Posted in General Blogs, US Specific Blogs

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun or When You’re Crawling Out of a Pandemic.

Where to begin updating you on Herban Renewal – After a pretty productive lock-down period of installing gardens, trying a few hugelculture beds, testing aquaponics, setting up the vermiculture, getting our chickens set up and starting to lay, we did the next logical thing and decided to sell the Herban Renewal property in town! Yep.

However, after finding Buyers, then finding another property, things just didn’t go as planned. The house was packed into boxes, utilities were set to switch, many, many plans were made. Also, there were the way-too-many plants and seeds ordered and hatching eggs set to deliver, the sketches of raised beds and food forests, all in anticipation of a few acres and a couple of awesome out buildings, and then, on the final day, –(cue dramatic music) things…fell … apart.

You could say I was a bit shook, but I am a big believer that things work as they should. What has been unsettling is my lack of ability to decide if I wanted to stay put or move. The plants and hatching eggs arrived because I couldnt bring myself to cancel them. The plants made lovely gifts and egg hatching is always fun, even though I was not planning to have 30 plus chickens in my laundry room. But we hatched them because, well, because we could. There is nothing as fun as the anticipation and hearing those little eggs when they begin to peep. And the chicks are also delightful for about the first week. They continue to be delightful, but their odor inside your home – not so much.

Now here we are at the beginning of fall and we continue to live in our home and it’s still not for sale. So I am publicly declaring – I’m going to stay put!! Let fall planting begin.

Posted in General Blogs

Regenerative lifestyle…

The word regenerative kept popping up, as things will do when something resonates with you. I was telling my kid’s dad that my goal has always been to create a regenerative home and life for our family. He asked me to explain and here is part of my reply.

Regenerative- practices that create abundance; Actions and thoughts that leave you full rather than depleted, Time spent rejuvenating energy, mind, and soul. Time spent with family developing bonds, ideas, and support. Creating a place where people can develop their next level thinking and plan their futures based on their hearts, not on needing to chase the dollar.

The whole permaculture design concept is about this. Permaculture is not just about how to plant a garden, it is about using regenerative practices in your life, for the benefit of yourself, others and the planet. Earth Care, People Care, Fair Share – in its simplest terms.
It’s a systemic design process using natural patterns and rhythms to create abundance- food, joy, community, habitat.

It is definitely taking some stretching in my mind to move these ideas from the garden into daily life, and it’s a process I have barely consciously tapped, as of yet. But as the word, “regenerative” continues to resonate with me, I will continue to bring it into the daily life of myself, my family, and my community.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Do you do this? What are ways you see to be regenerative in your relationships with others and the planet? 😊

Posted in General Blogs, US Specific Blogs

The Mulch Patch

May is winding down. The weather has been much cooler than most recent Mays and we have had some really hard rains followed by no rain. The garden beds are slowly taking shape and a variety of experiments, which are completely unscientific, are succeeding, or not. Overall, the growth seems slow and tedious for the plants, but the mulch paths are growing a little more every day. Maybe it’s like the watched pot problem and if I don’t look for a few days, big healthy plants will appear.


I’ve been doing a ton of reading, watching videos, digging through old books and general planning. The topics that I’ve dug into most deeply are mushrooms, Microgreens, permaculture, and food preservation. These are all topics I’ve looked at and tried out to various degrees, so it’s nice to circle back around for a deeper dive.

The first of 2 shipments of plants have arrived. Some people might just think they are tiny brown sticks, but I can imagine the Spice bushes, Lindera benzoin, hazelnuts, Corylus americana, and roses, Rosa rugosa, they will all become. The spice bush leaves serve as tea and the berries are edible, dried and fresh. The Hazels produce hazelnuts or filbert. Can you say homemade Nutella?!, I mean healthy protein! The Roses are for teas, fragrance, and Vitamin C from the hips. I once made rose petal jam; it smelled lovely, but it came out more like a hard candy that I couldn’t get out of the jar once it solidified.


Most days I feel more like I am cultivating patches of mulch than an actual garden, but I know once the heat arrives most of these plants will explode! Here are a few pictures of the ever growing mulch patch and if you zoom in closely, you might even see a few plants.

Posted in SA Specific Blogs, Uncategorized

Greetings from Giyani

Avuxeni (Greetings)

The current pandemic of Covid-19, has taught us that saving for tomorrow can save lives. When countries start to implement “Stay Home/Lock Down,” we witnessed millions of people from around the world flooding the retailers through panic buying since they have power to purchase.

Those that have no power to purchase were left helplessly watching those that were buying more than what they need, due to panic buying.

A lesson we learnt from this pandemic is that people need to be taught to be self-sufficient. Subsistence farming has been a way of life for decades, if not centuries, up until recently when people have to depend on retailers for their food supply.

The fault line was noticed a week or two after lockdown, that there are millions of people living below the poverty line. Governments from around the world tried to distribute the food parcels to the needy people, but there was not enough to be distributed to everyone in need.

The fault line has taught us that we need to encourage people to start growing food for self-sufficiency. As the proverb says, “instead of giving a man a fish to eat for a day, you better teach him how to fish.” This is why Mahala Love exists. We want to go to the most vulnerable people and teach them the basics to grow food sustainably, using resources available in their respective area,

It is possible. We will win.

Inkomu (Thank You)

Posted in General Blogs

Happy Mother’s Day

I wanted to wish you all a Happy Mother’s Day, whether you are a Mother, in the formal sense of the word or not. Regardless of your status, we all have, or had, a mother at some point. It is a great day to be reflective of the gifts we have in this life – gifts of birth mothers, step mothers, friend’s mothers, mother-in-laws or you can always reflect on Mother Earth if you’re struggling in the other categories.

I thank all the strong women in my life. I have been blessed with several and am equally blessed to be raising a couple more. I have always felt that whatever age my kids are, it is my favorite. My children, (I have four by birth and a couple more by heart), most are adults or young adults at this point. I find each one complex and fascinating. Although the Lockdown of 2020 has been stressful for many, I have truly cherished the slowing down of my life and having my kids around more. I am so grateful for a 15 minute conversation when they blurt out something or they process an idea or they just explain something for the 5th time because they are sure I can’t possibly understand. I see with great pride the kind hearts and sharp minds they each possess and I anticipate their futures.

So Happy Mother’s Day to us all. May you have peaceful days and take the time to focus on the good amidst all else that may be going on.

Posted in General Blogs

Mahala Love is…

The word “mahala” is found in many languages throughout the world in various forms. It translates to love, freedom, community, neighborhood or free. It comes from Arabic, Cherokee, Polynesian, Zulu and likely more.

The project comes from a desire to share knowledge (love others), to remember cultural roots (community), to provide for ourselves (freedom) and to give to others (free). Mahala is a perfect name for an imperfect project.