blog

tuscan bean soup

Today we were transplanting over 1000 kale seedlings at Tolhurst Farm. We ripped off the top leaves so the plants won’t transpire too much*. The baby leaves were way too good to throw away. By chance I had some of the farm’s borlotti beans soaking: yes! Tuscan bean soup tonight. Traditionally it would be a […]

star anise tofu stirfry

I couldn’t decide which would be the star of this dish, the star anise tofu or the leaves…still not sure as the chard and mustard greens I picked today on the farm are so full of prana and very tasty too. Tofu is a high protein (33% more than beef!) food but it is heavy […]

gentle world

The people at Gentle World, a charitable foundation, are vegans on a mission. Shangri-La is the name of their New Zealand vegan organic farm, and if you ever go there, you’d better be ready for the hard sell. For these lovely people are passionate about compassion. All heart and against cruelty. Part of the international […]

the spirit of the place

Calming the mind allows the subtler senses to engage. Gentle listening to trees and landscape features inspires awe and connection with something greater. Some trees (see picture below) have quite a presence indeed! I had a question in my mind before visiting New Zealand. If the English landscape is imbued with milennia of spiritual practice, how […]

japa

There are many repetitive tasks in growing – weeding, shovelling, forking, picking fruit, for instance. There are others that take a while and aren’t that complicated but require a level of concentration – watering, driving a tractor on a rutted track (yes, I can do that! show off)…and more. Here in the picture you can […]

go to yoga

Great Barrier Island has been one of my favourite places in NZ, mainly because I stayed a while and my kind hosts, Caity then Deb, were so generous with introductions and I got to be a little part of the community. ‘The Barrier’ (as we locals call it) is only 40km long by 16km wide, […]

ponga

The silver fern, ponga in Maori, is the symbol of New Zealand. The symbol is seen everywhere – over onesies, on mugs, up the sides of buildings, cut into hair – and lovely it is too. The plant itself is super-abundant and its palm tree shape is a feature in the plentiful bush (forest) from […]

heart centre

Anahata is a retreat centre perched on a mountain top in overlooking Golden Bay on south island, New Zealand. There’s a wonderful energy pushing up, and the rock below is full of springs and crystals. Literally, you feel uplifted. Anahata is Sanskrit for heart chakra. Chakras are represented with petals radiating from the centre, opening, and here there is […]

urvaru

…may it come to pass, just as the fruit comes away from the vine… There’s a classical Sanskrit mantra that yogis chant, the Maha Mrityunjaya, or Great Death Conquering, mantra. And being at Okiwi Passion market garden on Great Barrier Island off New Zealand, I have had the visualisation and experience that the mantra evokes. Here, […]

food as blessing

At the Hare Krishna farm in Motueka valley, top-of-the-south-island, New Zealand, the sacred link with food is a given. There is an understanding that eating is a gift from, and a sacrifice to, God. As Antar Darshan, chief chef, explained to me, for the Hare Krishnas, food eaten is an offering to Lord Krishna. Their […]