This new adventure first brought us to Kashi, an interfaith Ashram and intentional community in Sebastian, Florida, where they have a unique sustainable permaculture farming program. The Ashram's message is kindness, compassion, and service, and was a wonderful place to connect with nature.
|There was so much abundant beauty at Kashi|
|Giant white sweet potatoes, called Boniato|
|Mark helping to build a platform for a tiny home in the eco village|
We would usually work until about noon, then have a break for lunch, then work again from 2 until about 4:30. Then we usually tried to harvest some of our dinner from the gardens. On the weekends there was an amazing chef that would cook wonderful vegetarian meals for the community. (Kashi is a vegetarian community.)
Each week there were various yoga classes that we could attend in the evenings and on our days off. I was able to experience classes from 9 different teachers, some more than once.
|That's me at the back left corner|
across the river .
We were fortunate to be part of a farm to table meal fundraiser. We harvested, set up and served a wonderful meal. It included mint & lemon grass tea sweetened with fresh sugar cane juice that we pressed from cane with a hand cranked press.
|Serving appetizers at the farm to table dinner|
|An endangered gopher tortoise|
|Mark was lucky to get a great view of this bobcat!|
We kayaked on the Sebastian River and saw a really big gator and cute small ones too. We also went to the beach a couple of times.
|The ocean at Golden Sands Beach, Sebastian, Florida|
We attended the first weekend of a permaculture design class. If you are wondering what permaculture is, one definition says it's the development of agriculture ecosystems intended to be sustainable and self sufficient. But to us it is also a way to design gardens in harmony and symbiosis with nature.
|This was where we hung out and cooked our meals|
Sustainable Kashi was an amazing, sometimes challenging place to have our first wwoofing experience. Terry, who leads the program, teaches and shares his vast knowledge with his eco- interns as he likes to call us, and promotes healthy eating, sustainable living and community. The eco village used solar panels to light the kitchen and the outdoor composting toilet (that didn't smell).
|Quite a fancy composting toilet! And it didn't even smell bad!|
|These are just some of the amazing people that we met at Kashi! That's Swami Nar in between Mark and I, then Simon, from France, and Angie.|
|We would pick anywhere between 30 and 100 pounds of|
|Then we pinted them up for sale.|
Who would have thought we'd be farmers for 6 weeks this winter! We've eaten great fresh produce at both farms, and learned a bit about what it takes to run an organic farm (think fighting bugs). It was a warm winter in Florida and the bugs have thrived and eaten more tasty produce than we did.
|Kale that was so big that it looks like little palm trees. They built bamboo|
houses with bug netting around most of the tomatoes and the cucumbers.
We had a new "pet".
|A pileated woodpecker|
|This is Woody on the window!|
We enjoyed the Fort Myers beaches, Sanibel Island, and kayaking the Orange River and Lover's Key State Park on our days off.
|Beautiful day kayaking the Orange river|
|Kayaked with manatees at Lover's Key|
|Gators at Big Cypress Preserve|
|Great Egret shaking off water on Sanibel|
|Osprey family at Lover's Key|
We learned so much at the farms about organic farming, permaculture and sustainable living. We are grateful to our wwoofing hosts.