Journal July 2022

Summer is here. The long and hot days make us adapt our daily rhythm, in submission to what is. No more planting new plants, but caring and supporting the existing ones is what the garden asks for. Up into the last days of June we’ve had most of the available rooms booked and for July and August there is plenty of availability, so everyone is most welcome to experience Andalusian summer with us. It’s a special time, where mornings and evenings come to life, while the afternoon sleeps.

The Triad of Nâm has been completed. With a glass bridge connecting the upper and the lower terraces, the white plastered artfully designed staircase is fully integrated into the landscape. Now, everyone can actively use this piece of art that has been erected in our garden as an instrument for transformation. As a Nâm instrument, Yoginâm has gifted us a physical expression of the foundation of Nâm; Awareness as the root of Experience. The Triad is prominently present, yet in a harmonious way. Through this instrument, we express that our movements within the duality of our daily experience – in Nâm expressed as being and not-being and in the Triad physically reflected in the ascending and descending of the Triad – find their existence only by the grace of the unknown essence (in Nâm terminology non being), the rectangular base of the Triad, Awareness. As the pinnacle of the meditative walk through the garden, seeing the Triad in its beauty and elegance, approaching it in anticipation, the climbing of the Triad becomes a remembrance of our nature, a transformative agent for our experience. We invite everyone to experience this for themselves.

The garden of the Asharum Nijar: Back to the Roots

The workshops with Chris, our ecological expert, in the beginning of June have been very educational and helpful. We gathered in the pavilion in the mornings to listen to Chris’ inspiring lectures about soil composition and soil health, plant water needs and uses, composting and mulching. The lectures were followed by an open discussion where we shared our experiences and question marks. This enabled us to get on the same page and define concerted actions. In the afternoons we put our words into actions and implemented the findings of the mornings in a coordinated way. So with the help of Chris we looked at some trees that have not been performing optimally, and we initiated actions to support their rooting system and general health. We learned how we can improve our watering schedule, how to open up our compacted soil and what to pay attention to when purchasing and planting plants. We truly enjoyed the workshops and it inspired us to reserve one day of the week to get together in the pavilion to organise a concerted action to work on together.

The first potatoes have been harvested, with the help of Irma and Uli who were visiting the Asharum. They were bigger than we expected and we were able to harvest over 80 kilos from the first field. We have some more fields waiting to be harvested soon, as Human has tried several different techniques of planting. From this first field we already found out there are some things we can do different next time to improve the harvest. Eating food that has been grown in your own garden really feels better and we can be sure that the food has been grown in an ecological way with lots of love. We expect many pumpkins this summer, as we planted several different species of pumpkins throughout the garden. Last year the banana pit, that we fill with kitchen waste and cuttings from the garden to produce compost for the banana plants, was covered with pumpkin plants. We did not put them there, but they sprouted and grew by themselves from one of the pumpkins we ate and from which the seeds ended up in the banana pit. This year we grew the seeds in the nursery from three or four different species we bought in the area. By planting them in many different spots, we are learning what is the best place for them. Step by step, in nature’s rhythm, we learn how to cooperate with nature to nourish ourselves with gifts from the land.

Several wasp nests were being built in the garden and around the living quarters. While they were still small, we removed some of them by enclosing them in a glass jar, quickly closing the lid so the nest including the wasps are trapped. We then released the nest again a few hundred meters from the asharum, near the canyon that separates our part of the village with the center of Níjar. In this way we were able to relocate 4 nests. Unfortunately, not all nests were discovered without attacks. One day, Uli was digging a hole to place bigger poles next to one of the trees to tie the tree to for wind support. While digging, he accidentally threw a full shovel of sand on a nest of wasps. They attacked him, and for over an hour the wasps were in state of emergency, so when Melvin went to check it out, he also got stung by a wasp. Luckily, both of them did not have an allergic reaction and after some raised heartbeats, some screams and some stings the nest was removed.

More building and improving

The building works are progressing, and now the walls and roof of the new kitchen and the two new rooms are there, the inside spaces look bigger. We look forward to move into the new kitchen and hope to be able to do so before autumn comes. Currently, the idea is to build a half-closed space in front of the kitchen to use as a dining room; protected from the main wind direction and open enough to use when the temperatures are high. Step by step the asharum is really taking shape and we are grateful to see that all together we are able to make this place a true place of beauty. Feel welcome to share this joy of living!

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