Managing the Garden of Eva – Langkawi, Malaysia

Langkawi 2014-01-022We arrived on Langkawi January 2nd to start on a new volunteer project at Revitacura – The Garden of Eva.

 

1-farmer and wifeRevitacura is a start-up project promoting healthy food and living created by the German Eva Zimmermann . The center of the project is a health food kitchen on a 4 acres property which also holds housing for the volunteers, fruit trees and plenty of space for gardening. The concept is to create a space where anyone can learn how to live healthy, grow healthy food and cook delicious meals from it. Any “green” ideas including solar power, water recycling and so on are welcome. A fantastic place for Nadine and me to nurture our souls after 10 month of travel and to start the new year on a healthy note.

Enter reality: When we arrived the founder, Eva, was fully occupied by her primary business, the charter of luxury cruises around the island. The farm was entirely run by volunteers of which most of them just left in a rush. Accommodation for the new arrivals was insufficient. There was no organizational structure and no hand-over of existing or planned projects. Documentation of recipes, food plans, local ingredients etc. did not exist. – We actually found some of it later after we sorted out every corner of the kitchen and office and fixed the computers which were broken. We also discovered documentation about the history of the location and a time when Revitacura was “alive and kicking”.

 

Garden of Eva 2014-01-04 015The reality check was quite hard and we took a day at the beach to consider our options. We had hoped to join a happy group of health enthusiasts and support interesting projects in gardening and food preparation from which we could take away new skills and experiences. Instead we were asked to take the lead in setting up a new structure for a new beginning.

We were still excited by the vivid vision Eva had given us for her project and decided to support her entrepreneurial spirit and courage.  We gave ourselves one month to get the Garden of Eva back on track.

I put my manager hat back on and Nadine the chef hat. With the help of Jonas and Mareike, 2 volunteers who had just arrived from Germany, we transformed the place into a welcoming and inspiring home for our latest volunteer arrivals, Cristi and Adriana from Rumania. While we are still working on issues with piping and waste water the herb and vegetable garden is already flourishing and the rain water preservation and chicken house projects are well on the way. The kitchen crew is teaching cooking classes and serving newly created vegetarian, raw and vegan menus to lunch guests, and I finally found some time to successfully test my bread recipe in the humid Malaysian weather. We hope we made a difference for Revitacura when we will leave Langkawi on February 8th.

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