Blog Archives

Summer Projects

The good summer weather has meant that the many volunteers who have stayed here have been working mainly on outdoor tasks and their efforts have made a great difference to the environment here.

In general the volunteers’ day starts with breakfast and animal care, in particular the cleaning of the stables, feeding the animals and providing them with clean water.  Later, there is time for the volunteers to work on particular tasks and projects or certain aspects of animal care such as helping the farrier, cleaning the donkeys’ eyes and ears, grooming the donkeys or walking the dogs.

There are also projects within the grounds and this year some volunteers have been continuing with the pruning of old wood from the many apple trees or clearing and reorganizing the vegetable garden which has been greatly improved by a lot of hard work as you can see from the photo below.

Vegetable garden cleared and ready to replant.

Vegetable garden cleared and ready to replant.

The biggest project this summer has been the digging out of a small pond above the main Lily Pond to provide an area for quiet meditation.  The excess water from the small pond will drain down into the Lily Pond.  A fair number of vehicle tires were found abandoned in this area and, as they are difficult to remove entirely and to recycle, they are being used to form the bank of the pond and will be covered eventually with a lining which will hide them.  We think that the pond is coming along nicely as these photos will show.

New pond under construction and being inspected by Burribu.

New pond under construction and being inspected by Burribu.

Pond under construction.

Pond under construction.

The Lily Pond

The Lily Pond

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HARVESTING THE APPLES

A yearly recurring event is the autumn apple harvest, as the land of the Donkey Paradise has lots of apple trees with cider apples.

It’s not always easy to carry out all the donkey-related tasks ánd collect all the apples, but this year we were fortunate  enough to have a lot of helpers. They had to shake the apples from the trees and put them in 30-kilo bags. These bags will then  be taken to the village, where they are collected by the truck from a cider factory in Nava.

Thanks to the enthusiasm of the helpers and the warm weather we were able to collect 10.000 kilos! The money is used for necessary reforms of the buildings.

The pictures below will give you an impression of this year’s apple harvest and the amount of work done by a lot of wonderful volunteers!        Marleen

Perfect weather for picking apples.

Perfect weather for picking apples.

Bert is shaking the Apples off the tree - "Stand clear everyone!"

Kees is shaking the Apples off the tree – “Stand clear everyone!”

Volunteers hard at work.

Volunteers hard at work.

Time to give Canela a hug.

Time to give Canela a hug.

Volunteers enjoy a well-earned meal.

Volunteers enjoy a well-earned meal.

Mmm, that apple smells really good.

Mmm, that apple smells really good.

Bags of apples all in a row.

Bags of apples all in a row.

Jesse and Simone piling the apples up in the village ready for collection.

Jesse and Simone piling the apples up in the village ready for collection.

Phew!  Finished at last.  This photo says it all.

Phew! Finished at last. This photo says it all.

Apples are loaded onto the wagon for transportation to the factory.

Apples are loaded onto the wagon for transportation to the factory.

Cider tasting in the factory.  It was all worth while!

Cider tasting in the factory. It was all worth while!

The large barn

The large barn

Work has started again, after the Christmas break, on installing a new roof on the large barn which houses the food-store for the animals and the utility areas. During the holiday this area was covered by a large tarpaulin which thankfully withstood the high winds of the period. What a useful area this will be when the roof is finished and we will have a dry area for a change with no leaks in the roof. This work is funded by the sale of the apples from the apple trees on the land for the production of cider. Thank you to Martin, the builder, and to volunteer Steve for all the hard work they are putting in. It is really appreciated.