Welcome to our newsletter section.   We use RSS to "push" information out to other websites.  It means our supporters can see new information as soon as it's published, without even visiting our site.  They can even put us on their Interactive Google page!!


Again we have exciting developments to report, both from the U.K. and India.

Here we are absolutely delighted that Bob Flowderdew has consented to become a patron. His belief in organic methods of gardening and agriculture is widely known and we feel that his support for us will be of much help in our future requests for funding from grant giving organisations. He has also offered to give us advice if he is able regarding problems Xavier might encounter in future.

In India the ‘new’ charity has now been registered and we know all the various regulations which control SHATI’s tax-exempt status so matters should be more straightforward from now on.

The first harvests have been gathered – tomatoes, cucumbers and ocra (ladies’ fingers) which were given out as samples especially to people Xavier wants to convince of the benefits of organic growing. Also onions which are rose coloured and very strong tasting. They made the cook weep! But the workers for whom he cooked them approved of the taste.

The animal and vermi shelter is now completed and the first batch of worms are doing well and have already produced over 200kilos of compost. Xavier will not get any animals until we have a live-in worker to look after them. However the tiled house now has a bathroom installed with a western type and an Indian style toilet, both plumbed into the cess pit behind the building. There is also a wash basin. At the other end of the building, the kitchen now has shelves.

The land to the east of the home site has been planted with its first crops using traditional seeds of cotton and rice procured from local farmers. Apparently these varieties do not need irrigation. The rice is already showing good dark green growth. Ragi (a type of millet) is to be sown on part of the land lying to the west of the well as this appears to be more fertile and the other portion used for tree planting as last year it proved extremely difficult to plough and yield its green manure crop. The 150 trees which have already been planted are growing well and are already over 5’ high. Vegetables are being intercropped between them. 1,100 feet of irrigation piping has been laid with 9 outlet branches which will be used when needed. Land levelling and contour bunding with a JCB has been completed on 3 acres and the bunding round the rice area has been planted with black and red gram (lentils) from a traditional source and the Government will buy some of the crop after harvest at a reasonable rate. The bunding will help direct the rains to the crops instead of just running to waste.
On the wider agricultural scene, apparently the government is subsidising the growing of a plant called Jatropha for bio-diesel which seems to be a project being promoted in many other countries. This, plus an increasing realisation of the importance of food security as well as inflation, has led to an increase in the price of farm land. So far we have paid on average £140 per acre for our purchases but the latest value is apparently an amazing £875 and this obviously has huge implications for our fundraising here in the UK. We have discussed the bio-diesel matter with Xavier who agrees that food security is our first aim but jatropha might be considered as an income crop at a later date.

Our bank manager, who has ten acres of waste farm-land in his native area, has held a function to launch his own organic enterprise. Xavier was a guest speaker as was a professor from an agricultural college who expressed great interest in our work. One of our objectives has always been to use our agricultural project as a farmers’ resource centre so the invitation to Xavier is another step on the way. This is already being put into action in a small way as quite a few of the local farmers are already paying visits to watch our progress and talk to Xavier about his methods. As you can see from the photo below, even when Janet Bedford was there in 2007 some of them were already interested in what we are doing.

Christmas catalogues are already starting to make an appearance so it seems a good time to remind you that we still have copies of our Christmas CD left at £5.00 each plus post and packing – a good ‘stocking filler’. And hopefully some of you might like to buy an ‘alternative’ Christmas present for a relative or friend - a SHATI tree for £10.00. Order forms for both these are enclosed with this newsletter. We are raising more funds by holding ‘bring and buy’ sales every Friday (unless it’s a howling gale!) outside Godshill Organics who, once again are being absolutely brilliant in the support they give us. We’d love to see some of you there - a good selection of books is one of the main features at the moment. We are hoping that the annual Pumpkin Competition will be held again this year as that also raised both money and awareness for CHATI but at the moment this is uncertain. If it does go ahead we’re sure you’ll read about it in the County Press.

From the trustees in the UK and India and the villagers who are benefiting from our work, thank you for your support and our best wishes for the coming season.

Justin's Blog

Whilst at CHATI, I tasted ...
Janet has been busy with ...

Janet's Blog

   For CHATI`s ...
Xavier saw advertised a C ...
Xavier and Justin have go ...
Our Newsletters
NEWSLETTER 11 September 2012                    ...
Dear Supporter, With your help the seasonal rhythms on the farm near Vadagarampoondi have proceeded satisfactorily if not al ...
Since our last newsletter of November 2009 there have been more encouraging developments at the CHATI farm in Tamil Nadu, In ...
Contact Info
an image
7 Cliff End
Monks Lane
Isle of Wight
PO40 9XA
United Kingdom

Email: Please use this contact form