Los Perros Urban Farming

Before moving, I had a chance to visit this lovely bunch. Sofia, Buddha, their six months young daughter Cleo and dog Stretch is running an urban farm pretty much in the center of Malmö, near Rosengård. It was quite a cold day in early March and the time had just come for them to begin cleaning up the fields and sow the first seeds for the new season.

Sofia is from Ånge near Sundsvall, half way up in Sweden, and Buddha from Sydney, Australia. They met ten years ago in Barcelona, which is from where they brought their charming street dog Stretch.

With Buddha's background as a chef and their love for food, eating and growing, the farm felt like the next logical step in life. Buddha was working in various kitchens in Malmö, and seeing how much produce came from other countries, he realised that much of it could be produced right at home. Just meaning fresher and local! Sofia had studied ecology and they are both self taught when it comes to Permaculture, with podcasts, and an entire bookcase of books. The best way to learn these days. Everything is available to everyone, the magical side of books and technology.

Buddha had been growing all his life, on a small scale. He spent a lot of time with his grandma as a child and they were always in the garden or watching Gardening Australia. In Barcelona they always had a herb garden on the terrace. With their love of nature, there's no better feeling than eating a tomato that you've grown from seed, watered, and cared for up until maturity. I so agree!

Besides selling their produce to some of the best restaurants in Malmö, they sell directly from their farm in the summers, on the farmers market in Folkets Park. And with the new Reko-Ring Malmö that just launched its Facebook site. It's originally a Finish initiative that basically offer people an easy going chance to buy directly from their favourite local producers. Cutting out middlemen and giving more growing/buying power to the people. Los Perros also offer a weekly/fortnightly/monthly seasonal veggie bag that people can sign up for.

Their season starts now in March and lasts until November. Obviously more yields in warmer months and when the sun is highest, but they also overwinter some things. They've for example just been delivering Jerusalem Artichokes to restaurant Lyran today. First farmers market will be towards the end of May.

This year will be the first in which the farm will be the family's full time jobs. Buddha worked at Gram in Malmö Saluhall this past winter, Sweden's first package free store.

Their future hopes are that we get to see more urban farms and more demand, that they can engage with more people of all ages and backgrounds so we can all learn together. From a family perspective, the wish is they can keep eating pesticide free, organic food year round.

Unfortunately I stayed in Malmö in the wrong season so I haven't had a chance to visit their farm during the best time, looks absolutely beautiful though, here are some of their photos from last spring, summer and fall:

Los Perros is expanding this year by another 1500 square meters, to 2500m2, which will make them the largest commercial Urban Farm in Sweden. They have got a great IndieGoGo campaign for it here. For a greener future, and more clean food for everyone, make sure to help them out for the final part. And in general, always make sure to support your local organic producers. This way we can ensure better food for us now, as well as for future generations.

If you live in Malmö, feel free to contact them for any produce arrangements, and make sure to follow them online on their website here and Instagram here.

Spring!

I still have some stories and photos to share from my brief city stay, just wanted to share these springish photos first from this gorgeous early morning in the new house that we moved to a few days ago.

The sun woke us up around 7 am so it would have felt like a waste to not head right into it. Let's go for a walk! It was still chilly, around -1C and potholes on the road were still covered in thin but crispy ice.

You can hear no traffic here at all. But the lake, Hornborgasjön, that is so popular with the birds, is just 8 km up North, so there's a constant chatter from the crane birds that pass by on their way up there. In their perfectly composed plough formations.

Lots of wagtails around too (sädesärla), who have returned back home from their winter vacation in Africa. What better signs of spring than wild and awake birds singing and communicating in between each other. Everyone seems to burst with joy for this new beginning.

I, for one, am endlessly happy being back in nature. Being able to use the outdoors as home as much the cosy indoors with its warm wood burning stoves. 2,5 months left till the baby is due. Cannot think of a better place for the end of pregnancy, and the first home of our child.

Love this warm jacket I thrifted a while back, but love even more that it is not too far for me to throw it off for good. Spring really is here now!

