The challenges of making our own coconut oil

A specialized climber needs to be hired to take down the ripest nuts, which can be used for producing the cold pressed famous health food coconut oil.

Our climber goes up the tree with bare hands an feet and can climb 15 trees in one day. After which the nuts are each opened by hand from the outer shell and then the inner shell and the meat removed by hand as well.

After which the grating procedure and making of the oil can begin. See our coconut movie on the complete production .


The temple snake

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This beautiful snake  with its yellow rings is considered sacred by the Balinese. it lives mainly in the the,plus and is called the temple snake. Having this snake in your house under the roof is considered a blessing. It show itself on the average once a week coming down from the roof to go hunting for food. Its main food are the frogs it finds around the ponds.It nourishes itself from mice as well.

We have a special approach to the snakes here. Since we are the ones taking the living space away from them, we are respecting and honoring them. The Balinese do make offering for the snakes at the house temples. This way a peaceful co-existence is initiated.

The pineapple harvest

We wish you an interesting, fascinating and at moments peaceful 2019!

How to ride the waves of all these various global and local and personal events will be the challenge. All points to many changes and new approaches and discoveries. On this note, we will remain with the first item in our gardens, the incredible wealth of our pineapple growth and harvest. The sweetness of its taste. What a difference.

This year’s harvest of pineapples stretches for several months. we grow two types, a Javanese and a smaller Balinese one which is of an exquisite sweetness. After being cut from the plant, which is left to grow another fruit, the tops are removed and replanted and will grow into another pineapple. We have several ways of using the delicious fruit. one, to open and eat. One of our kitchen fairies, Jani, made for the first time a pineapple marmalade , trying out with sugar and with stevia as a sweetener. Made and Nyoman dry the pineapple slices and package them to sell and replant the removed tops in the garden..

The new born star

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Here we have the new born star creating a future world. Having spent several months together at Jiwa Damai, two years ago, Romina and Vali married and now have this beautiful son. Congratulations, many blessings and much gratitude. We would like to extend this to the Mama as well, since Romina has been our steady support for the past 2 years with Jiwa Damai website, blog and Facebook.

A Journey into My Life – Emily Ren

A Journey into My Life – Emily Ren

When King Lear asks the blind Gloucester how he sees the world, Shakespeare has him say,””I see it feelingly”.

Travelling through all these years, I found myself always attached to the nature deeply somewhere inside of me. It is not only about green mountains and the blue ocean. Even though I took a lot of time and energy carrying my heavy photography equipment, hiking miles after miles, waiting in the freezing night, just to take a picture of starry milky way. Whenever I look up at the countless stars in space, I would be always awed by the magnificence of universe and could not stop crying. The vast ocean of stars can always carry infinite imagination. How beautiful this great nature is, and how small we as individuals are.

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Fulfilling stay beyond any expectations

I came to Jiwa Damai to teach Yoga and learn about Permaculture. I planned roughly to stay for a couple of weeks and ended up staying until the very last day of my 60 day visa. This place is pure magic. I felt a little challenged by the quietness the first week but my persistence paid off and rewarded me with an experience that touched me very deeply. The place itself is beyond beautiful. It is true paradise where you do not hear any man-made noise (besides the temple that you hear 3 times a day like in any other place in Bali). The nature that Margret, the owner, is protecting and allowing to flourish here is incredible and so soothing for the soul. It doesn't matter where you look you only see beauty and lushness. As if that wasn't enough already to make this place truly special, you will also meet the most amazing people.


Margret the owner has become very very dear to me over the course of my stay and I got to support her with very exciting projects. She lead an amazing meditation every evening for us and I am so grateful for having been introduced to her technique. She is also really great at picking people for the volunteer programme and the other volunteers quickly became close friends. The staff is incredible and so sweet and kind and friendly. I feel I have gained a new home and a new family with lots of new brothers and sisters, cousins, aunties and a granddad ;) I had so much fun, I learned a lot of new skills and also a lot about myself and I made meaningful and real connections with people and nature.

My heart is so full after my stay, I was not ready to leave when the visa expired and feel almost homesick now after I left. I can highly recommend staying here. If you come here with an open mind, ready to learn about yourself and ready to challenge yourself and understanding that how you perceive reality is always up to you, you will be rewarded with a very beautiful and profound experience.

