Essene Oasis Farm
is located in a tiny community outside of Austin, TX. Craig, aka Nature, and his wife Katja live in a cob house with a pond and vegetarian garden. Nature is the most knowledgable person I've met in all things hippy :)
He is living completely off-grid with water. A pond on the edge of the property is used for the garden and in the bathrooms. Rainwater is harvested for drinking and is almostttt as good as my parent's spring water at home.
Nature also teaches Kundalini yoga, has converted his truck to run on veggie oil, and written books on the benefits of eating raw foods.
There were a few other WWOOFers there when I arrived and it was great to have some company. I learned about chocolate making, compost tea, and many healthy eating tips.
In 2011 a large wildfire burned hundreds of acres of wooded area in the towns of Bastrop and Smithville. Almost all of Nature's property burned, and without insurance everything was a complete loss.
He told me a story about a Baptist church in town that had a volunteer group to help anyone that needed assistance with clean-up. All you had to do was put your name on the list and they would come take care of it. The group was entirely made up of men over 60, including one with only one arm that operated the tractor.
But what really makes this story even more crazy is that once the men arrived at Nature's place to begin they realized they didn't have the necessary pins to attach the bucket to the tractor. So one guy looks over at what was left of the house and notices a bathtub that had fallen through the second story floor.
And wouldn't you know they attached that bathtub to the prongs of the tractor and scooped all the ash off the property with it?
I'm headed west but there are many more photos of Texas I've gotta get through. Coming soon :)