Hope you all have a lovely sunny day wherever you are.

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Keeping it simple

So drawn to simple flavours these days. Food with few good quality ingredients and selected few spices or herbs. I like feeling what things taste by themselves, appreciating them for their individual qualities, rather than hiding a big bunch of ingredients behind a mysterious sauce or too many flavourings. Which can of course be tasty, but I also enjoy challenging my taste buds with remembering and appreciating things for what they are, and their own nurturing properties. Which is why I love this simple dish. Which is why good quality ingredients are essential.

I cooked small enough pieces of potatoes and carrots in water with a rich amount of olive oil, bay leaf, thyme and salt (any other herb works too). Cut small florets of broccoli as well as the stem into pieces, and/or 1,5 cm thick slices of courgette - add them both into the boiling water at the last five minutes. Remove water and squeeze fresh lemon on top. Crack on some more good quality sea salt, add chilli flakes. Maybe fry up an egg for good company (the yolk + the veggies blend so well together).

Served here in the picture with a grated cucumber salad with hemp seeds and a vinaigrette made of apple cider vinegar, salt and olive oil.

Potatoes, carrot, broccoli and courgette may sound boring to you, but give it a try someday with real good organic produce, and make sure to have a good sea salt available. I always make a big batch of this, as frying it up the day after is mmmmm.....

Looking forward to making this with home grown produce later this summer. You do know the difference between store bought winter potatoes and home grown or local summer ones, don't you? The same with all other produce. The difference in flavour and complexity of food bought in neat packages off the super market shelves, in comparison to how it tastes and feels when it's grown in their right setting and season. It's another world altogether.

From one world to another

Having lived in the concrete reality now for almost four months, I can't wait to get back into the real world! Dipping in for a moment is great. Catching up with the few parts of it that I've missed. But I know what my true calling is. And that is to curiously continue opening my heart and soul from the inside. Peacefully allowing more light and love to flow in, as I find my groove in the magical adventure that is life.

The city distractions of the matrix doesn't allow me to do that. Too many interruptions to the flow. Too much confusion and unnatural interference. Too high sound level, too bright lights. Continuously contradicting impressions. Which is why I with sadness realise, why people generally are so disconnected from themselves. And what repercussions that disconnectedness epidemic has on society as a whole. City life within the material world, and the habits, needs and desires it creates within a human being aren't nurturing for the soul. Rather the opposite. It creates stress and worries. Emptiness and shallowness. Turns substance into fading ripples on the surface.

These photos from a beautiful garden of a 800 year old college in Oxford that I visited this past autumn, remind me of all the natural beauty and richness of our planet that exists beyond the fabricated maze of urban environments. It makes me want to spread seeds of flowers and plants all over this town to have nature overflow from the inside. To lift people from the heavy clouds they live within, and make them realise what magic it is to just be and breathe. To simply observe and appreciate. Breathe stillness and nature in. Nature, which just grows and provides, if we let it be. The same way we humans grow internally. If we allow time, peace and genuine curiosity. Rather than constantly pushing and desiring for more.

So, only a week left for me here now. Some things I will focus and spend my time on in the city before we leave for the next adventure:

- Meet up with friends for goodbye meals.
- Another swim and sauna at the cold baths of Ribergsborg.
- Walk through the parks yet again to see how the flowers and buds have developed during the past few days of sunshine.
- Visit an organic urban farm near Rosengård.
- Ride the bike through the city and try to keep and memorize all the good this time in our lives has provided.

I love living life as if it was an eternal set of waves moving through and forward. Letting it bring you on a wild journey of ins and outs and ups and downs. Of insights and lessons for greater knowledge. No matter the lesson, always appreciating the ride.

Self love is where it's at

It was International Women's day the other day, a day that shouldn't be needed. Women, the ones that bring all humanity to existence. Women who feed every child on this planet with her nutrients and strength to make a man ready to breathe, talk, walk and become the person he is meant to become. Have we forgotten our innate strength and power?