This article was written by Kerstin, our volunteer. If you would like to join us, send us an email at contact@jiwadamai.net

The mushrooms are back

Laura, our lovely volunteer from Borneo, revitalized again our mushroom production.

The mushrooms need a dark and humid atmosphere so we set them this time in our tool shed, which we emptied out. Laura ordered the mushrooms already set in bags in nutritious food soil As you can see, they are beginning to sprout.



Care and appreciation of soil

To be able to truly honor and appreciate the earth, a caring and loving attitude  to oneself and others is a prerequisite. At Jiwa Damai we approach  working  with the soil and earth from a  multidimensional perspective.

The inner attitude of honoring and respecting that which gives us our physical life, is complimented with the in-depth knowledge of how to restore and heal the abuse the soil suffers. Here at Jiwa Damai we ground the theoretical design concepts of Permaculture, its principles of earth care, people care and sharing  with hands-on in our extensive gardens. Our  1 and 3 day intro offerings as well as PDC’s are embedded in a morning yoga class and evening heart meditation. Find out more on www.jiwadamai.net 

Shiatsu techiques

We have started to introduce some basic Shiatsu relaxation techniques this lat week. Margret is showing our volunteers how to make it a moving meditation. Each movement and touch and pressure is done with the out breath and as such it becomes a relaxing meditation in movement and receiving. Our two wonderful Mexican volunteers, Ana and Pao with Evan from Australia. Presently Ana is working with Evan on  a short video about each and soil and Paola is supporting the new HeartSelf-Intelligence website(www.heartself-intelligence.me) with graphics.

Join us as a volunteer at contact@jiwadamai.net

BioChar, the Miracle Ingredient for the Organic Garden

Being blessed with many coconut trees, coconut oil is one of the main products of our organic garden. So far, only the shell and the flesh have been used, while the remaining coconut husks have been burned. Considering the fact, the dry season is just about to start, we wanted to try out making biochar out of coconut husks as a soil supplement.

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Biochar adds many benefits to your garden and helps building up a healthy soil. Millions of microscopic holes provide a living environment for many different microorganisms and help holding back plenty of water. Also Nutrients are effectively locked up and are slowly released according to the requirements of the plants. This way, a loss of nutrients caused by too much rain can be prevented. Biochar can also be used in compost toilets, as a water filter or simply as a burning material. 

If you want to use biochar in the garden, it is recommended to saturate the biochar with nutrients before applying to the soil. This can be done by adding biochar during the composting process, mixing with fresh compost or watering it with compost tea. Applying unsaturated biochar directly to the soil could give plants a harder time to grow, because the majority of nutrients may be adsorbed by the char in first place.

The Principles of BioChar Production - Pyrolysis

If you want to make biochar, it is important to understand the physical principles behind the process. If you light up a fire, it is not the wood that burns in first place, but the released gases driven out by heat. The fire will burn these gases in a clear flame consuming all oxygen while forming a protective layer around the wood. As long as there is a lack of oxygen, the wood underneath will carbonize and turn into char. This is called pyrolysis. If no more freshly dried material is added and gases are no longer produced, oxygen can penetrate towards the coal, and the coal will slowly turn to ash. The key point to make biochar is to prevent coal turning into ash while maintaining a clear burn. It’s important to maintain a mostly smoke free fire in order to gain biochar with a good quality and less toxic substances caused by smoke.

To achieve the right process conditions, the physiology of the fire and the geometry of the pit are crucial. Lighting up the fire in a pit or a barrel helps suppressing oxygen flowing from underneath, causing the produced coal to turn to ash. As dry coconut husks are a good material to produce biochar, it can be hard to maintain a clear constant flame by just using husks. Therefore apply easily burnable material just as dry bamboo or wood in the middle of the fire and place the coconut husks around. This creates a chimney effect in the middle that will guarantee a good burning process.

We invite you to read the entire article from our German volunteer Phillip, who, with the help of Ella from Croatia and Evan form Australia demonstrated twice the process of bio charcoaling and enriched our Jiwa Damai soil with this precious fertilizer.

And if you like to visit our garden, or take part in our permaculture workshops, send us an email at contact@jiwadamai.net