The Longmen Buddha Caves are one of the three famous Buddha caves in China, along with the caves outside Dunhuang (westwards, into the desert, not part of this trip) and outside Datong (where we go tomorrow). We are in the Buddha-land. In the Tang Dynasty (approx 600 CE-900 CE, when … Continue reading →
Most of China’s ancient forests have been cut down for firewood and lumber, just like in Europe. However, the temple grounds have saved some of the specimens. Even in monasteries that have been abandoned, the sacred grounds protect the remaining giants of the past. In Shaolin, as in many temples … Continue reading →
The classic Chinese children’s trousers are more common in the smaller cities. In Shanghai it is almost gone, after an assault by the international diaper industry. Huggies and Pampers’ brand managers try to create an aura of modernity and progress to purchase plastic to ‘protect’ the babies’ bottoms.
Fresh air keeps the baby bottom smooth as silk.
The Chinese system makes all children self-regulating much faster than the literally ‘pampered’ toddlers in the west. I think this is great!
Shaolin Temple – the Kungfu Monastery. Legends and lore from kungfu films lift this place to a mythical level. Today it is a thriving park with thousands of students, show business and a bite of Buddhism. Millions of visitors come each year to this martial-arts Mecca. The first temple … Continue reading →
We are now in the heartland of the northern Chinese civilization. Along the Yellow River (Huang He), the ancient kingdoms of the north placed their capitals and vied for power. Luoyang, Xi’an, Kaifeng are all on the river. This was a lush and rich country with vast production and abundance. … Continue reading →
Although our adventure already started with all the preparations for both the moving of all our wonderful stuff and the trips itself, now we are really flying! We landed next to Gate 2 of Hongqiao Airport, the hotel on crawling distance from the Hongqiao Railway Station. It feels still a … Continue reading →
On leaving Shanghai we collected money from our yard sale and we got donations from several friends for the TreesForPeace project. This time we decided to channel the resources to “The Million Tree Project”, run by Roots&Shoots Shanghai. 105 trees are planted this week in Tongliao, Inner Mongolia. Next week … Continue reading →
We had a meetup with the “Shanghai Urban Farmer”-group at our place last Saturday. (See MeetUp.com for more interesting groups near you.) We enjoyed a sunny afternoon with inspiring stories about sustainability and individual initiatives. We discussed how to best grow beans and which compost format is superior. (Goran is … Continue reading →
A healthy sweet-and-sour softdrink for sunny days – what is better than homemade ginger ale? I always thought that home-bottled softdrinks = SodaStreamer, which is doubly dubious after the revelation that those machines are made on the occupied Palestine Territories. However, in the last few months we have experienced another … Continue reading →
In the village of Banjar Ngis, like in every village across South East Asia where we have been, the plastic bag has made its entrance. It provides watertight protection and bright color branding for potato chips, shampoo and instant coffee. The marketeers and product developers of Unilever, Mars, Procter& Gamble … Continue reading →
In the lush Bali highlands, the village of Banjar Ngis is resting at the end of a winding road. Rice fields, gardens and forests surround the hamlet and the stream that gushes down from the mountain. Now in the rain season, the scenery is glowing green in every direction. Since … Continue reading →
Xiao Zhu and Thomas are leading the way in the sustainable farming practice called “Permaculture” in China. Three hours south of Shanghai, in the beautiful village Xiatushan is the mountainside where they are establishing the Hangzhou Institute of Permaculture. Permaculture is an ecological farming/gardening philosophy originating from Australia (by Mollison … Continue reading →
Goran went with some colleagues in the end of April to plant trees in the North-East province of Liaoning, not far from the border to North Korea. SKF has a factory in Dalian, and it was a three hour drive to the tree planting site. The tree-planting project is part … Continue reading →
Most of our plants need pollinators to set seed and give fruit. Bees are the best. The more bees we have in the garden, the more tomatos and cucumbers and plums we get. One way of getting more bees in the gardens is of course to set down a bee-hive … Continue reading →
In the new built areas around where we live in Shanghai, there is a lot of tree planting. It is done in a way that is quite peculiar. Large trees are cut out of the ground in one place, and then moved to the target location by truck. The trees … Continue reading →
Paul Stamets is a mushroom evangelist, scientist and entrepreneur. He is also a gifted writer, I realized when I started reading his masterpiece “Mycelium Running”. The book is a celebration to all living mushrooms and mycelia, describing the multitude of useful functions that the mycelia perform in our soils. Little … Continue reading →
Grow your own trees! Probably the easiest way to grow your own trees is to copy a tree that you already have. Cut a nice twig, 5-10mm thick, and put it in a pot with soil. Keep moist and after ten weeks or so, your tree is growing by itself! … Continue reading →
Eat a tree? Forests are fantastic for capturing sunlight and carbon dioxide, much better than any traditional agricultural cropland. Rain is absorbed and sunshine is intercepted at various levels, from the canopy down to the leaf litter on the ground. From a food point of view, it may seem scarce … Continue reading →
What better way to kick off our Trees for Peace activities than to plant some trees… Each year on the 12th of March the Chinese show that they value trees by planting trees all over the country. Most Chinese have memories of doing this as school children. Also Chinese companies … Continue reading →