This winter we planted Fava beans. You make a small hole a few centimeters deep and stick a bean in it, that’s all. They are miraculous. They produced tons of beans. In this picture you see just part of the harvest. Now we have to peel and freeze them. Johanna who is taking care of the garden together with Jos, our Chi Kung teacher from Belgium, calls it Bean Day today.
We are digging a trench for a cable to connect solar panels and a heat pump to the grid. Solar energy will provide us indirectly with heating and hot water, by supplying it to the grid when the sun shines and buying it back when we need it, like at night. In this picture Craig and Anthony from Ireland and Luke using the jackhammer and other tools to dig around the great Carob tree.
The best season of the year is starting. We are opening our Retreat of Friends on a small scale for a limited number of visitors. If you want to visit us on another basis than as a volunteer worker you may apply for membership and join us for any length of time. We ask donations to cover expenses. You can request information and our membership application form by email.
In an estufa (greenhouse) one can cultivate vegetables all year around. We decided to try it out. Annick and Pol from Luxemburg assembled and furnished it, with help of our new gardeners Mathilde (France), Maari (Estonia) and Meike (Germany). Also in this picture our new kitchen coordinator Agnes (Lithuania) and, still going strong, Luke. José (from Spain) took the picture. Temperature inside 21 degrees, outside 14.
Our meal schedule usually consists of an extended lunch, and at the end of the day a simple supper of soup and snacks. Tonight our new arrival Mantas from Lithuania demonstrated his baking skills with Samosas, these delicious spicy Indian snacks, followed by sweet ones for desert. A feast, also shared by Agnes, another Lithuanian, Nina and Tessa from Holland, Jose from Spain and our loyal friends Luke and Janosch.
The fireplace that heats our meditation room at night is fueled by wood from pruning our own garden. Here we are posing in our new wood storage area. Some plastic sheets protect it from the rain. Wishing you a happy 2017, from right to left: Alok and Rita, both Portuguese, our construction manager Ari from Finland, Luke from the UK, Sivan from Israel, Janosch from Germany and me and Luisa.
Posing in front of the tapestry that my daughter Chahna and her friend Suvanna bought to give more elegance to our palace, from left to right Suvanna, Satyam, Ana, Malou, Edgar, Ari, Kai, Chahna, Luisa, Pujari, Libero, Miguel and James. So why does it remind me of the Tao? Well, it is not shiny or flashy but modest, in a soft blend of muted colors. It stands out because it stands back.