Hanuman’s Garden-Baba’s Permaculture Farm
Hanuman’s Garden at the Neem Karoli Baba Ashram
Welcome to the 2017 season! It has been nine years since we sowed the first seeds at Hanuman’s Garden and this summer looks as though it will be as filled with joyful bounty as the previous ones. Last year we put in a new pond and welcomed Matilda, our dairy cow, to the ashram. This year we plan to complete building on a root cellar and cord-wood constructed harvest structure. We will also be taking further steps towards sustainability with water pump and catchments systems. In addition to these special projects for 2017, we will again be cultivating an acre of vegetables to feed the many people who come to enjoy delicious meals at the ashram blessed by Maharajji as well as to sell to our local community at our on-site farm stand.
Each year our perennial herb and flower gardens continue to grow and develop. Here at the ashram we lovingly cultivate a perennial flower garden which beautifies our temple landscape and helps to create a sacred environment for prayer. We also have a cut-flower garden from which we create magnificent cut-flower arrangements, flower garlands and creative floral displays for the temple room. We will again be planting lots of annual flowers, and of course marigolds. Farm volunteers will have the opportunity to artistically string marigold garlands and to develop relationships with the Taos community while selling the garlands at the farmer’s market.
We will be sharing the care of our full 10-acres of land which includes an orchard, several bee hives, peafowl, a dairy cow, two green houses with a rocket mass heat stove, a medicinal herb garden and a 400-year old system of irrigation ditches (acequias) flowing directly from Taos Mountain. Sevaks will have the opportunity to join in the stewardship of Baba’s land while learning from both on-site team-leaders and visiting permaculture experts.
One of the central teachings of Neem Karoli Baba is to “feed everyone”. The kitchen at the ashram feeds several hundred devotees each week in addition to hosting feasts for hundreds at several festivals throughout the year. The farm is an integral part of the ashram’s mission to feed people with fresh, organic food grown with love on Baba’s land. In addition to the various farm projects, sevaks will have the opportunity to help in the preparation of meals-experiencing the satisfaction of seeing food from seed to table. There will also be food preservation-canning, freezing etc. And there are always many daily and seasonal tasks such as cooking, cleaning, maintenance and preparation for vibrant seasonal festivals and other projects around the ashram to participate in, ensuring a well-rounded living experience.
Expectations & Contact
As with any farm, there is a great deal of labor-including landscaping, maintenance, harvesting, hauling, hardscaping and processing of materials and food. Volunteers should be willing to physically engage in the farm process and to remain present-especially for our harvest period later in the season. We have a vibrant social community and we welcome anyone with previous farm experience and a willingness to work. There are no drugs or alcohol allowed on the property.
Sevaks are expected to work 40 hours per week for food and bath. We can accommodate people from May until October, with possibilities before and after depending on indoor space. Our accommodations include a purely vegetarian kitchen with delicious and simple daily community meals, shower/bathroom facilities and tent sites, not to mention an interesting social, cultural and spiritual environment. We are located very close to the center of town with grocery stores and other retailers within walking distance. We cannot accommodate pets and children will be considered on a case by case basis.
We encourage people to commit to staying for a period of several months to the entire season. This creates more continuity and productivity for the farm and offers a broader farming experience to the individual. We also enjoy having shorter term sevaks but prefer a stay of at least two weeks. We expect maturity and good communication from all of our volunteers as well as a willingness to work, listen and learn.
If you are interested in participating in the ashram farm seva program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. When contacting us please include your expected dates of stay and previous farm experience. We may ask for a resume, references and a short phone interview.
Hope to see you at Hanuman’s Garden this summer!