshops
Active in training in Organic farming
1997 Trained in Bio-Dynamic agriculture in Tamil Nadu;
2000 til today Bio-Dynamic Association of India (BDAI) as teacher in BD farming from ; 2011- 2016 Secretary to BDAI from 2011 till 2016; Til today involved in Demeter certification under BDAI;
1999 – 2006 Co-manager of an Auroville organic farm;
2015- 2021 coordinated organic farming field research.
Til today involved and coordinating farmers training programs in Auroville and several districts of Tamil Nadu,
Faculty in the annual four months Horticulture Training Course at Auroville Botanical Garden since 2020.
“In my studies and in my teaching, have worked mainly on the meeting points of human health (individual and public) & medical care and of environmental health.
As teacher in the farming context, I focus on the concept of One Health, which stresses the interdependence of individual human health and health of the ecosystem (bio-diversity and resilience).
Main topics: cycle of nutrients; microbiomes of soils and food and human body; value of biowaste as fertilizer.”
Research interests : Biodiversity Conservation/Restoration, integrating conservation with development and Climate change adaptation, Edible wild greens
PhD – Wildlife Science/Conservation Biology, Virginia Tech, USA after studies in India; (Masters – Ecology w/ focus on Behavioral Ecology, Pondicherry Central University, Undergraduate – Economics, Geography, Political Science, Calcutta University.)
Selected scholarships with UNDP, Worldbank and others ((Selected scholarship/Grant/Award recipient: World Bank-Joint Japan Scholarship, American Association of University Women, UNDP-New York, UNDP-India, UNDP-East-Africa, METLA -Finland, Conservation Innovation Grant, USA etc.))
Have Working and collaboration experience with several international NGOs, corporates, and research and development institutions and corporate houses, these include: grassroots level planning, project/program evaluation, siting or mitigation/course correction for large scale projects, carbon sequestration through restoration, setting protocols for natural habitat assessments, EIA w/ biodiversity focus, and spatial research/planning involving tropical forests using remote sensing analysis.
Faculty at the annual 4 months Horticulture Training Course at Auroville`s Botanical Garden
Future Research focus : Biodiversity Conservation/Restoration, integrating conservation with development and Climate change adaptation, Edible wild greens
Farmer, research & capacity building in organic farming
PhD in Sociology, University of Surrey,
Worked as nurse, radiographer and teacher, market research manager
Authored several books on organic farming,
Founder and manager of Buddha Garden Community Farm which focuses on growing organic vegetables and fruit for the community. In addition the farm carries out academic research in smart irrigation (in collaboration with Heriot Watt University in Scotland) as well as teaching organic farming to a wide range of students.
Priya continues to write books and manuals as well as holding a website and youtube channel. Her aim is to further develop the educational focus in Buddha Garden both on the farm and virtual platforms.
Farmer, trainer and consultant organic farming
Ramanan, a young Aurovilian with solid roots in the local culture, graduated in business and subsequently chose to follow his passion for and natural affinity with farming and animals. He uses his skills and capacity in many aspects of the farm, notably looking after the large poultry, and in planning and coordinating vegetable cultivation. He has attended a ‘train the trainers’ formation in organic farming in Thailand, and is keenly engaged in promoting sustainable practices through farm tours, educational visits, workshops and active networking, inspiring especially young people and burgeoning organic farmers with his enthusiasm.
Rishi is born and grew up in Auroville, he holds a master degree in Geography, University Aix-Marseille. His expertise is in watershed mapping and regenerative approaches in ecosystem regeneration. He grows a Sanctuary forest as gene-pool for South India
Forest steward in Auroville since 2009