Honey harvest

Recently we harvested the honey from our two bee hives. We do not have an extractor so we cut the wax and honey out of the frames, which seems a shame, as the bees have to rebuild the wax foundation each time.  However soon our friends will be bringing one down from the States and we are going to share.

As you can see we improvise a lot.  Our three interns wanted to be part of the action so we made up protective gear. In Ecuador you can’t just go online and order what you need so a certain amount of innovation is required.  Most of us received much attention from the bees in the form of numerous stings but it was fun if a bit painful at times.

The crew ready for action

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Harvesting the honey

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The honey and wax are left hanging overnight in a make shift strainer

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Biodynamic Gardening Workshop

Biodynamic and Permaculture Workshop, Vilcabamba, Ecuador

July 14th through 21st

Join us for eight days at our farm nestled in a sacred valley in the Ecuador mountains. Experience how you can live simply, grow your own food with Biodynamic practices and reconnect with nature and yourself.

Workshop participants creating a garden bed

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In the mornings we will be covering the practical aspects of Biodynamic gardening such as compost-making and using the BD preps and the afternoons will be devoted to more theoretical aspects.

In addition we hope our simple lifestyle and reverence for nature will rejuvenate you with new inspiration on how to live sustainably in harmony with nature and the sacred.

For more information please go to  http://growbd.org/sacred-homesteading-workshop/  or email Walter Moora at waltermoora@gmail.com

Our valley at sunrise

 

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Susan’s Story About Walter

Susan’s Story About Walter

When Walter told me he wanted us to buy Sacred Land Farm 5 years ago, there were no buildings, the pastures were terribly overgrown, the paths were too rough for me to negotiate at 67, the 30-minute access road was so narrow that the drop-off of 500 feet was immediately under my rider’s door and there was no bridge over the sometimes-raging stream.  My response to his idea of buying it was to stutter in shock…“I know you’re kidding, right?”

Now it is five years later and, in one year, we have developed the capacity to sleep 27 people in good adobe cabins and large tents.  With God’s perfect timing, this Saturday members of The Fountain will gather to manifest our first farm workshop for 8 days.   They come from all over the world, including 6 members of the Kogi of La Sierra Nevada of Columbia, who now share their remarkable visions to restore Earth.

The very special mission of this KINS network, The Fountain, is:    “We are restoring a global economy of reciprocity, inspired by Nature and the Sacred.”    Its founder is Jyoti Prevatt, the visionary woman who birthed the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers… and The Fountain is only the second global KINS.  I am feeling deep joy.

The living room set up for a meeting

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Another view of our living room DSC_0004 2

Now I pause to honor what Walter’s vision of 5 years ago has manifested.   Our Ecuadorian partner, Cristian Ojeda, has manifested an Inca garden of vegetables, flowers, waterfalls, streamlets, a large outdoor shower, an outdoor kitchen, a fish pond and unbelievable stone work, thus it’s name.   He has fenced the pastures for our 9 goats, 3 cows, 3 burros and awesome bees, not to mention caring for almost an acre of additional gardens, the green house, fruit orchards and more, with help from Walter and Leisha.  Most important of all, he has taught us local practices, translated whenever our Spanish was inadequate and helped us integrate into our surrounding community.

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Our Canadian partner, Leisha Naja, has manifested the Magical Forest in two years, featuring fruit, vegetable, flower, cooking herb and medicinal herb gardens, flowing streamlets everywhere, waterfalls, a labyrinth, a sweat lodge, a fire pit, a hot shower, a composting toilet, tents, tree houses, a fish pond, internet access and an outdoor kitchen with living and dining rooms attached, not to mention innumerable sculptures integrated into the whole.   She also created a Peace Garden featuring large statues honoring the Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine.

Our Porch where we ate our lunches

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One of the bedrooms

 

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Meanwhile I have been completely supported to take the last two years on the farm to design how to gift my KINS Innovation Networks to the world, for people to do what they love to do and do well to manifest their life missions in service to the people of the world.   When I need to be away in the U.S. for months, things continue without a hitch and I’m warmly welcomed back to the farm as a duck settles back into water.

