January Report

Newsletter written by Karla (intern from Croatia)

Week 1

It was lovely to start the new year working peacefully, Halel and me (Karla) only.

With the sunny days and just the sound of  animals around working felt like vacation. It was very exciting and a bit scary to be responsible for the farm for three days. Nevertheless, we equally enjoyed people slowly starting to pour back in throughout the first week of January.

Evening circle meetings filled with laughter

After being out for three days Stef was really happy to be back home. She said she missed everything (especially Boli – her dog – of course) and she noticed how the food from the farm is so much tastier than the one from supermarkets.

It was the second week of stay for our guest Rosa and Artur from Netherlands. As the highlight of their week they mentioned going to the enchanting laurisilva forest in Los Tilos.

They were soon joined by another guest – Martina from Italy. We also welcomed Sandra, the new intern, who came to live in 8th Life for one year together with her husband Francisco.

Sandra, Martina, Boli, Tigger and Maja

The first day of Fran’s stay was also his birthday so we made a special banquet on Thursday that served both as welcome and birthday party.

Sandra’s Spanish tortilla (as sugar-free, gluten-free ‘cake’) was a big hit!

The weather was a bit chilly but nice so all of the guests were travelling around together. We were very happy that lots of rain fell (farmers in warm countries always love rain) …. the guests not so much! 😀

Stef was doing lots of work for the Academy site, I was putting up new irrigation system and explaining the farm to the newcomers, Eduardo was planting out plants from the nursery and Halel was mostly busy taking care of all of the animals.

Week 2

Second week of January was special because Maja returned from her 3-week vacation. We missed her and we were very excited to see her again.

Stef was working an incredible amount of time every day. She was so excited about the new LMS website for the Integral Permaculture Academy that she would sometime sleep for just three hours per night!

Sandra was busy with going through induction process in order to get to know how everything works in the farm and community. She also took on the Vesta role (beauty and order, guardian of home hearth), slowly started to clean the common spaces (not an easy task!) and thinking about her designs. Her grand plan is to make an eco village in her Colombia eventually, her motherland.

Maja was bravely struggling with accountancy stuff but in her free time she was enjoying studying Marianne Williamson’s New Year workshop with Stef.

I had lots of fun weeding! As I was progressing I felt like things were getting into their place. Weeding therapy 🙂

When I found out that Rosa and Artur were going to La Gomera I felt that it is time for me to see this island as well and so I packed my stuff and took three days off. And it was beautiful.

La Gomera with a view to El Hierro

Week 3

Fran taking a break from shelling almonds

This week was the most beautiful and sunny one of the whole January.As soon as the sun came out, so did people – out of their room, into the fields and hammocks.

We used the good weather to dry the almonds that were picked few weeks before, take as many breaks as we could and dance on the grass.

Maja moved her office outside and was working there everyday on setting up new platforms for the Integral Permaculture Academy.

Stefania spent her days searching for the best people to employ on little administrative tasks and organizing the team work so it goes smoothly.

Maja working in her summer office

Sandra took her new role of house-carer seriously and was busy clearing up everything!

Starting from the grapevines, finishing in the hostel rooms, the living room, kitchen and bathroom. Thank you Sandra for keeping the place clean and cosy!

Sandra and Julie pruning grapevines

We also got lucky enough to welcome another volunteer that decided to help us with cleaning workshop that needed it for a very long time. It’s a delight to have you around Alex!

Maja, Boli an Alex after a day of hard work ^

We had lovely guests staying with us and helping us on the farm as well as sharing their presence, stories and food. Thank You Julie, Hufi and Tanja, it was great to have you around

Karla working on garden beds

Karla was busy building another garden bed in our Fortuna gardens, to accommodate our growing needs for garden produce.

And developing on that further, we invited two local grafting specialists to graft lots of types of plums onto our abundant little volunteer-almond trees (they sow themselves). At the same time they were teaching our students a lot about trees and soil, all packed with lots of Palmero humor. Great guys! 🙂

Week 4

In the last week of January we were all busy with our routines.

Sometimes we manage to do plenty of additional projects in the free time and sometimes we only focus on maintaining the finca and relaxing – to keep a good balance.

Alex learned how to take care of the pigs and started helping Maja with shepherding as well.

The pigs have new door to their pen and are getting out every evening.   It is lovely to see them rutting around for almonds, worms, roots and snails in the fields but we have to keep putting up new barriers so they don’t get into the gardens since they are very inquisitive and each time go further out from their pen.

We were continuing work on the Academy, but the last week of January was calm and relaxed.