CURIOSITIES OF OUR LAND: RASPBERRY

Among the so-called small fruits, raspberry is one of the most cultivated species here in Portugal. 
And in our farm in Ananda Valley, it was one of the fruits that we started planting from the
beginning.
Exotics, raspberries have a mixture of acidic and sweet juices.  Raspberries are from the rose family, as well as strawberries and apples.
 It is a fruit that can integrate various types of sweets and light desserts, which gain color and magic with its addition.

 Raspberry vinegar was once a popular remedy for sore throats and a common base for summer drinks, diluted with soft drinks.  Today it occupies a solid space in the preparation of marinades and salad dressings.

Health benefits
One of the most outstanding nutritional properties is the richness in vitamin C.
 In early 2012, a team of American scientists from Clemson University in the U.S. announced to the world that the direct application of raspberry extracts in cancer cells of the stomach, colon or chest resulted in their destruction. 
The effect is believed to be achieved thanks to the presence of antioxidants, such as vitamin C, but other compounds still to be identified may be involved.  Scientists bet on the consumption of this fruit, whose detoxifying and diuretic action has already been proven.
 
Vitamin A: is available in the form of carotenes that help to increase the defenses and protect the vision.
 Folic acidas the needs of this vitamin increase during pregnancy, raspberries are indicated for future mothers

– Vitamin B7: Contributes to the body to take advantage of folic acid and work in favor of the nails (they grow stronger) of the skin (it becomes more luminous) and the hair (it grows with more vigor).
 – Potassium and magnesium.  Potassium prevents fluid retention, regulates blood pressure and tones the muscles.  Regarding magnesium, it keeps bones and teeth healthy. 
– Fibre.  Raspberries are rich in pectin, a type of fibre that favours intestinal transit and helps expel toxins.

The process of planting  on our farm:
 To be successful in planting, some aspects must be taken into account, as says Alexandre Ferreira, coordinator of volunteers.
 It is possible to have raspberries almost all year round in a greenhouse Here on the farm, raspberries stay outside.
  And with the climate of the region, the production goes from June to October.
The raspberries are perennial, that is, they last for many years, which makes us plant only once, and then we just have to prune and clean around other herbs that are growing.
To prepare the ground, initially we have to clean well of other herbs, put manure and then make a ground cover around the plant so that others that compete with the raspberries don’t grow.
This year, 2020, we are experimenting for the first time the leftovers from the olive press to make olive oil.
The Cooperativa Agrícola
Dos Olivicultores Do Fundão has given us a lot of this material, which for them has no commercial value, and for us it is great for the land.
We add manure to the soil and also fertilizer that we make with nettles. 
From time to time we also buy biological fertilizer.
The planting period here has usually been between November and May.
 In areas that have not caught well we sometimes do replantations.
To control weeds we clean well in the winter and put soil cover. It depends a lot on the climate of each year, but normally we use irrigation at the end of May and irrigate until October.
During the peak of summer we have to water every day, more than once a day.
Regarding pruning, we have to limit the number of sticks of each plant, because otherwise they get in the way of each other and don’t produce so much.
And we also have to cut the sticks that have already produced and won’t produce more or that are too fragile and will never produce.

The harvest usually takes place from June to October every year. When ripe, the fruit is released from the solid centre, which remains like a white, hard cone on the stem.
 One of the difficulties of small fruits like raspberries is that they are very short in storage. From the third day they start to lose their structure. They are conserved in the cold from 1°C to 2°C, ideally.
After 3 days; if we do not sell or consume, they go to freeze for self-consumption by Ananda Valley residents, or go to make jams.     
There are many species of raspberries:
Remontant and non-remontant. Remontant is the name of the plant that blooms continuously throughout the season, or whose flowering is repeated several times a year.
To maximize production several prunings are necessary throughout the year.
Non-removeable is the opposite.  Flowering and production take place only once and in the season itself. 
Here we have varieties of both types, but most of them are remant.
There are many legends about the magical properties of raspberries. 
A German myth says that a branch of the plant can tame a bewitched horse.
We all who live here are already bewitched.

