Author Archives: Dakshina Agee

Ananda Farm no-till community-grain-growing experiment

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 Ananda Farm no-till community-grain-growing experiment –
This Saturday, April 26, 11 am – 4 pm
Lunch served at 1 pm ($5)

The first annual community grain sowing happens this Saturday at the farm on Camano Island

What is this for?
To prepare seed beds and sow grains and chickpeas at the farm for the 2014 season.

Why?
Last year we began the exploration of no-till grain growing, with Barley, Oats, Quinoa and Rye.  No till means no tractor and thus no disruption to the life in the soil, and no dependence on oil. The goal is sustainability as a farm and community, and cultivating uplifted consciousness in our farming methods.

Who can help?
All are invited to participate. and opportunities for service do not discriminate by size, talents, age, hair color, size or shape. All those with love for life are welcome to participate and take a hand in growing the farm’s abundance.

This is an experiment, and one we are sure to learn from. Come be students of nature with us, and learn together as we grow.

In Joy
Zach, Hailey, Glenda & Nivritti
The Ananda farmers

Questions? Ask ’em here!

Please park at
732 Haven Place
Camano Island
Directions

Winter 2014 Update

Hobbes Rudi

Rutabaga Meets Hobbes

I do believe Nivritti will begin moving in this weekend? I do know from going inside the Haven house that it has been painted!

Haven Green House raised beds have been constructed on both sides. Today we began filling the base layer with wood from the arborist, Doug. He has volunteered to come by this week or next to prune with us the handful of fruit trees on the Haven side. These didn’t produce much fruit this year, and are badly overgrown, so it will be another good experience to see how we can reshape the trees back into production.
Larger prunings can be used for cooking wood stock-pile (which we have started to maintain from prunings in Stanwood) and the rest can be used as the base layer for the Haven House beds.

Hailey’s brother Cole and Kieran joined us today in a bamboo planting effort, from the bamboo stock we received last year from James the bamboo gardener in Seattle. We planted the stock on the ‘wild’ hill side, off the second trail. It is a good location for expansion on the hill, and also for harvest from the food forest side. On another note, we found actual clay deposits in the hillside, and found the soil to be of excellent quality. Very promising for future orchard sites.

The main garden has been mulched for the winter and looks to be in great shape going into spring. Leaf Garden has been expanded upon, with a fresh supply of Detlings applied to build the beds, and will be mulched again in the coming weeks. Also to be in great shape for the spring.

Vihaan will be joining us on Thursday to get the plastic on the walls in the garage (the first step to developing a kind of processing center), as well as to attach the plastic lift on the Haven green house. We have materials, including poly tape which Larry donated for use.

Vihaan also was able to get the water going again, by reversing the check valve that was reinstalled after pipe bust. Good to have someone getting to know that well system at Haven so well :).

Friday, Derek from the County will join us from the County with 8 more 55 gallon drums, and will help us get them ready for conversion and implementation in the coming weeks. We have parts on hand already. All together we should have around 20 55 gallon drums at our disposal (1000 + gallons)

We will be working with Kieran to make more progress on the chicken coop greenhouse above the leaf garden this week – the roof has gone on the chicken coop side, and we will likely use simple plastic covering for the greenhouse side. We have some re-purposed plastic from the little kitchen garden greenhouse we used last year. This should be ready coming into spring to host chicks as well as starts for the leaf garden. We will use the solar fence from last year to pasture/feed the chicks in the larger grassy area behind the coop.

We are well into seed planning mode, and will be making seed purchases for outstanding needs in the coming week or two. We have many, but will require more, including some cover crops for different sections of the lower field. Estimated cost a few hundred dollars all together.

We have begun grafting for the year (still a little early in the season), but we have a great opportunity to make many a apple and pear trees of selected varieties through the spring… to then plant them in the coming years, as well as share them with friends and fellow Anandans. We are developing a new area for the nursery this year, and will hope to transition the back of the house into a more friendly flower/herb garden that transitions into the forest.

Hriman has signed the paperwork for the orchard and I do believe all things are go. We have already pruned about 1/3 of the orchard, and been finding it to be very rewarding hands on experience.

I also have a tree order set to arrive in early february (thanks to christmas gift from my mother!) for selected nitrogren fixing trees and livestock food trees, to be strategically planted on both properties to build soil, feed ourselves, future and current animal companions, as well as acting as windbreaks in the lower field! . The Chestnut, persimmon, siberian pea shrub, see buckthorn, *thornless* honey locust, and others. We are in a good position to be a provider down the road, of such trees, as well as educator as to their importance and role in regenerating the earth.

The front orchard has been fully mulched for the year, planted with garlic and bulbs, and we look to begin more work converting the kitchen garden into the herb and strawberry gardens.
An anticipated upcoming expenditure is that of cedar grove compost delivery. Though initially I hadn’t planned on needing this, the immediate cultivation of the haven green house, as well as the continued bed expansion, well, everywhere, seem to warrant another delivery. Any thoughts on this? Larry I think is versed on the pricing.

Carole and Dakshina continue to find ways to help us. Last week was the first that I didn’t go to the bookshop, Larry has done a wonderful job transitioning at East West.

The CSA is a big item for discussion… and I’ve had opportunities to talk briefly with Rick and Larry. I do think things are moving forward positively and the farm is poised to be a large provider for the upcoming season, in addition to the more specialized growing which can take place in Lynnwood.

AUM

 

 

Alpacas!