 

How is it that our intentional community has achieved such powerful measurable results for two years, overcoming with little stress the breakdowns that have ended other such communities?

 

Could it be the beliefs of Rudolf Steiner that so inspired my beloved husband Walter?   Steiner teaches that flattering yourself for your achievements depletes your soul.   So rather than taking credit for any of the above inspiring results, Walter gives the credit to the three of us.   Yet you would find his hand in almost all of it, whether in the imagining, the designing or the executing.

 

Walter holds the space for each of us to express our life purposes in the highest degree, as we collaborate and co-create with increasing joy and laughter.   Meanwhile, in almost everything that happens on the farm, you’ll find Walter’s hand…or softly made suggestion…or creative addition…or thought-provoking point of view…or study group meeting.   He is the one who designed our home and community center to host KINS meetings of 30, who insured that biodynamic preps are sprayed regularly on the grateful earth, who steps into any type of problem with a workable suggestion and who facilitated a breakthrough out of our biggest breakdown.   He also manages the budget and funding, a daunting task indeed.

So, as we welcome our beloved members of The Fountain, it is time to honor Walter.

Martine Luther King famously said that the only thing that really matters is to show up.

That’s Walter.

Sweetheart, I love you to the end of our lives and, after that, forever.

 

Food forest

Lately we have been putting more time into our orchard area.  The farm came with mandarins, bananas and avocado trees plus coffee but everything was a bit run down. We have brought more water into the area and have planted lots of sweet potatoes and zanahoria blanca or white carrots. It will be a major source of our food in the future.

Some of our trees. Mandarins, Avocados, bananas and coffee

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One of Leisha’s gardens with lots of herbs and flowers.

 

 

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This area is where we are growing many of the Biodynamic preparation plants

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One of our small ponds in the orchid.

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When Leisha joined us some two years ago she started planting in her forest right from the start.  Over time she has cleared more spaces which has let the sun come in.  This has allowed her more variety.

Partnership Opportunities

 

Finca Sagrada Community, Ecuador (Sacred Land Farm)

It seems that I do not have much loyalty to any particular country having grown up in so many!  I was born in the jungles of Borneo to Dutch parents but had to flee from there when the Dutch were no longer welcome. I then experienced British colonial rule in Malaysia until I was seven.  After that, I spent two years in a Waldorf boarding school in England and then we migrated to New Zealand to be together as a family when I was 10.  These deeply diverse experiences led to great tolerance for others and to great thirst for diverse cultures.   Since New Zealand, I have lived in England again, Australia, America and Ecuador.

Although not of a farming family, I decided as a seventeen-year-old, that I wanted to farm. I was soon dissatisfied with the conventional farms I worked on and found out about Biodynamic farming and Rudolf Steiner.  I left New Zealand for an intentional community in Northern Ireland that had a Biodynamic farm and I  met my bride to be, a young women from New York.

Over the next thirty-five years, I settled into the States, raising a family and farming in Pennsylvania, New York and Wisconsin. By the time I was fifty-seven, I felt I might need a change. My late wife had died in a car accident and this completely changed my life. I was milking one hundred and twenty cows, struggling with three years of drought  and my back was going out from all the work and strain.

A few years after the death of my late wife, I did meet a wonderful woman, Susan Davis and soon after that, we were married.  About seven years ago, we had a chance to have a vacation in Ecuador through a friend gifting us with two weeks at her guest house in Vilcabamba, in the southern mountains of Ecuador. Vilcabamba was discovered back in the 70′s as an oasis of health and tranquility. It’s known as the valley of longevity and peace, where Inca kings summered and where warriors went to heal.  We knew no Spanish but a vacation there sounded like an adventure.

We did fall in love with Vilcabamba and bought a house under construction.  As so often happens in this special town, everything fell into place quickly.   Six months later, I sold my cows and Susan and i moved down for a three-month sabbatical.  It was so rejuvenating that we kept extending our stay and finally just got our residency visas and settled into the community.  We had no thoughts of buying another farm, but we did. We were asked if we would buy a rather isolated farm that the owner could no longer take care of. It’s a beautiful piece of land, surrounded by mountains with a stream and a river boundary.

