What is it?
The Shamba, 38 acres of coastal ranch in Kenya, 60kms north of Mombasa, contains tall coconut, mango and giant cashew nut trees growing amid spacious open grassland. The land is organically farmed, practicing biodynamic methods to grow vegetables, coconuts, mangoes, cashews and guavas. Bees are kept in traditional hollow tree trunks providing honey and kapok trees provide the filling fiber for our pillows and mattresses. A herd of cows graze the pasture providing milk and Kangas (Guinea Fowl) provide eggs.
The Shamba is "off-grid". Solar energy is used for lighting, charging devices and running the pump from a 25 meter well.
We are a communal team of equally paid resident workers with no hierarchy that has shaped itself over years of adjustments, thus developing a sense of autonomy and responsibility towards the place. All live on the land and jobs are done together. We are present day and night. We value and appreciate each other, we rely on each other and we are proud to have achieved that.
The Shamba is owned and managed by German born Jochen:
"I did not enjoy formal schooling and dreamt of being an artist so I opted for vocational training. It is a unique concept in Germany to combine school and a job. Through that, I learnt old-style craftsmanship and developed an interest in teaching. Studying pedagogy, linguistics, geography and art, teaching has led me to vocational training in Kenya and to the Rudolf Steiner School in New Zealand where I lived and raised a family for 20 years and where I became an artist. My paintings (mashada.imara.de) sold successfully. But it was time to move on and I wanted to paint landscapes in real 3D. So I emigrated to Kenya. Shaping and planting trees, building houses and facilities that are pieces of art in nature. The Takaungu-Escape Shamba was born. My building skills and architectural training made it easy for me to achieve that and to train people. My experience with anthroposophy at the Rudolf Steiner School provided alternatives in many ways - education, agriculture, health, architecture, social care - and many of those alternatives are now implemented at the Takaungu-Escape Shamba."