Newsletter November 2011
Current projects that we have been working on in the grounds are aimed towards creating a greater sustainable lifestyle in the future. A valuable resource for the future will be the one hundred firewood trees that have recently been planted. We are also planting more fruit and nut trees and other food producing plants such as guava hedges. Our aim is to be more sensible with what is grown on the grounds so that we can produce more food.
The winter season has not been very kind to many of the plants growing in our grounds. With snow sitting on the ground for two weeks, a number of the plants died off including some of our native plants such as the Punga ferns. We are hoping to see some new growth sprout on these in time.
Currently we are planting more natives around the main house and our yoga room (Atma Mandir).
Other projects in the grounds that we aiming to complete over the next year include continuing the rock walls that are being built for garden spaces. On our wish list for the future is a large Green house, which will allow much more vegetables to be grown here.
New spaces are being prepared for orchards, and the soil is being given extra nourishment in order to give the fruit trees we have planted an excellent start. One of the main ingredients we are using to enrich the soil is seagrass which we collected from Whariki beach. Since the soil on top of the mountain we are on is quite acidic much time is spent fertilizing the soil with compost and mulch in order to grow more nutritious food.
On a recent retreat held at Anahata over Labour Weekend the garden was used as a teaching ground for learning about the different medicinal properties of different plants that grow freely in the garden. This spring we have been planting potato beds and companion flowers with the vision of turning the garden into a diverse ecosystem. We have also been sowing seeds and transplanting seedlings to begin new growth. The paths around the garden have been built up more in order to make them easier in the wetter weather.
Buildings and Construction
This year has seen a lot of changes and improvements to the buildings at Anahata. Guests who return after a period of time often comment on the improvements to the property that they have observed. Over the winter months the guest facility ‘Shankaraya’ has been given a makeover, with bathroom renovations, a new floor and windows being installed to make it feel even more homely for guests during their stay. We have plans in the future to upgrade the hot water system, and we continue to find ways to improve the infrastructure of Anahata to enable us to host larger events in the future. In March of this year we upgraded and installed two new Clivus Multrum toilets. They are a self contained, waterless, odourless treatment system. It is based on one of the oldest principles in nature - simple, organic decomposition.