Newsletter August 2013
There’s been plenty happening as Anahata continues to transform and grow in sustainability and self-sufficiency.
Thanks to generous donations we’ve now purchased a new “people-mover” 4WD van to more efficiently transport visitors as needed as gradually the flow of people coming and going from Anahata seems to be growing over the years, and this is one more way to support that flow of people to experience what Anahata has to offer.
The new diesel generator has been hooked up and is operating efficiently (and quietly!) to supplement the solar power system. With the new auto-start feature, now the generator runs only when needed to protect the batteries, whereas previously the generator was being run several times each day as a preventative measure! Admittedly this new system began operation in the middle of summer, but for the first few days we couldn’t test if the system was working because it didn’t need to run! Rough estimates from the first couple months of operation were that our fuel consumption had been reduced by as much as 500%, as well as the cost savings of using diesel instead of petrol, making this an extremely worthwhile investment to support this off-grid lifestyle. Also a huge weight of stress lifted off the shoulders of the residents and particularly the maintenance-in-charge to know the batteries are protected and will have a longer lifespan. Now we’ll just have to find something else to train our awareness.
The new polytunnel has been fantastic, with this our first growing season and a significant addition to the amount of vegetables coming into the kitchen. With lots of focus and efforts put into building up the nutrients in the soil with comfrey and horse poo fertilizers, regular compost-making parties, and a whole plethora of tiger worms, we’ve been getting heaps of beans, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and capsicums. In the more exotic department the fruit “kaigua” – a small cucumber-like vine growing fruit has been great for adding crunch to salads and has also been a great base for chutneys. Not to mention the aubergines and the chillies, as well as pepinos, papayas, turmeric, galangal…now with winter here we’re continuing to get food and herbs growing in the polytunnel that would otherwise not be surviving the colder temperatures so the garden goodness continues!
The other parts of the garden have also been growing abundantly. We’ve enjoyed our courgette season (with a few giants that keep evading harvesting hiding under the leaves!), and now in full pumpkin season swing with a few different varieties testing the strength of our vegetable chopping karma yogis and the sharpness of our kitchen knives and saving the seeds to be planted again next year. We’ve also generally had a focus this year on seed-saving (with parsnip plants taller than a person!) with the added benefit that seeds grown up in this environment will be more specifically adapted for our particular microclimate, and our recently acquired chickens have been happily contributing to our egg supply. We may not be self-sufficient yet, but we’re continuing to point ourselves in that direction!
In preparation for our coming busy season we are in "Spring Clean" mode. We are busy renovating our guest accommodation Shankaraya. We have just cleaned our sadhana (practice) hall Atma Mandir - even the website is getting a transformation. This gets us ready for a new and exciting season of transformation, international teachers, inspiring retreats and workshops. For more info check out Event News.