Founder of ISKCON. His Divine
Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta
Swami Prabhupada
Of the Adityas I am Vishnu, of lights I am the radiant sun, of the Maruts I am Marici, and among the stars I am the moon. (Bhagavad-gita 10.21)
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Spanish Farm Project   29.08.2010

The Madhuvan project has been going on now for just over a year. We created our website late in 2003, and since then we have built up a small group of well wishers who wanted to be kept updated about our progress.

Madhuvan Ecovillage has been set up to try to fulfil the orders of Srila Prabhupada to create an ‘ideal unit’ of society. He envisioned a village wherein the people live according to the ideals found in Bhagavad Gita. We are striving to live according to those ideals in a simple village setting, using the things that Krsna has naturally created to sustain our lives in a simple way. We are working to create a fully sustainable community, in a way, which goes way beyond the mundane understanding of that concept.

Srila Prabhupada on Simple Living

Letter 1974 …If we get land we must first be sure we will be able to fully utilize it, otherwise, if we cannot use it what is the use? I want the world to see by our example that life can be lived naturally, peacefully if one is self sufficient with land, some cows and chanting Hare Krishna. That is the idea of purchasing land. It is not necessary that every temple have a farm, but as many as can be efficiently managed locally is all right. Let them see our centers are self sufficient. Whatever can be managed conveniently.

Brief History.

In December 2003 the Madhuvan project really began to take shape. We had started some months earlier but due to several setbacks made little progress.

I had decided to wait till the shortest day, the winter solstice on December 21st to find the best place to build the first house and establish the first garden on our newly acquired 100 acre (approx) valley. There was a spot on the north face that would have been a good spot according to Vasthu Sastra, but I doubted it would be good according to the climate. At around 11 am I went to that spot, and found that it was cold and miserable. The sun was shining brightly but only skimmed the top of the grass, while the earth below was frozen.

Disappointed I wandered down to the stream and upon crossing to the other side, on the southern slope I sat under an evergreen oak to think things over. As I was sitting there I noticed that the sun was very warming, and that the -The Pajares stream – soil was also warm. I peeled of the layers I was wearing, and reclined against the earthy bank soaking up the warmth that that sheltered spot offered. I had often pondered over the years since my time working 0n Sri Mayapur Project why Srila Prabhupada had never mentioned Vasthu Sastra. It seemed that for devotees it was not so important and in this particular case not at all practical. So with all these considerations in mind I decided that this place would be the most suitable to begin the project.

The freshly mulched garden

Two days later, on Christmas Eve, with the indispensable assistance of Bhakta Franz, we began work on the first garden. Now a year later, the garden has supplied us with all our fresh food needs this last Summer, (we are still eating the potatoes!) and we have our first two dwellings well on the way to completion!

New Vrajamandala has more than 600 acres of land, and that land is full of natural resources for constructing houses. In order to utilise those resources however requires a few more people than we have right now. So in the meantime in order to get the ball rolling, and so we can actually start living on our land, we decided to build some super insulated yurts. We used standard yurt frames, which had been made the previous year, and mounted them on a simple foundation of the earth and stone (with a little cement) that we had dug out of the ground in preparation.

Strawbale yurt

We then mounted the yurts on the foundation, and lined them with Strawbales. Next we will insulate the roofs with locally donated sawdust. Then we will be making some homemade woodstoves for heating and cooking. Finally we will plaster the strawbales and the floors with simple finished made from mud/straw/cowdung and lime.

Summer at New Vrajamandala

By the river

We had quite an exciting time this summer. We had decided that we wanted the yurts to have a more ‘Vedic’ appearance. Madhuvan is supposed to provide us with constant reminders of the Lord and His Vraja Pastimes. Mongolian yurts don’t really fit into that picture.

So my wife Savita and I decided to see what we could do. I cut some typical rajasthani type window arches into some canvas, and Savita set about painting that canvas with Elephants and lotus ponds. We also created a long yellow band with the Hare Krsna mantra painted in red on it to go around one of the yurts. We decided to erect these yurts down behind the goshalla near the river hoping to entice the visiting Pandava Sena down for a party. Unfortunately it was a bit too far away for all those city slickers to walk to!


Later we brought one of the yurts to the Temple courtyard for the Janmasthami festival.

Earlier in the year we had a visit from Sridama, his wife Clara and their daughter Radha. They stayed for about 6 weeks and really gave a boost to the creation of the first garden, even paying 50% for the first order of organic seeds! They returned in the late summer, with their newly born daughter Malati to see if they would like to live in Madhuvan full time. Sridama and I then began work in earnest on the foundations of the yurt with a lot of help from our families and by Christmas we had our places well on the way to completion.

Sakhi & Laksmi

During the year, we received a donation of a cow, which we named Sakhi! She is a very mild cow and she gives about 15 litres of milk a day.

Sri Devi

We also got the use of a horse now named Sri Devi, who had previously been used to plow the fields of a previous owner who lives on the other side of the village of Brihuega. We now have to learn how to use her to pull a cart and some farm equipment, and to make some tackle for her.

Madhuvan donors

We are extremely grateful for the kind help of HH Kadamba Kanana swami. He has been fully behind the project since its inception, and provided a large amount of the initial funding to help us get the project off of the ground. So far he has personally given a total of around €2500 and arranged for many more donations.

We are also extremely grateful to the management committee of New Vrajamandala, HH Kadamba Kanana Swami Patita Pavana prabhu & Maha Laksmi Mataji who agreed to donate the 100-acre plot to the project, and even gave us a grant of € 4000 to establish the first dwellings!

A big thank you goes to Bhaktin Sara and Christian for donating € 2500 this summer to the project.

We also are grateful to Bhakta Neil from Manchester who donated a big box of spices, and to Bhakta Steve from Birmingham who is always sending us donations of laxmi and other needed items whenever he can.

A big thank you also to the following devotees for their kind donations:

  • HH Bhakti Vikas Maharaj € 100
  • Rupa Manjari Mataji € 100

More information.

We have received appreciation from many very senior devotees who have visited the project, most notably from their holinesses: Jayadvaita Swami, Candramauli Swami, Paramgati Swami Bhakti Vikas swami, Purusatraya swami, Hanumat Presaka Swami, Tejiyas Prabhu, Krsna Ksetra Prabhu, Rasamandala prabhu, Malati Mataji, Jaya Bhadra Mataji, Rupa Manjari Mataji and many more…

Ongoing work at Madhuvan January 6th 2005

Samba hewing beams for construction

Savita and the kids helping out

Samba Sudama & Savita

Sudama Ramai & Shakti lighting a fire for lunch

An exceptionally warm January day!

Madhuvan Last Spring

One of our meadows

Preparation for a summer camp

The Pajares stream
Samba & Bhakta Bram winching up the bridge beams

The Greenhouse

The Greenhouse