By Silvia Satyavati

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F.A.Q

  • When we need volunteers?
    All year round.
  • Do we require a minimum duration?
    Yes, we require a minimum of 1 Month
  • Is the project really 100% vegetarian?
    Yes
  • Can I bring my non-vegetarian food and eat by myself?
    You can of course hang out at a local restaurant or have your meat for a picnic, but please don’t eat non-vegetarian food, alcohol or take drugs inside the project.

Ananda Valley Internships

6 and 12 months positions, in the areas of: 

  1. agriculture & natural construction
  2. ecology, sustainability & permaculture

Erasmus+ Youth Exchanges

Youth exchanges allow groups of young people from different countries to meet, live together and work on shared projects for short periods.

Youth exchanges take place outside the school environment. On a youth exchange, you can expect to participate in activities such as workshops, exercises, debates, role-plays, outdoor activities and more.

Participants’ learning experiences are recognised through a Youthpass.

Only in 2019 we had three amazing youth exchanges with NNN youths from NNN European countries.

  1. 28 June – 19 July “Making Ananda Festival of Bliss”
  2. 4-13 September “Back2Nature”
  3. 27 Sep – 6 Oct “Footprints 2.0”

Erasmus+ volunteers projects

EVS (European Voluntary Service) & ESC (European Solidarity Corps) programs:

  • candidates must be between the ages of 17 and 30; candidates between 25 and 30 years will get priority;
  • financial support: all essential costs related to your volunteering project; you will be provided with insuranceaccommodation, board and any local transport that you may need, and a small amount of ‘pocket money‘;
  • EVS volunteering projects in Ananda Kalyani are usually long term but we are open for short term projects as well;
  • you volunteer on an unpaid and full-time basis;
  • what you have achieved and learned through volunteering is certified via the Youthpass recognition tool.

Active Projects:

If you are interested to volunteer in Ananda Kalyani please contact us. We will need the contacts of your sending organization so that together we will be able to create the project tailored specifically for you and apply with it. The results about the approval of the project will be accordingly to the deadline (October, February, May).

Ended Projects:

  • 2017 – ORGANIC EPIC 2 – ANANDA MARGA Portugal
    • 3 volunteers from all over Europe.
  • 2017 – ORGANIC EPIC – AMURT Portugal
    • 3 volunteers from all over Europe.
  • 2016 – EVS Treasure Hunt – AMURT Portugal
    • 3 volunteers from Italy: Valeria, Francesca and Andrea!

Service

Volunteer service is based on at least 5 hours of work per day with 2 days off on the weekend. 

With 5 hours a day, 5 days a week focused on your working tasks you have ample opportunity to learn about your personal relationship to work, develop a variety of ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ skills, and about how to be present with what it is to be in service.

Volunteers' Guidelines

We have developed a set of  Guidelines stating how we aspire to live and work as a community.

We are a 100% drug and alcohol free environment. If you are found under the influence of drugs or alcohol, we will ask you to leave immediately.

The Schedule and Guidelines will be sent to you when you contact us. After reading and agreeing with them we forward with video call, so we can “meet” each other.

What We Need

We are looking for volunteers who are open to live with people from different cultures and backgrounds and who are interested to share in and learn from the whole process, sunny days and rainy days.

Most of the work is general maintenance of the farm and organising events. You will be involved in some of the following activities: helping with the development and maintenance of the forests; planting in the organic garden; collecting wood and fruits / wild berries. You will learn how to prune and take care of many different trees and berry bushes, composting, mulching, caring for and transplanting seedlings, how trickle drip irrigation systems work, weeding and all other aspects of maintaining and developing an organic farm. You may like to help with selling the food grown at our market stall, visit other eco-villages and projects nearby.

If you are interested or have experience and knowledge you can take part in more specialised opportunities like: informatics ( website, help in the automation of greenhouse, electrical system in AK, small apps to assist in recording sales, batch number creation, other tasks that can be automated), communication/marketing and events management.