The BoysWe have four new residents at Ananda Farms Camano.  Left to right they are Vermeer, Pascal, Toulouse and Hobbes, all male alpacas.  We will have two female alpacas moving in soon.  Their job is to eat grass, manifest organic fertilizer, and grow fleece.  They will be sheared in the spring for their own comfort.  So as to not waste a thing, we’ll turn that fleece into roving or yarn that can be used to create beautiful fabric and garments.

Lavender Hydrosol for burns

Camano-LavenderOne of the products being produced at Ananda Farms Camano is lavender hydrosol, using lavender grown on the farm. This preparation is very effective in preventing kitchen burns and treating sunburn.

Lavender Hydrosols are made by distilling Lavender flowering stalks. Distillation converts the volatile liquid (the essential oils) into a vapor and then condenses the vapor back into a liquid – it is the most popular, and cost effective method in use today to produce essential oils and hydrosols. Literally all of the commercial products of lavender hydrosols have extracted the lavender essential oil so only the water portion is left. By contrast, the process Sara, Joanne and Hailey are using at both Ananda Farms and at the Community leaves lavender essential oil in the mix.

Lavender Essential Oil has special healing properties.

Lavender Healing Mist contains Lavender EO dispersed in natural Lavender Hydrosol. Gently rotate bottle by rolling it in your hands before each use to distribute EO throughout solution. Spray a newly burned area with Lavender Healing Mist immediately. The more rapidly the burned area is treated, the more likely it will prevent blister formation.

Sara

SaraD

SaraD recommends that you keep the Lavender Healing Mist in the refrigerator for two reasons: 1) it will be handy to treat kitchen burns and 2) to protect the remedy because we use no preservatives.

After spraying the burn with Lavender Healing Mist, then coat the area with Calendula Gel (Boiron). This will dry like egg white to protect the burn site.

Ananda Farms uses a Steam Distillation Method?

Distilling essential oils using the straight steam method involves pushing steam through the plant material and then picking up the essential oil

How Does the Essential Oil Distilling Equipment Affect the Oil?

The size and material of the cooking chamber, the condenser type and the separator all can change the outcome of the oil. Vertical steam distillation seems to produce the best quality oil when distilling essential oils. It protects the therapeutic benefits and there is no risk of overheating the plant material!

Hydrosol

Ananda Farms is using Jeanne G’s beautiful copper distiller this season, but we will need to return it after this year. Our goal is to purchase our own copper distiller and a percentage of our sales will go into a fund for our own distiller.

Watch for Lavender Healing Mist Essential Oil Burn Remedy for sale here on this website soon. For more information about the remedy or to buy now, email SaraD at dehart.ss@frontier.com.

 

 

A Great Success!

Camano-Harvest

A big thank you to all those who turned up to help with the farm activities on Sunday, from Lynnwood to Bellingham (Dave and Marylin) and out to Whidbey Island (Krishnapriya).

LavenderMany hands lead the lavender harvesting charge and processing, too (Sadie, Chandi, Betty, and many others), leaving the entire house smelling of divine essences. Bundles hang on the walls drying, and bowls filled with flower trimmings await honey infusion. Hailey will be joined again today for more processing activities.

Randa lead the kitchen charge, creating delicious lemonade, farm salad, and a fresh Tabouli salad that warranted 3 servings on such a hot day.

Dakshina supplied the farm with much needed homeopathic bee sting medicine. I tested some stings out myself last week to confirm the need to upgrade the farm’s first aid kit.

Kieran joined in the terrace construction and engineered a new blueberry terrace in the driveway circle, with a partial stone foundation with rocks supplied by Larry’s efforts in the lower field.

Sandhya and Catherine Hobson and Brian lead the mulching charge, dressing the apple pear orchard with fresh chips.

Whew. There was more, and in the moment of typing I forget others who joined us in the activities, and many other activities performed by those mentioned. The farm truly felt like a farm, with so many devotees buzzing about like the bees.

Thank all of you for your joyful service, and helping us (me?!) to remember to have fun amidst all the summer farm activity. Truly inspiring.

Blessings from your Ananda Farm on Camano.
The caretakers

Healing Gardens

painting app by ChandiNow is the time to visit the healing gardens on the Ananda Farms at Camano,Island.

I had the pleasure to visit on Saturday to help Hailey and Zack during the Saturday harvest. Something touched me so deeply when Zack talked about the harmony, how they planted certain combinations together, and the ancient ways of the Native Americans. It was so moving. I could resonate on the deeper truth of his wisdom while we picked.  We didn’t even touch the surface of the bounty that lays in this land. It felt like each plant was raising up sweetly as a choir,in joyful service to us.

Then the next day after service, a little voice touched me and said; “You need to return to help them get ready for our “spiritual leaders”of Ananda Worldwide to come! This is an important time, for their blessing.” Since school is out for the summer, I thought, what day is this? When are they coming? Do I have the time to make it?

So I quickly called Bhakti and we cleared our schedule to help serve in what ever way was needed.

I had more than a couple of astral experiences there.  I was sitting on the porch bathing in the morning sunlight right after our morning Sadhana, listening to the bees singing their astral songs amidst the California lilacs. What a gift! There must have been 100 bees singing in Joy.

I can’t wait to return again to the farm to be replenished mind, body and soul.

Take an afternoon, to be in this healing consciousness of all life in balance. There isn’t any separation from our meditation practices and walking this land. Chant in the gardens and join Hailey and Zack as you too, will be touched as I was.

Blessings,

Chandi