Today I would like to introduce you to Tanya from Ecolosophy. I haven’t met Tanya, as she lives on the opposite side of the country. If I did meet her though, I’d probably give her a feet lifting off the ground kinda hug, deposit some sourdough on her bench top and then run through her kitchen, (being careful not to slam the back door of course) scurry down the back steps and then face plant into her garden.
Have you seen her garden? If you have, you’ll know that it’s face plant worthy. This is the kind of garden that gets featured in magazines. This is the kind of garden that dreams are fuelled on, (inclusive of mine!) This is…ok, you get the picture. I’m in love with her garden and before I share anymore of my love for it. I thought I would share a little Q+A that we had.
1/ Tell me about your garden and what you have growing at the moment. I’ve seen snippits in Earth Garden and there is a little garden envy on my part!
Ha! Well bear in mind, I only take pictures of the pretty bits! Our block is 10 acres and rented. Mostly we aim to keep it maintained so it’s not too snaky but we do have some lovely bushy bits where we hunt for wildflowers and orchids. The garden you’ve seen in Earth Garden is our vegie patch. We shower and wash in salty bore water so we can give this area all our fresh rainwater. We have built raised garden beds from whatever we could salvage locally and filled them with manure and pea hay and compost.
I do the herbs, my partner does the vegetables (except tomatoes, they’re my thing) and we often lock horns over real estate in the patch. Luckily herbs are tough and a little bit sneaky so slowly and quietly, they’ve inserted themselves into any available crevice. As time goes by I’ve noticed that more are left to do their thing and less are getting evicted. My eldest son has also started infiltrating the patch with his love of flowers, so the patch, which began as a rigid, productive, straight row kind of vegetable garden, has evolved into a crazy and haphazard explosion of colour, a bee paradise, a worm farm, a science lab, a classroom and a grocery store, an open air gym for both vigorous workouts and low impact yoga, an oasis of peace and an avenue for artistic expression.
2/ You’re going on family picnic on the weekend, what food will you take?
Our weekend picnics generally involve the beach and the boys bring lemon, flour, salt, pepper and grand plans to catch our food and live off the land. Now, I don’t like to show a lack of confidence, but I also don’t like to go hungry, so I usually slip in a few chicken and vegie quesadillas… just on the off chance, y’know?
3/ Ecolosophy is an online store you run with your business partner Rose. Can you tell me a bit about your background and why you started it.
Well my background is in horticulture, herbal medicine and retail, Rose comes from urban design and sustainability. We’ve long been friends but a couple of years ago we started day-dreaming together about our ideal enterprise. Ecolosophy evolved from that. We wanted to create a business that could not only sustain us but also makes the world a better place. We selected our range in the Ecolosophy shop adhering to an eco criteria and our blog is a multifaceted exploration into green living. Although we currently live in a small town and grow a lot of our own food and keep chooks, we’ve also lived in built up urban environments and faced all the challenges of being eco in the city. We’re actively involved in our local community and as the business grows we hope to engage in more social enterprise as well.
4/ If you are putting together a package for someone that wanted to reduce their environmental footprint, what would you put in there to kick start their efforts.
Here’s my five eco things that I wouldn’t be without now.
- My jute string shopping bag, just like your nanna used. It’s lightweight, strong and expands to fit heaps in. It lives in my handbag and I use it at every shopping expedition.
- My Keep Leaf Produce bags, because really, why do we need to keep wrapping our vegetables and loose bulk goods in those stoopid little plastic bags?
- My bamboo toothbrush. The more I learn about plastic, the less of it I want to own…and I definitely don’t want any in my mouth.
- I can proudly say it’s been two years since I gave up cling film… how so you ask? These beeswax and hemp food wraps are awesome and have helped bridge the fridge gap with food covering.
- Who Gives a Crap… I can’t go on enough about this loo roll so excuse the shameless sales pitch…it’s good for your bum, great for the world! The lovely guys at WGAC have created the cutest, 3 ply toilet paper that is 100% recycled with no chlorine, inks, dyes or scents. They donate 50% of their profits to the charity Wateraid which means that every roll you buy is helping to build toilets and improve sanitation in the developing world. If all that isn’t awesome enough, these rolls are so pretty, you’ll be itching to display them in the smallest room in the house. You’ll be hooked -check out their website whogivesacrap.org to organise a subscription to get these super cute rolls delivered to your door.
5/ Last meal on earth. What are you eating, who is there and where are you?
It’ll be just my boys and I, camping with the bush at our back and the beach in front of us. A crackling fire will warm our sandy toes and the night sky above us will be sprinkled with stars… experience tells me we’ll probably be eating quesadillas!
Now the lovely ladies at Ecolosophy have put together an eco-hamper giveaway for one lucky duck reader to crank up their eco-journey. Ecolosophy is offering a hamper containing their top five, favourite eco-products for one lucky subscriber. All you need to do is enter the code-word cityhippyfarmgirl into the special instructions box in the shopping cart when making a purchase at the Ecolosophy shop during 2014, for a chance to win.
(And now coming back to my running face plant back in to that magnificent garden… anyone else want to join me?)