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2019

April 2010-November 2019

harvest

Major activity to clear the piece of land devastated by the fire, rescue the trees which can be rescued. We procure trees, shrubs and plants from a Ayurveda-Hospital-Nursery in Kerala which sources key medicinal plants from the forests. We create a medical garden over a patch of about one acre and plant out about 4000 trees on the rest of the land which was affected by the fire, making sure to source indigenous varieties which are out of vogue and which belong to the region.

Harvested fruits and vegetables – avocado, pumpkins, bananas, radish, carrots, greens, etc as well as coffee and pepper.

April 2010-November 2019

March 2019

Avocado

Our immediate neighbour denudes his entire property of all its trees to start an “avocado-farm”, as he says. The fire set to the heaps creates a  a major fire-damage which destroys the bushes in one-third of Base, scares us all terribly and gets averted providentially by turning winds.

We build a tank to store water out of one of the holes dug out for the construction of the first cottage.

March 2019

March 2019

Advent of two puppies and construction of a kennel.

kennel

March 2019

January 2019

camp

Thanks to the ayurvedic pharmacy we have and the advice of our doctor in Chennai, Dorothea, a young visitor from Germany gets cured of a acute attack of dengue fever.

January 2019

2018

May 2018

fires

Major fires in South India with many lives lost, include a group of young hikers from Chennai. In our vicinity too fires more than in the previous years, caused, of course, intentionally by men who believe it will replenish the soil and they can control it.

May 2018

April 2018

Creating nurseries and preparing for a major tree-plantation and beginning to harvest coffee and pepper which grow naturally in the land.

Harvest tee and pepper

April 2018

March 2018

Medical garden

Removing lantana over an area of 2 acres around the axed tree and planting it out with a variety of trees as a start to make a medical garden

March 2018

March 2018

Our partners Susanne Granzer and Arno Boehler part ways from Base

March 2018

February 2018

Intrusion by neighbours who cut away a big tree

February 2018

2017

September – December 2017

The ayurvedic medical cum dental camp conducted by Padmini and Ralph earns us the welfare of neighbours we didn’t know as yet. A neighbour who had constantly been fighting with us over the rights to the water from the spring becomes a friend.

September – December 2017

May – August 2017

Trenches

More trenches are dug out, a big well is dug out for storing water to feed the saplings we are planting out. The summers get very dry, there is a major water shortage everywhere. Thanks to the water resources we have, the people on the property and the plants survive fairly well.

May – August 2017

April 2017

Creating a drip-irrigation system to nourish the first major plantation of forest trees and a fruit orchard across 1 acre of land

pond

Preparations made to make a big pond out of one of the holes out of which mud was dug out for the constructions.

aryuvedic medicines

Installation of cupboard with a big stock of ayurvedic medicines as a health-support for people visiting Base, the workers and the neighbours.

April 2017

March 2017

inauguration

The construction of a larger watchman house at the entrance, the toilets for the workers and the hall are finished, and all the building materials and rubble left over are cleared from the place and we are relieved to end the construction phase, so that we can launch the inauguration.

March 2017

2013 – 2016

March – December 2016

construction work

Parallel to the constructions, paths are made, further trenches are dug out, more lantana patches are removed and fresh trees are planted.

A traditional mud-hut is built for a watchman family.

Biju from Madurai is appointed as a coordinator and overseer of the construction. He takes charge of handling the workers, the material and the finances and coordinates with us.

Friend and well-wisher of Base, Varun Aiyer visits the space and helps with finishing the construction, giving finishing touches and dealing with the workers

March – December 2016

December 2015 to February 2016

construction work

We design and begin the construction of 3 more cottages and a hall along with our partners Arno and Susanne, who would be doing their “Art-based-philosophy Residency Programme” beginning 2017.

construction work

December 2015 to February 2016

November 2015

Raja

We send Raja, the mason to learn mud construction from a team of organic builders in Bangalore

November 2015

March - October 2015

tank

With the help of the local villagers we find a beautiful spring uphill. We build a huge ferro-cement tank of 100,00 litres capacity to store the spring water.

cottage

We scout for a team and find Raja, a mason from a nearby town. He builds a cottage, a pilot project. CCD, a major NGO operating out of Madurai helps us by providing their jeep for the workers and for our own use.

shrine

We discover a quaint, old tree-shrine under the lantana bushes in the midst of the property.

cross

We also discover a cross raised by the original owners of the property in the bushes not far away in another part of the property.

elephant

A forest elephant wanders through Base destroying a few plants only fortunately, but having a good feed of Jack fruits

March - October 2015

December 2014 – FEBRUARY 2015

villagers

A team of local villagers and tribals devotes time to the removal of the weed lantana, which covers and suffocates most of the trees on the property with. We do all the bureaucratic work involving owning a company, a company bank account and semi-agricultural forest land. And also discover a little bit of Kodaikanal town, which is 12 Km away, and make a few friends.

Kodaikanal

We live in the room which later becomes the kitchen-dining-space, and become aware of the many animal friends which are curious about us.

scorpion

Renewal and repair work on the existing cottage.

Lakshmi

Lakshmi, a Kangeyam cow, an old breed of Tamilnadu joins Base. She’s pregnant.

December 2014 – FEBRUARY 2015

August 2014

It is a long struggle and lots of paper-work to get all the land documents cleared – it being a piece of land close to the jungles. It is far beyond being affordable for us. Arno Boehler and Susanne Granzer from Vienna, Ralph Kaufmann from Germany and Padmini Ranganathan join us financially, we create the company called BASE ART PHILOSOPHY ECOLOGY INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED and buy the piece of land in the name of the company. And spend time between Germany and Kombai in the little cottage on the property.

August 2014

December 2014 – FEBRUARY 2015

De-weeding patches of lantana to rescue the trees which they are suffocating and to do new tree-plantation.

December 2014 – FEBRUARY 2015

August 2014

Sriram & Anjali

Buying the property.

August 2014

Feburary 2013

Anjali

DISCOVERING THE PROPERTY in Kombai owned by Brigitte Singh, a French designer settled in india, who had bought the land off the villagers a few earlier and given it to her brother Marc Baudin. Marc, a French sailor settled in India lived there as a recluse and planted trees. He wished to sell the property and leave the valley.

Feburary 2013

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