The initial aim was relatively simple - build a vegetable garden. In the first phase, using greywater, and taking advantage of a broken underground pipe, we managed to achieve an abundant yield within a short period of time. To contextualise this, Mysore, like much of India, has been heavily deforested and the soil heavily eroded. We built a banana circle, but the bananas, no matter what we tried, died. We also planted a lot of trees, and as managers of the project, learned a lot through observation (and how to manage a large number of excited kids planting dozens of trees!).
In the second phase, which started around December 2013, things were a little more organised. We started thinking more about forest succession and support species, cover crop, dynamic accumulators, mandala patterns, swales, water harvesting (the broken pipe had been fixed) and alternative energy. As well as this, we ran a PDC in February, 2014 in which international yoga students and a handful of teenagers from the centre took part. We also partnered with a local organic farm to get some strong banana suckers to rework the banana circle. As a result of the PDC we gained some superb design solutions from the students to implement in the future.
If you would like to volunteer at Odanadi, check out their facebook page.