I get it that it feels good to promote something so important as female power. And the solidarity people feel by protesting and holding each other by the hand on a specific day of the year may inspire many for an instance. But at the same time it is a day as nonsensical as valentines day. It's a day that, by us accepting it as is, helps maintain things in regular order. Within a squared framework that suits our slow progressing patriarch society. It allows people and situations to remain comfortable in just the way they are. There's no threat to a malfunctioning system in letting women have their 24 hours a year to acknowledge themselves.

What we should do, is to properly begin inspiring each other to make so much more, to speed up the process of gender equality, and the other global and familiar inequality that exist all around us. What is needed is that people, women and men, begin to do a greater job at promoting real change, every day, and that can only begin by each one of us first acknowledging reality, then begin changing ourselves and our mindsets.

We have to stop wasting time on nonsense.

It's not enough to say: If Trump gets elected, I'll move from the country! And then do nothing when that reality is realised. Or to pat each other on the shoulders on March 8th, because we are so strong and important, while still accepting stress and inequality in our own personal lives all of the other days of the year. We have to make greater internal changes. We have to stand up for what we believe in, through and through.

To achieve peace and equality in the world, each one of us has to deepen their work on themselves, no matter how comfortable it is not to.

Since the International Women's Day is foremost promoted by privileged women in the privileged world,  the text below is for you, a woman just like me, who belong to that world:

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If a woman loved herself fully, there would be no one telling her she would get lower salary than the men at her workplace. She would simply tell whoever wanted to hire her that that is not a rule she is willing to live by, and move on to find another job. She wouldn't just say OK, and accept. She would live and breathe with confidence in that her own words and standards are what she lives by, not someone else's. She knows common sense. She knows what is right. She just has to start remembering. And allow time until she finds exactly what she needs. And not get distracted by stress to make an urgent decision.

If a woman loved herself fully, she wouldn't go for a career or education that proved an illusionary good position in society, or choose a workplace that was expected of her, because she would know that she can do whatever her heart desired. She would know that her only limitations are created within her own mind.

If a woman loved herself fully, she would not go for the bad boys or lazy boys and get entangled in destructive relationships that cause her pain and heartbreak. She would go for the good men who treat her well and equal, and she would flourish through the love she was made to give.

If a woman loved herself fully, she would not hesitate to speak her mind clearly and honestly, in comfortable and uncomfortable situations, as she would know that being authentic and real is the only way we can build an honest and straight forward society.

If a woman loved herself fully, she would spend time alone to truly get to know herself, beyond distractions, as that is how she would be able to attract exactly the good that is meant for her.

If a woman loved herself fully, she would question everything and become truly curious, not assuming everything is right and OK because someone/TV/media said so. She would know what power and freedom it lays in truly owning her thoughts and beliefs.

If a woman loved herself fully, she wouldn't spend time gossiping, comparing herself with others or putting other people down, because she would know that everyone, herself included, has something of great value to offer and that there isn't any expiration date, or limit to what this world can take in terms of inspiration.

If a woman loved herself fully, she wouldn't pay attention to what billboards, magazine covers and beauty brands promoted, as she would know that it is all manipulated and placed before her eyes because someone is looking to make profit on people's insecurities and their superficial desires.

If a woman loved herself fully, she would make sure to raise her children with someone who took at least half of all responsibility, because she would know that her time is equally important as anyone else's. If no good enough men were to be found, she would know that she had the option to get a child completely on her own if she wanted. Or choose to not have any at all, a human right that is no-ones decision but her own.

If a woman loved herself fully, she would promote and nurture good relationships with herself and everyone around her. She would stay away from drama and let go of each person that pushes her in directions she does not want to go. Because she would know how good it feels to be loved and accepted for the person she was born to become. By herself, as well as by others.

If a woman loved herself fully, she would take care of herself by giving her body and mind the best of nourishment. Good food, good movement, good love, good environment, and not overindulge in destructive ways that gamble with her health and well-being.

