Discipline Farm


Revisiting "Discipline Farm", an Auroville agricultural enterprise that taps into natural resources and vernacular practices to create a sustainable use of land, and provide organic fresh produce. Discipline Farm consists of a small dairy farm; seasonal vegetables (sowing/harvesting twice a year); fruit orchards and now expanding by clearing adjacent lots, and preparing automated irrigation systems and generally upgrading its technologies. All compost and "pesticides" are natural, most of them tapping into locally available resources, such as plants that are known to balance certain pests, and other no-impact vernacular and traditional methods of agriculture. Compost is made on the farm using coal and cow's manure some of which is now processed by worms (known as vermicompost). The produce is distributed and sold by Auroville's central FoodLink unit, which keeps track on the actual financial balance of each farm. Discipline demonstrated successful sustainability. The work on the farm is performed by volunteers and hired local hands.

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Revisiting Discipline Farm

At the end of a semi wildforrest dirt road, at the far end of Auroville, past the cries of the peacocks, lies hidden - Discipline Community, and in it what every one calls "Jeff's Farm". Coming into the main yard, I am greeted by some volunteers who are already at the peak of their workday, some tending to the cows others working at the "compost mill", preparing the cow's manure for the fields. I am learning that Discipline is indeed a place of work, and everyone is telling me Jeff - the founder, manager and the admired expert, is always busy and so I am advised to use my allotted half hour judiciously.

Waiting for Jeff I roam around and see the first of two huge and magnificient wells of water, which I later learn are quite unique, as they pump from the first (upper) aquafer, and provide fresh and fairly clean and generous source of water for the farm. Looking at those wells, and the farm at large, invokes biblical imagery. 




Jeff arrives and immediately we venture on a tour of the farm, where Jeff knows each plant and corner, and every worker , all of whom approach to get his advice and instructions. I am learning that this is a small farm, which strives to model a sustainable enterprise, not only in terms of environmental impact but more so, ecomonically, and so far with success. The farm has a small dairy section and a large variety of trees (fruits), and vegetables, all of them grown and treated strictly organic, using natural compost produced on the farm, (mostly from cow's manure and home made coal), and natural "pestidices" (various plants that drive away the pests, and other indigenous methods). 

Coal made for compost


The prime vermiculture compost room, this is where cow's manure is processed by little industrious earthworms into neat dry finely ground compost, ready for use.


Other compost, made of cow's manure and hay, is stacked away in "tents" to be kept fresh and dry, marked with tags and ready for use.


After learning all I needed to know about organic composts, I am ready to see the plants, orchards and fields.



Recently Discipline borrowed a small tractor, from a neighboring farm, which is now being used and tried to plow the small plot of vegetables. The farm is now expanding and employing technology to replace some of the working hands. The new orchard will have an= semi-automated irrigation system which is already installed.



GreenAcres campaign

Fundraising for expanding the Auroville Greenbelt.

Our eco-zone is under threat of rapid urbanization, this is an urgent move to reverse the trend and extend activities.

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