Ananda Dham is a volunteers based project. Along the years several volunteers have come to help in the organic peach farm and they have created treasured memories of their experiences.
Few of them they have become professional farmers and they still are in touch with the project managers.
In the year 2012 for example there have been 19 volunteers visiting mainly but not exclusively associated with WWOOF organization. In the Volunteer Participation Record which all volunteers are requested to compile before leaving we can read for example:
Work Done: Built flower beds, cleaned house, general maintenance.
Remarks and suggestions: I had a great time stay here. I enjoyed the solitude and all the great books. I learned a lot about spirituality and hard work. Staying here has prepared me for the future.
My first WWOOF-ing (World Wide Organization of Organic Farms) experience; thanks Dada, Alex, Ben, Ananta, and Jakub for making it so memorable.
from a journal entry dated October 17,2006— my last day on the farm
Thus ends my time at the Ananda Marge Lake Hughes Peach Farm. I’m actually sort of sad to leave. But, onwards and upwards to the next adventure! As always, it’s great to be on the road again…
Well, I’ve had my taste of farming now. It definitely had its perks, such as a relatively calm lifestyle and nearly unlimited bounty of peaches and other veggies to be picked and eaten. Nonetheless, it often feels like the same repetitive work, lack of mental challenges, etc.
The most valuable thing this experience gave me, and what I will miss the most, is the people here— of course everyone on Earth is unique and special… so that’s why I’m WWOOF-ing. I’m experiencing and living a hitherto unknown way of life while expanding my network of friends around the globe, growing my knowledge of the world by knowing the people that fill it. Adverse as I am to the idea of farming as a future way of life for me, at least the door’s open if I need it to be.
“You’re really special,” said Ben, “and alive! I hope you find your path, and keep walking strong. Don’t let any minor setbacks— like the Fall— stop you.”
There are times when one wishes to cry, sing, laugh, dance, fly, and run all at the same time. Instead, I hug everyone, wave a last goodbye, walk out of the house and back into my car, then drive out of the gate, stepping on peach farm land one final time to shut the gate on yet another wonderful chapter of my life— though the gate’s never really shut. And the road’s only just begun.
Now that the organic farm is in the delicate stage of restarting almost from scratch we welcome volunteers who have the capacity to endure the harshness of the environment and the rules that written or not written are characteristic of this project:
Practice of yoga and meditation
Keeping busy if not working hard
Being self reliant
Being as an example
Loving and caring for everything
At present we cannot provide transportation but rides can be arranged with the help of external people. It is a further test for self-sufficiency and we are glad if you can share these values and ideals.
If you want to volunteer at Ananda Dham you may fill up the form below: