The mandala garden is the heart of our vegetable garden with a herb spiral in its center and a beautiful view of the lake and the volcano. This part of the garden is dedicated to a variety of herbs and flowers and mainly functions as a medicinal garden. This garden will also be open to visitors allowing them to learn and experience the fragrances and medicinal properties of these healing herbs.
The general gardens will provide most of the food production for the community. These gardens are currently in the development stage. We aim to produce a large variety of products such as lettuce, corn, carrots, potatoes, beets and beans. Our goal is to produce 80% of our vegetable requirements by 2017.
In late summer we start harvesting the fruits and nuts of the forest gardens and the old orchard. Nature offers plenty of delicious fruits (blackberries, rosehips, myrtle berries, maki, different varieties of apples) and nuts (hazelnuts, walnuts, chestnuts and avellanas). We produce and enjoy jam, juice and applesauce.
Currently, three large greenhouses are in the planning process. One of the greenhouses (approx. 200m2) will be connected to the barn. Besides growing small plants, we will also produce different kinds of herbs. This greenhouse will have its own hot tub that will help us heat the greenhouse in the winter.
The second greenhouse will be next to the general gardens. This greenhouse will also have a size of 200m2, but is going to be used exclusively to transplanting small plants to different surrounding gardens. Here we will start the planting process a bit earlier than in the garden and ensure a more efficient production.
The final greenhouse that we will build will be located in the garden itself and will be a bit larger than the previous mentioned greenhouses. This greenhouse will accommodate a large part of our chicken stock, which will produce eggs and compost. It will also serve to start seedlings.
At this moment we have chickens, sheep, cows, horses and bees on the farm. We aim to expand to a long term livestock of: 30 sheep, 5 cows, a few horses, 120 to 150 chickens and 500 families of bees.
We are currently building a small village inside the forest. This village is being built from scratch and tries to incorporate itself in nature as much as possible. Sleeping accommodations are being built (hammocks in the trees) and a kitchen facility is currently under construction (including a very innovative rocket stove!). This village will take aproximatly 3 years to complete. Currently we can accommodate people in tents. There is running water and dry toilets.
A big focus point in the coming years will be solar energy. Currently we are building solar showers near the barn, but we plan on installing more solar heating systems around the property. On a longer term we plan on investing in wind powered energy as well.
We are currently in the midst of building and renovating a deluxe retreat center that will be able to host 35 people. At present we are constructing further buildings to add to the complex, including a 120m2 meeting room, a small spa and an industrial kitchen. The retreat center will give guests the opportunity to reintegrate with nature whilst enhancing their environmental awareness and quality of life. We are creating a learning hub to promote the ideologies of conscious living, self-awareness and personal growth.