After spending a year volunteering on different farms and subsequently helping to host volunteers as a grower, I've learned a lot about what make a "good volunteer" and how to find the farm that is right for you.
Veganism is not new to me, but my week here has been good for re-evaluating myself. I believe that this violence-free lifestyle results a gentler humankind, which would actually precipitate World Peace if adopted widely.
In our New Zealand location, our vegan educational center called Shangri-La is a model of vegan cooperative living. The food is grown veganically (marrying the principles of organic growing with the ethics of veganism), and the land is off-the-grid; powered by solar and hydro-electric.
~ Silvi Burden When I first came to Shangri La, to stay for a week with the people of Gentle World, I had no idea what to expect. I was really nervous about staying with people I had only emailed with beforehand. And in addition: vegans. I had been a vegetarian myself for only two [...]
Dear Gentle World,
At this time one year ago, Lilly and I were sitting in Auckland anxiously awaiting our visit to Gentle World, not knowing what to expect. Veganism was a far-off thing that, quite frankly, didn’t seem like a realistic thing to do. Now, one year later, we are still Vegan-American and proudly so. It has changed the course of our lives dramatically.
On Saturday, March 12th, Gentle World volunteers hosted a free vegan cooking class at our favorite NZ venue: The Herb Shack. With 22 attendees who showed lots of interest in the vegan culinary techniques, the day was a fantastic success, as well as a whole lot of fun! As well as demonstrating a number of [...]
As I look back over the last 26 years of my life, I wonder how it took me so long to live my life the way I’ve always wanted to: with love, kindness and honesty.
Here in Gentle World, we sometimes forget that many people don't have the luxury of enjoying home-grown vegetables, let alone delicious veganically-grown fruit... But in Shangri-La, thanks to the hard work of our team of dedicated volunteers and expert gardener Magic Rees, we eat a banquet made from wholesome veganic produce every single night... Not [...]
Magic Rees has been an organic grower since 1980. In 1989, he co-founded the Far North Organics Association in New Zealand, where he served as a Board Member and Organic Inspection Certifier for ten years. In the year 2000, when he met Gentle World, he transitioned from organic to veganic, and became Shangri-La’s head gardener and veganic educator.
For some crops, such as potatoes and sweet potatoes, it's a good idea to use netted enclosures to protect them from insects. These nets can be used to protect any garden plants, especially when they are young and vulnerable. It's possible to use recycled water pipe to form the hoops, so if you can track down [...]
Keeping your gardens covered with green manure crops is an excellent way to keep your soil healthy in between growing seasons, as it helps to control the weeds and protects the soil. Sun and heavy rains can compact the soil and leach out beneficial nutrients. When green manure crops are dug in to the garden, they add organic matter, nitrogen, [...]
Around a week ago, the last of the Gentle World volunteers arrived at our Vegan Educational Center in Northland, New Zealand, officially kicking off the 11th summer in our Southern Hemisphere Center, which we call Shangri-La. For over ten years, our dedicated team has spent New Zealand summers transforming a magnificent piece of countryside into [...]