What We Offer

The dynamic volunteer team at Ananda Valley is a place where you can dive into an international, community experience rich in learning and personal development. Our aim is to provide space and opportunity to express yourself and learn how to develop your full potential, supporting a more sustainable way of living, socially, culturally, economically and ecologically.

The project need people passionate about nature, willing to work with joy and happiness, not scared by people who meditate, are vegetarian or are singing mantra and doing Yoga asanas in the early morning. We are growing, learning and we need people who work with love, not afraid of the weather and are open to make friends from all around the world!

As a volunteer you are here not only to serve your own personal development, but also the development of this beautiful project. Service to the project means participating in all working activities, some boring, some fun, giving the gift of warm and joyful environment. 

Food Forest Project

Using a permaculture, biodynamic, natural agriculture insights, and primarily what nature is telling plus a pinch of intuition, we will create step-by-step a self-sufficient forest made of a symbiotic community of mostly perennial edible plants and vegetables. Usually forest gardening is seen as a low-maintenance sustainable plant-based food production and agroforestry system based on woodland ecosystems, incorporating fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, vines and perennial vegetables. It is an ancient art and deep science of combining plants in woodland-like patterns, forging mutually beneficial relationships, creating a garden community that is more than the sum of its parts.The first food forest is being developed in an area of 1.500 m2, to begin testing and experimenting several techniques, and requires a small economic support to buy plants and few tools to start the forest. Three 1.000 liters tank will be placed in one corner of the forest, to provide more water in the first 3 years of the project, and for extremely dry years during the summer months.

Want to know more? Come and visit us on one of our open days!  

Vegetable and Herbs Project

Our second agricultural project is envisioned to provide us with economical sustainability, through a source of fresh and organic fruits and vegetables. We are now at Fundão Market selling our produce on Monday and Saturday mornings in the summer season. Come and visit us! We are also going to plant and distribute organically-grown medicinal and aromatic herbs. Using permaculture techniques, we are planning to have tincture herbs and and produce essential oils. A diverse and plentiful crop!

Cherries and Berries Project

Already harvesting blackberries and raspberries in season 2016 and now waiting for cherries first harvest in 2017 season. Our first big agricultural project consisted in planting and looking after more than 2150 berry bushes and cherry trees. This region is known for its delicious cherries, so we planted 550 of these local trees in over 1.5 hectares. Spread across half a hectare we planted berries and they will be cared for using the latest techniques such as biodynamic agriculture and permaculture. Using special “teas” made of specific plants we are making our herbal friends very happy! This project will guarantee financial security and stability through direct sale of produce. 

Learning Centre

We are excited about a new project which is now in its initiation phase: a Learning Center focusing on Regeneration and Sustainability.

Learning Centre

Estrela Sustentavel

Is an ICT (information and communication technology) company that functions to create software for the future. Always with an eye set to promote sustainability and social development, it aims to give a good financial basis for the creation of the Master Unit as well as setting a standard of sustainability for it. As the work is developed, new and interesting technologies are discovered and created which inspire the team even further in the endeavour to develop Ananda Kalyani. 

http://www.estrelasustentavel.pt/

Events & Ananda Festival of Bliss

Our beautiful green valley is the perfect spot to organize events. We’d love to invite you to enjoy life with us and join us in one (or more) of our events. You can dance and sing your heart out at the annual Ananda Festival of Blissyou can face your fears and be a hero at the Spiritual Warrior Camp or you can get back in touch with yourself at our Spring Retreat.

A bit of special attention goes out to our Ananda Festival of Bliss, because this is the time a year when everything we stand for comes together! Ananda Festival of Bliss is a festival for people who believe they can make the world a better place. It’s an adventure of art and nature, a heaven for activist and dreamers, for young people, families, lovers of ecology and warriors of peace and spirituality! Ananda Festival of Bliss will inspire for individual changes to happen and this will serve as the base for a larger societal change that is so necessary in our world.

All our events are drug, smoke and alcohol free, promoting a healthy & vegetarian lifestyle.

Please visit our events page for more detailed information on events and the festival.