Journal October 2021

These past weeks have been quite busy. After the successful retreat we have been
welcoming several guests and we are expecting a full house for the month of October. The weather permits some more and longer working hours in the garden, although the evenings are noticeably shorter as the sun sets earlier. We still manage to have our supper outside, the temperature is quite nice and we haven’t had much wind yet. Soon we will have to move inside and we are looking into creating a nice space for that, which can be heated during the winter months.

In general the residents and our guests feel time is passing quickly here in Nijar. There is always a lot to do and more than occasionally there is an unexpected situation that needs to be handled. This asks us to be flexible in our planning, and it creates moments of excitement and the need for attunement to each other and to a ‘something else’, in a way that supports everything that is happening. Living in this setting gives each of us the opportunity to practice peaceful acknowledgement and to find a way in which we can harmoniously create a place of beauty for everyone.

The garden of the Asharum Nijar: Back to the Roots

The last weeks we have been eating more from the garden as the eggplants, pumpkins and peppers were ready to eat. Also many of the herbs like thyme, salvia, basil and mint are growing very abundantly, which make tasteful tea and pasta sauce. The tomatoes are quite hard to grow in the conditions here, and most of them have given just a few and not very juicy fruits. We are taking care of the newly planted vegetables and are preparing to plant some more this month.

In September we were able to plant around 12 new trees and some flowering plants to enhance the beauty of the garden. Next to some fruit trees, like guava, grapefruit and pistachio, we also planted some shade bringing trees like the Pauwlonia Imperial and Phytolacca dioica, which can grow up to 15 meters! We are planning to buy some more palm trees and some more mulberry trees in the coming weeks.

Most of the other trees we planted in the past year are doing well. We made some compost tea, which is a very interesting process which involves bubbles and phosphate rock. The compost tea is made like a real tea, but then from compost, with the idea to grow more beneficial bacteria and fungi in the tea, which can be sprayed on the leaves and the roots of the plants. This will create a layer of ‘good’ bacteria and fungi around the plants, so they are better able to resist the less beneficial creatures around the plants. It also stimulates the root growth and the ability of the plant to extract the nutrients from the soil.

Concrete, sand and stones

With the help of some guests we have started building walls and stairs with stones and cement. Also the older existing walls need a lot of repairs, which will be an ongoing job throughout the winter. We also have some work to do on some of the paths, that are now slightly difficult to walk. And we want to build some walls around the property to reduce the impact of the wind and to create an intimate atmosphere.

As we like to host more people, we have been looking into ways to increase the number of guest rooms more quickly. We have created a new space in the garage, where we now do our daily meditations. The old dining room / meditation room is being transformed into a guest room. For this, we needed to create an extra entrance and that resulted in the removal of Maria’s door and the creation of a small hallway next to the kitchen. Maria’s room now has an extra window and her room and the guest room share a door to the terrace. There are some more works planned and we hope to have five guest rooms before the next retreat in January. As we already have some bookings, please contact us in advance if you plan to come.

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