blog

nettle power

Nettles surge up with the full shakti of spring and they are known as a tonic because of all the minerals, in particular, they contain: iron, calcium and magnesium.  Just what is needed after a peaky winter when greens from the garden are only catching up through the hungry gap. They’re fantastic in the garden …

celebrate!

I’m so looking forward to a calendar of festivals at Viveka Gardens! Feast days marking the year open the heart to the rhythms of the cosmos. Alignment with nature and connecting with forebears’ practices is so beneficial to the soul in modern times. Food growing, spirit and nature come together in thanks and blessing – …

the yogic breath

To introduce newbies to the yogic breath is both a joy and humbling: this simple technique brings so many benefits. Just this week a new student within fewer than eight breaths said, ‘I can really feel myself relaxing’. The mind’s anxieties take a hold on the muscles. To exhale is to let go physically and …

yoga and mindfulness for young people

Fiona Sundari has recently trained with TeenYoga, motivated by compassion for adolescents’ experience of stress and anxiety. Young people need yoga Research has shown that the number of young people reporting feelings of depression and anxiety is rising and there is a trend for the rates of these disorders to increase in the transition between childhood …

visualisation

This time last year (early spring 2015) I asked yoga student Sue to take some pictures in her amazing productive garden, Great Barrier Island NZ. It was dawning on me: yoga + growing food = Viveka Gardens.  A very literal visualisation that got the ball rolling. This spring I was given a visualisation exercise, Imagine yourself 5 years …

pakora and peamint dipping

Fried, salty food is not so good every day, but for a party it’s perfect. For Easter celebrations we were asked to bring finger food for a post-mass buffet, and pakora immediately suggested itself. Gram (chick pea flour – protein!) is used to make a batter to coat vegetables and these are deep fried. The …

vegan paysam

This is a vegan version of this traditional Indian desert. It can also be offered as prasad, food for the altar which is then shared after a ceremony, full of devotion. Coconut cream is delicious and easily available. Coconuts have settled right round the tropics of the globe! You can find coconut cream in FOUR different …

mung dhal chancing style

Sizzle! In this recipe the spices are fried in oil at a high heat and added in a dash at the end of cooking the dhal. This is a template for making a simple, wholesome, kind of all-in-one protein-packed curry in just about an hour. You can substitute yellow split mung dhal, toor dhal or …

basmati

It’s not difficult: one cup (aargh, what’s a cup?) to two cups of water. And a pan with a close fitting lid. A cup is about 200g rice but just find a cup that works for you and it’ll be easy after that. Decide what spice you want to add in order to complement the …

date and ginger chutney

I feel tamarind should be in the title as this is a distinctive taste that always makes the tastebuds sit up and take notice.  Its sour taste is very pleasing in conjunction with the other tastes in chutney: salt, acid (lemon juice), sweet (dates) and pungent (ginger, cayenne pepper). Chutneys round out a meal because …

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