If a woman loved herself fully, she would not need to prove herself to anyone. She would not need to buy into any concepts or ideals that externally seem to suit her surroundings, because she would feel confident in her own inner guidance and the always present love that she was made of.

If a woman loved herself fully, she would know when to ask for help, as she would know that there is no shame in being vulnerable.

If a woman loved herself fully, she wouldn't waste her time on worrying and arguing, but rather aim focus on creating the positive environment she knew she can have, by releasing resistance from old behavioural patterns and uncontrolled thoughts. She would know the positive difference it would make to her life by choosing the sometimes scary but fulfilling unknown, compared to staying in places and patterns that seem to lead nowhere else than around and around in the same old circle.

If a woman loved herself fully, she wouldn't let obstacles and negative outcomes in her life hinder her from calmly reflecting on what happened, and make a strong positioned decision on how to move forward.

If a woman loved herself fully, she wouldn't take things personally, because she would understand that everyone walks different paths and that their individual progress is subjective to their individual beliefs and their life's journey. She would listen and reflect to oppose opinions, and see what could be learnt. But never let frustration and agitation rule her world.

If a woman loved herself fully, she would not treat others badly, as she would know that the way she treats others is a direct reflection of her inner balance, or lack thereof. And that she would need to look into her own heart to find the imbalance, rather than looking for faults in others.

If a woman loved herself fully, she would know when to say sorry, and learn from her mistakes. As she would know that making mistakes and learning from them is a human necessity for progress and self development. She would also know when to forgive herself and stop judging herself for things done wrong.

If a woman loved herself fully, she wouldn't accept people, any person of any background, getting treated badly, as she would be strong and confident in knowing, as it was a universal law, that everyone is supposed to be treated with equal respect. She would raise her voice every time needed, not by fighting or screaming, but to gently inform and promote what common sense practice looks like. She would stand up for others as she would expect others to do for her.

If a woman loved herself fully, she would live what she believes, which would inspire others do the same.

If a woman loved herself fully, she would cultivate a strong bond with the family she builds, and raise her children to become loving, kind, open minded and independent, no matter their gender. The girls and boys she raised would love themselves enough to meet the world with grace, confidence, sympathy and peace of mind. If with love, kindness, openness and respect were how all children were brought up, there would be no question about equal pay and equal rights in the future.

One less ignorant man is born by one more woman choosing the good for herself, in every choice that she makes. From choosing her partner and how she moves through obstacles in her life, to how she (and the father) raise their children. One more confident person who does right for herself and others, is born by us raising our children right. We can only be good enough influence on our kids if we first have learned to do right for ourselves. If we first have started remembering how to love and respect ourselves.

So it begins with you.

We cannot demand anything from others, before we have fully understood the power of change, for and within ourselves.

It starts with the littlest details. Demonstrating or shouting loud when you haven't fully paid attention to the essentials in your own life, is the same as putting a temporary band-aid on illness or a chronic disease. The underlying cause is still there. It has to begin with the internal. We all have to take individual responsibility.

Don't get lazy. Look into your inner world. What can I do today, and every day, to change the situation of the world in the future? What am I accepting right now, that I wouldn't want my children to have to accept? Where do I need to change myself in order to raise good people? What can I do to promote peace, love and equality to everyone I meet? What should I stop focusing on right now, so that I can better use my time and energy to bring more good to the world around me on the other 364 days of the year? Where am I being destructive, to myself foremost? How can I attract better people/outcomes/events/situations to my life? And what can I do to leave past thinking behind and begin a new clean chapter? 

We cannot expect any universal changes before we have looked deeply into ourselves. We cannot expect men, our politicians or board rooms to understand and respect equality and human rights, if we aren't first extending that sort of respect and love to ourselves.

Don't be that person who complains on others, yet still has much work to do on yourself.

Working on the challenges in the world takes time. As does working on yourself. All good things come from practice and repetition. Don't waste your time. What you can do right now, is to begin looking inward with a conscious and curious mind. Make sure that you have done everything in your power to change the little world, right around you. This will finally begin to shape the world, one woman, one newborn child at a time.