• Exploring the non-stereotypical Bolivia

    A journey into the jungle, development projects, stunning art, permaculture and community… Jean and his colleagues were flying to Santa Cruz to then continue in the Chiquitania region – visiting their projects, meeting volunteers, partners and government officials to discuss their work. I was kindly invited to accompany them and was grateful for  the opportunity to see another part of Bolivia, experience rural areas and to be in the tropics again. Nothing feels more like ‘home’ to me than the warmth and humidity on my skin. We flew to Santa Cruz where the city surprised me. I felt like I was in a different country. In contrast to La Paz…

  • Baby time: Changing roles for a month

    I am yet to experience the joys of motherhood but I regularly find myself reading about natural parenting and birthing. I’m not sure why but it seems to fit with my quest to ‘make sense of things’ so I roll with it. My friend’s frequent flyer points recently delivered me to their family in Perth, Australia, where I spent a month as part of their growing family – mum, dad, 2 year old Nova and 6 week old Lumen. Before arriving I wondered… how would I cope? After all, reading and doing is very different. My concerns dissipated quickly. Every morning I was woken by Nova, a beautiful little girl, whose…

  • Tomato free pasta sauce

    In case you haven’t seen via facebook, Carly (that’s me) is currently in Perth, Australia, visiting friends, looking after babies and hanging out in their suburban permaculture food forest, Thyme Lords Cottage. My friends are aiming to become as close as possible to self sufficient one day. I am loving spending time with their 2 year old and newborn, as well as seeing what they are growing and cooking!! The mum in this beautiful little family developed allergies around 15 years ago – to wheat, soy and tomatoes. As you can imagine, this has made cooking a little difficult, buying anything processed is next to impossible and of course, she…

  • A lesson in self-reliance: The Choro Trek

    Relaxing in each other’s arms and sipping our local organic coffee we are now enjoying the stunning subtropical vista of the mountainous Andes from an eco-lodge in Coroico, Bolivia. We are surrounded by diversity, coffee plants, avocado trees, bananas, hummingbirds, butterflies and myriad of insects. It feels like bliss, however this moment of peace and quiet has been well deserved… When we were preparing for the 4 day Choro Trek (most people do it in 3), we knew it could be difficult as we had to carry all of our camping gear, first aid kit, food, water and clothing to suit everything from the cold dry Altiplano at 5000m to…

  • Seed saving: Nature’s abundance

    Today became the day for seed saving. It wasn’t what I had planned but it’s what I ended up doing since I had a stomach bug, was lacking energy and, as it turns out, one of our mizuna plants was well and truly dried and ready to drop her seeds. I’m not very experienced with seed saving and propagating but I try to learn whenever an opportunity arises. I’m keen to learn more and I figure nature teaches me if I’m willing to observe and spend time with her. While I was pulling tiny black seeds from fragile dried pods I had a lot of time to think and get lost…

  • Getting high: Lounge room gardening at altitude

    Recently we posted this photograph of our lounge room garden on facebook where you can see some of the plants we are growing indoors. In addition to these, we are also growing more tatsoi, mizuna, spinach, rosemary, laurel tree, oregano, thyme, parsley, mint and some cucumber seedlings have started to take off! As I’ve mentioned before, we don’t produce enough to make any huge contribution to our food supply but we enjoy doing what we can experimenting growing and seed saving indoors, at an altitude of 3,200 m (La Paz, Bolivia)! Our lounge room is perfectly situated to make the most of the sun’s movements throughout the day, meaning we…

  • Reconnecting at the Lazy Dog Inn in Peru

    When we arrive at the Lazy Dog Inn near Huaraz in Peru, we feel like we are coming home. Not only do Diana and Wayne run the eco-lodge like their family home welcoming guests, but for us, the way the way they run the property and engage with the neighbouring communities is exactly as we would like our home to be. Following is a little video we have made to share some of our photos with you this unique place; it’s our first time creating such a video, so feedback is welcome… we hope you also enjoy the jazz! We provide more information and pictures about the Lazy Dog Inn beneath the video. When arriving,…

  • Infographics: A killer homemade nutella

    Okay, so this definitely isn’t a health food but with a French man in this household we needed to try a healthier version of nutella… also one that doesn’t use palm oil, contributing to deforestation! What’s the deal with palm oil, you ask? Well, check out this this article (among many!), which reminds us that in 2012 things have gotten even worse than the headlines from 2007/2008, when the huge ecological impact of Indonesia’s relentlessly expanding palm oil plantations first really started being scrutinised. A report in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences tells us that the palm oil situation is even worse than we thought. The nutshell version: Even though Indonesia has laws prohibiting expanding…

  • Infographics: Sprouting

    We almost always have something sitting on our bench sprouting away! Here is a small infographic we did up about sprouting: There are many methods of sprouting – you can buy a special sprouter, use a clay sprouter, a special jar with a mesh screw on lid, or keep it simple like we do by reusing a glass jar and attaching a piece of tule with a rubber band. 🙂 The process is really very easy! It’s just a matter of firstly soaking the seeds (see the appropriate time for the specific seed below), then keeping them moist by rinsing them often to avoid mould and exposing them to sunlight…

  • How to stay grateful in adversity

    You might remember our post on practicing gratitude... but wonder to yourself, ‘how do I stay feeling grateful when bad things are happening?’ Well, honestly, in the past I haven’t been that good at seeing positives during times of stress. My emotions tend to overtake me and then much later, when all has calmed down I try to reflect on how I could have handled things better. However, last night I realised that I’ve come a long way in the past few years. Let me explain… I took this photo at around 530am this morning as the sun was coming up and the moon was disappearing. I couldn’t sleep because my…

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