2. Ecology

It aims to tackle environmental-related issues – help us!

  • Fascinating wildlife in the Pampas, Bolivia

    Back in July 2013 we stepped off our very small (capacity of 12) Amazonas plane onto a dusty rustic runway and into the warm, thick, humid air of the tropics with our friends, Edouard and Laeticia – a mere 45 minute flight from La Paz but seemingly another world. The plane had landed at Rurrenabaque, a town just on the edge of the Amazon basin and the gateway to The Pampas. A few hours in the back of a truck and then another few hours journey in a low, long, wooden boat through muddy waters filled with caiman, the banks lined with capybaras and the trees overflowing with monkeys, we…

  • Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

    This is a very late post, from July in fact, so it will be more of a photo entry than a story… but I think that’s ok because probably the most fascinating part of our trip to Salar de Uyuni was the regularly changing and breathtaking vistas. We were excited to meet our friends, Edouard and Laetitia, who had traveled from France to spend 2 weeks with us in Bolivia. We had been waiting for friends or family to visit to do some of the tourist highlights, but understandably Bolivia is just too far away and expensive to get to for most people. This was our chance! We decided to…

  • 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…

  • 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,…

  • Aquaponics – eFISHient food production in Palestine

    Aquaponics in the West Bank During our stay at Bustan Qaraaqa in Palestine, we have been lucky enough to volunteer one day a week with Phil and Lorena from Byspokes on aquaponic systems (their website is where the following information comes from). Aquaponics is a combination of aquaculture, which is growing fish in water, with hydroponics, which is growing plants in a liquid. Since they arrived in the West Bank in July 2010 they have been researching, developing and trialing the FIRST EVER aquaponic system constructed behind the Wall! They have been developing integrated aquaculture/irrigation systems and aquaponic systems to enhance food security in rural areas of Palestine, where as much as 44% of the population are…

  • Talking rubbish – Turning trash into treasure

    Here at Bustan Qaraaqa they don’t simply sort their recycling, compost their vegetable scraps and put out the rubbish to be collected weekly – they take REDUCE, REUSE and RECYCLE to a whole new level. With no municipal waste management in Palestine, they have adopted a policy of ‘what comes on site, stays on site’, often collecting other peoples waste too! Using permaculture, creativity, knowledge and passion they educate and demonstrate by living sustainably themselves and maintaining a philosophy that there is no such thing as waste – just a failure of imagination. They hope to inspire Palestinians to stop throwing their rubbish down hillsides or burning it on the side of the…

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