Archive for May, 2010

Pool Party

Today we went to Ourique for a swimming pool party at Mahadevi’s place. She lives off-grid in a Hollywood style villa with her own lake, solar powered swimming pool and fontain, greenhouses and fruit trees. You would think that she won the lottery but her luck is that the owners of this mansion are actually paying her to live there because she is a good caretaker. She certainly took good care of us today!

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Basho’s Beach

Swimming is an excellent form of exercise, practiced by humanity since the Stone Age. Around midday in our warm and sunny climate it is also nicely refreshing. We are planning to make a natural swimming pool just behind the house, but fortunately there is also a little lake in the river that runs along our garden, shaded by many trees, where some of us jump in every day from the gravel beach.

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Garden Dome

We are planning to make several large tents and yesterday the first dome shaped tent structure was bolted together from 65 steel tubes. A shape like this is called a Geodesic Dome, it is very strong and light weight. This first tent will be an arbor for the gardeners and also for storing our gardening tools and seeds. The next step will be to make the covering of coated fabric.

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The Art of Cooking

Growing a spiritual community is a bit like gardening. You need to nourish your plants with good compost. Therefore the essence of the community may be found in the meditation room but the real secret is in the kitchen. Latifa has prepared us many delicious meals since the beginning of April but she needs to go elsewhere coming Monday. Know anyone who is interested to be our new Chef de Cuisine? Tell me!

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Party time

The beaches near here are among the most beautiful in all of Portugal and the one we visited today even offers a natural fresh water shower in the form of a waterfall coming down the cliffs. After our swimming party we had a dinner party on our roof terrace after which we danced by the light of the stars to the tunes of our new DJ Marien, in celebration of Anudip’s thirty second birthday.

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Helpful friends

Recycling organic waste from the garden and kitchen is easy and efficient. Composting requires little effort and produces rich black soil. All the work is done by friendly aerobic microbes, you only have to watch and take care that the pile doesn’t dry out or gets too wet. It can be done as an open pile but we prefer to have an enclosure and Navino offered to make it. He is now finishing and already starting to fill it.

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A learning process

We can’t get enough of her, but it takes a lot of practice to get it right. She is very strong and easily breaks things. It’s amazing to watch her eat up a ten inch concrete tube, hidden in the ground, as if it were a candy bar. We are impressed but not pleased as we need more digging now to get it repaired again. In the picture Mahadevi, a former bulldozer operator herself, checking her (and my apple pie) out today.

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First fruit of the season

They are ripe and juicy, the Nêsperas in our garden. We have many mature fruit trees, also peaches, apples, pears, plums, pomegranate and of course oranges, tangerines and lemons, olives. And then there are grapes and blackberries and strawberries. Plus what we planted ourselves this spring. Everything grows fast and we are already harvesting. And in the background we go on digging, day in day out.

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Rumours started circulating about a romance between Oddjob and Ozone, the Osho Gardenmobiles. But what was really happening behind the scenes is that Ozone’s battery was empty and Oddjob came to the rescue. In this picture he is giving her juice through jumper cables. Afterwards she was humming happily all day at the hands of Marien who had eagerly waited for his chance to try her out. She digs him, sort of.

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Workin’ the earth

Our Yellow Emperess arrived and Sugit was the first to jump on her. She hums happily all day while our new Spiderman is getting the feel of it and learning how to handle her. As she is not yet allowed to leave the garden we drive to the gas station to fill a jerrycan when she needs to drink. The new team (She looks like a SpiderWoman to me but don’t tell anyone) is now levelling an area where a large tent will arise, partly to house a construction workshop and partly bathrooms for the campsite. Meanwhile Anudip and Marien are learning how to build in Taipa. Our first rammed earth job is in preparation for the reconstruction of the barn. Ramming earth is an age-old and primitive building technique but there’s nothing wrong with that, it is easy and works well. Such buildings can remain for thousands of years. And when they are demolished the material goes back into the earth and plants can grow there again. Does that sound more sustainable than building with steel and cement or what?

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