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We are lucky with this newsletter as Janet Bedford has just returned` from 11 ½ months in India where she has been living for much of the time very near the actual CHATI land. She has brought back a map which shows the general area and our land holdings are also marked.

Whilst there she saw over two dozen coconut trees and a similar number of banana trees being planted around CHATI I LAM which will initially be used as shade trees for other crops.

Young trees need protecting from marauding deer.

The leaves from bananas are used as plates and can be composted afterwards. Banana trees will crop within one year. The main cropping stem dies and is cut down, but shoots spring up
from the base in the following year and they will then bear fruit. This process can continue for some years.

Our coconuts are special. They come from Xavier’s family area and, although they take longer to start cropping, when they do the coconuts are much bigger and the flesh is meatier. Both banana and coconut leaves can be used as thatch for shelters.

Teak trees, which grow well here as they don’t need as much water as other trees, have also been planted and will be used for timber as well as being a cash crop. Vegetables and shrubby herbs will be intercropped between the trees. They make good ground cover which prevents evaporation of moisture from the soil and also add to the humus content. Green vegetables and legumes are also being planted. Xavier is learning from early trials what does
and what does not work.

Around our land holdings, shallow channels take the seasonal run off from the rains. In the future we hope to be able to trap this water and seasonally rear fish.

In the last few months the tiled multi-purpose house has been almost completed. As it has a small kitchen and a toilet area, it will mean that visiting volunteers can stay there and have a more comfortable time. More tree planting and ploughing in of the green manures will also
be taking place. The current project is the construction of a building which will provide shelter for the vermi-compost production and for cows, chickens and other live stock.

Xavier’s previous experience with a few local farmers has taught us which variety of worms and which method of production bests suits our circumstances. The worms in their beds of cow manure will need protection from hot sun, heavy rain (and chickens and other interested parties!)

As far as relating all this work to the map is concerned:

AREA 26/4 will eventually be a ‘social forest’ which will be for general village use where workers will share the benefits. At the moment it is planted with ‘fox tail’ which is a type of millet and this will be ploughed in as green manure before it goes to seed.

AREA 27/3 is fallow.

AREA 132/7 is the ‘home base’ where our first tiny building is situated which is used for storage and occasionally for sleeping in. It is also the area where the new building which is almost complete is situated, near which the vermi-compost sheds will be built. The part which is out of the construction area is also planted with foxtail.

AREA 133/2a has been roughly ploughed to assist in uprooting old thorn trees which have the most vicious spines. The branches are being used for temporary fencing and firewood.

Nothing is wasted.

The medical clinics are continuing under the enthusiastic and loyal guardianship of Dr. Balasubramani. Kannan, one of the AILELC church workers, is translating into English the testimonials of several patients concerning their benefits from attending the clinics. Prakash is continuing with his studies.

At this point we would like to thank all the people who support us and our work. A particular ‘thank you’ must go to Godshill Organics, whose continual generosity is a source of great encouragement to us and also the Christian Community in Stroud who invited us up earlier this year to take our display and give a talk and where we are returning early in November when Graham Dixon and Zarah Hible have kindly offered to put on a concert of piano and vocal music, and we will be able to show a DVD and update the congregation on progress.

Another group of supporters have kindly enabled us to produce, on a ‘cost only’ basis, a CD of Christmas music which we will have available for sale soon. The price is extremely reasonable - £5.00 plus post and packing – a really nice little stocking filler or as gifts for friends.

Despite all the efforts we are making to increase our sources of funds, we still need all the help we can get. We are waiting for Xavier to send us his project proposals and costings for 2008 and, although we know we must not take on too many projects at once, it is vital that we maintain the progress and impetus with which we started two years ago.

The people of Cuddalore and Perambulur Districts are starting to feel some benefits from all our work and we can’t let them down now. So, once again, we are hoping that you will be able to send us a donation.

Thank you.

I WOULD LIKE TO ORDER.............COPIES OF THE CHATI CHRISTMAS CD @ £5.00 each
Plus 90p. Post and packing for one or two copies
Plus £1.85p. Post and packing for more than two copies.
I ENCLOSE A CHEQUE FOR....................................MADE OUT TO CHATI.
NAME......................................................................................
ADDRESS ........................................................................................................................................................
........................................................................................................................................................................
POSTCODE ........................................
TEL. NO. IN CASE OF QUERIES........................................
Please send your completed order form to:
Angie Bromfield,
21 St. John’s Road,
Newport,
Isle of Wight,
PO30 1LN.

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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 ...
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CHATI
7 Cliff End
Monks Lane
FRESHWATER
Isle of Wight
PO40 9XA
United Kingdom

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