At the time of buying the land, we were not sure what we were meant to do with it.  We tried raising cattle but that did not work because of the fires that spread across the mountains during the dry season, burning every blade of grass.

Now we have developed the farm into a homestead that has the possibility to be self-sufficient.  We do have a thousand-acre mountain but we do not utilize that. At the base we have about fifteen acres of rolling pasture with lots of water for irrigation.  This is where we live and concentrate all our activity.

We have about two  acres of really flat land where we have our gardens, surrounded by a food forest. We inherited mature avocados and mandarin trees and lots of coffee. Since then we supplemented with bananas, papayas, passion fruit and a variety of other fruit trees.

We have goats and cows for milk and cheese, chickens, bees and three burros that can carry supplies when needed.

Our first active partner was Leisha. She fell in love with an over- grown forest that she has transformed  into a food forest full of flowing water and sculptures of gnomes and fairies and goddesses. This is her beloved Magical Forest (see MagicalForest.info).

It has been a challenge learning how to farm here, but it has been fun. We have a great Ecuadorian partner Cristian, who has the same love of the land and animals as we have. I can depend on him for local customs and I can bring in some new ideas, especially  Biodynamic practices.  We make a great team.

Two years ago, we decided to live more permanently on the land. We have built adobe cabins and put up tents.  We have now finished our house and community center.

We offer apprenticeships on Biodynamic farming and are starting to offer retreats on living simply surrounded by the beauty of nature, while reconnecting to one’s deeper self and purpose in life.

As the land and ideas have evolved, we have felt that it would be right to share this beautiful spot with more people. We are actively looking for partners who would respond to our life style.

Our mission statement is:

We are manifesting an intercultural Biodynamic self-supporting homestead over which the Condor and the Eagle fly as one.

We envision different opportunities for our partners and hope for diversity in skills and age. Some are folks who do not need to earn an income but who wish to pursue their interest in a beautiful rural setting. Other younger folks, who need to earn income, can have a small farm-based business such as growing vegetables and running retreats.

We think the land can sustain about five families and we do have a set of guidelines that we can supply. As we grow, we are looking for people who are drawn to the land and our mission statement and who are compatible to our lifestyle.

For us, moving to Ecuador has been quite an experience. We still travel to the States once or twice a year and Susan in particular is still very active there with her work.

If you are interested to find out more about Walter you can buy his book, A Farmer’s Love, through Amazon and also go to his web site growbd.org

You can download Susan’s book free, The Trojan Horse of Love, at KINSinnovation.org or CapitalMissions.com, which describe both her business and philanthropic initiatives, very inspiring.

Leisha Naja is very active on facebook and also has a web site at MagicalForest.info. and http://www.fincasagrada.com

For more information about Finca Sagrada you can contact Walter at waltermoora@gmail,com

Easter

Easter Sunday must be my favorite day of the year. It’s even better then Christmas day. For me, Holy week is often difficult. Then comes Easter Sunday and the oppressiveness dissipates and we can experience a new beginning.

A while ago we were on the Ecuador coast and I found these flowers

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Separating our cow and calf

Every night we separate Luna, our milk cow, from her calf Eclipse so we can milk her in the morning.  Most mornings she gives about one and a half gallons, which is just about right for our community. Fresh warm milk with our granola is a  wonderful way to start the day. Sometimes there is milk left over for a soft cheese.

Veronica, one of our interns, grew up on a farm in France but lost contact with her roots.  Now she enjoys the sunset stroll or chase through the pastures, surrounded by the mountains in order to separate  Eclipse from her mom.  In the process, she is remembering growing up on her parents’ farm.DSC_0022 2

Morning view

I am now sleeping in our new house on Finca Sagrada.  Most mornings I wake up before 5, just as it gets light and the birds start to sing.  This is the view from our porch and where I do the Agnihotra ceremonies at sunrise.  Now that the rains have passed the skies are often blue and the air is clean.

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