Written by Chloe Gonzalez
We are blessed with the most beautiful organic gardens here in our little paradise in the Byron Bay hinterlands. Due to the hard work and dedication from our committed gardeners and volunteers, we have been able to foster the growth of the gardens from the very first seeds to the thriving gardens they are today. Every task undertaken in the garden is vitally important for its success. Thus, we take care to put plenty of love and care into each. This includes everything from planting and harvesting, to mulching, composting and weeding. Even when a task such as weeding seems laborious and time consuming, it is so rewarding when it is understood that by doing so, we are saving the plants from being sprayed with nasty herbicides. Instead, we are showing the soil a little more of our love by taking the time to pull out each weed with our bare hands.
As a result of our hard work, we are gifted with an abundance of fresh, seasonal, organic and nourishing produce. Our volunteers take time at the beginning of each day spent working in the garden to harvest what is ripe for the picking and carry it in baskets and crates directly to the kitchen.
From there, the fresh produce is cooked up into a multitude of delicious dishes for our retreats, workers and volunteers. The types of dishes cooked are based on the fruits and vegetables that are in season and also incorporate wholesome staples such as legumes, quinoa, brown rice, herbs, spices and other flavoursome goodies sourced from local, organic suppliers. Frank is renown for his fabulous Chinese cooking and his skill with transforming eggplants and pumpkins into the most incredible tasty dishes earn him high praise. Similarly, Yao’s yummy japanese creations make it impossible not to return for seconds.
Any leftover food scraps are collected in a compost bin so that they may be used to nourish the garden soils with plenty of nutrients and vitamins. In this way, the cycle continues in which we put love into our gardens, we are able to reap the fruits of our love in the form of harvesting, each harvest is used to prepare life nourishing food for our bodies to fuel us to continue with our mission, and our waste is returned to the soil to once again give life.
At the same time, each wave of volunteers and visitors that come through are able to learn about how to live sustainably, look after the earth and look after themselves. They can then take this new knowledge and skill set with them to their respective corners of the globe to facilitate positive change.