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Winter at Back to la Tierra

It’s winter at Back to La Tierra. Our mulberry tree has lost all its leaves, the orange trees are packed with delicious oranges and the whole garden is covered in a thick layer of fluffy mulch. The chicken run has been expanded to include the area around the yoga tent and judging by the regularity of their eggs and their shiny feathers the chickens have never been happier.

We have had great help this winter from our French Helpx’er Paul and our English Helpx’er Jay, both for the third time in these three years. They love to see how our whole project develops and how what they do, contributes to the whole picture. We deeply appreciate the work our volunteers have done over the last years and we always enjoy their company.

Paul and our son Sebastian have spent almost two months turning Paul’s atelier into a bio constructed tiny house for Seb. The walls are made of adobe clay and the floor and cupboards with chestnut wood from Jubrique (an hour’s drive from BtLT). With no official training they learned carpentry, plumbing and general problem solving on the job (thank you Youtube!) The result of this father & son project is impressive and heartwarming with so many details of re-used bits and pieces with a story to tell. Seb now has a bed with a view overlooking the garden. Paul has found a new atelier where he is creating breathtaking work, you can keep an eye on it here.

Our daughter Tessa comes by regularly and always manages to take beautiful pictures and videos that we can share on social media. She had a birthday lunch in the garden with her friends last week and we realised how ideal the space is for small, catered events. Feel free to reach out to us if you are looking for something different to celebrate life.

Our solar panels and batteries were installed in June and we are so thrilled to feel we are tapping into the sun every time we switch something on or plug something in. Life at Back to la Tierra is good, we feel healthy, nourished and grateful with our homesteading lifestyle.

It has taken me a long time to write this end of the year update. I couldn’t decide how neutral I wanted to be. Can we continue to just talk about our personal state of earthy bliss without any reference to the current affairs? Am I going to pretend all is fine with an elephant in the room the size of a dinosaur?

When we started Back to La Tierra, the idea of personal sovereignty was at the heart of our dream. Growing our own food, planning our own time, leading a life from which we don’t want to retire. Permaculture has helped us to understand the meaning of true health and resilience and to see how broken our current systems are. We greatly appreciate meeting our guests and exchanging ideas on where we all need to focus next. We are, after all, in this together.

On our website I describe BtLT as a “testing ground for natural living” before the word ‘testing’ had all the current connotations. Now I feel that 2022 will be a testing time for humanity, the stakes are high. What kind of life do we want to live?

We wish you light and inspiration this coming year. Back to La Tierra is here for you to recharge, reconnect and remember what life is about. It’s a refuge in the storm. We welcome you all.

Much love,

Paul & Marina

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