Attack of the Aphids

A lot of our garden experiments are in a waiting phase right now. The moringa is almost ready to start clipping from, which will be a great reintroduction to our lives since at our old house we had four huge plants in our tiny 20sq’ yard that we could eat off of daily. Most mornings we had fried eggs and moringa – fresh from the backyard. Right now we have a few herbs like mint, thai and sweet basil, and fennel that are going strong and we need to get in a better habit of using. But the pumpkin and cucumber are still slowly sprawling out, the cherry tomatoes aren’t quite blooming yet, and the leafy greens have gone to seed. A lot of these things we planted early just to see what would take during the monsoon and I think their progress is slow and steady because they rarely have a chance to dry out and breathe a little. But even in the past two nights, we’ve noticed a temperature drop in anticipation of cool season – a great growing time in Thailand.

But the yard long beans have been abundant for the last month. Non-stop green beans. Yesterday morning I went out to pick more and noticed a strange clumpy dirt gathered on a lot of them. Continue reading “Attack of the Aphids”

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Finding Real Things: Yarrow EcoVillage

We visited Yarrow Ecovillage on a typical west coast rainy winter day and the community, like the bees, were huddled away in the hive. The diverse handful of people we did meet were everything from retirees who are busier than ever, to a young family who happened to be alumni of the same small college in Michigan as us!

Emma is a self-proclaimed introvert and regardless she described feeling like she just needed to say hello when she saw us leaving after our tour. We are very grateful she did! We now have friends in Yarrow. We met up with her and her husband Shane and their 6 month old son for coffee and it was a joy to find people that we could connect with so easily. We’re realizing that the people we meet are going to be the key to feeling (potentially) at home in each place we visit. We were able to connect quickly and talk about real things (like the challenge of economic diversity in an ecovillage that naturally has a high price tag) and they also gave us great insight into local life – like how they walk to the river and have community picnics in the summer, the good fishing nearby, and we shared laughs over the joys of raising chickens. Here’s a little recap of our experience and reflections on Yarrow Ecovillage:

Backyard Chickens: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

For us, pregnancy was a gestation phase not only for our little girl but for a new way of life.

We got pregnant three months after moving to Thailand and the move was predicated by years of working full time and striving to get debt-free. We intended to slow down once we arrived, but found ourselves caught up in the swing of cultural adjustment, Thai language learning, and monthly excursions to remote parts of Thailand to shoot for my work. Pregnancy forced us to slow down a little and we started taking time to reflect on the kind of life we wanted to to bring our baby into.

Continue reading “Backyard Chickens: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”