Box of imperfect in-season vegetables will feed a family of four for a week and costs £3.50 – 30% less than standard lines
The UK’s first supermarket ‘wonky vegetable’ box goes on sale on Friday, containing enough ugly potatoes and knobbly carrots to feed a family of four for an entire week for just £3.50. Read more…
A few months ago, with 11 minutes on stage in London at a regional TED event, these two poised and articulate, compelling Balinesian sisters made a bold challenge. We commend their decisiveness and commitment, and will do our best to support them both in Bali and on our various home turfs:
Melati and Isabel Wijsen:
Plastic bags are essentially indestructible, yet they’re used and thrown away with reckless abandon. Read more…
In our vigilance on the waste reduction front, especially with regard to food, we are tracking efforts globally that we believe we, and our readers, will find interesting and useful. We have long ago come to understand that the standard definition of beauty as it relates to fruits and vegetables–uniformity prized over flavor and nutrition–has done a huge disservice to the environment, not to mention to the consumers who suffer gastronomically as a result. Thanks to the Guardian‘s Environment section for this news:
About one minute in to Mr. Ziermann’s story, he explains how his intent to pursue a life of timber logging in Oregon was waylaid by the “rules and regulations” (he did not sound happy about these) to protect the spotted owl in the American northwest. I recommend taking five minutes with the video here, and a moment more below if you want my two cents on it.
A Fraught Search for Succession in CraftsmanshipVideo by Andrew PlotskyGeorge Ziermann has been making handmade boots for over 40 years.
After decades of work by a dedicated team at Chester Zoo in England, the first tuatara hatchling has been born outside of its native New Zealand.
“Breeding tuatara is an incredible achievement,” says Isolde McGeorge, the zoo’s tuatara keeper since 1977. “They are notoriously difficult to breed and it’s probably fair to say that I know that better than most as it has taken me 38 years to get here.”
When I got back to Xandari last year in June, I posted a couple photos of the Caturra plot, the Borbón plot, and the bagged seedlings. Since then, all the plants have grown quite a bit, and we’ve gotten a strong yield of cherries–and therefore coffee beans–even though the plants were only a year old in the ground. In fact, many of the plants of both varietals are experiencing a second round of flowers despite the dry season: climate change is putting the plants’ phenology out of whack, and so some shrubs even have cherries and flowers growing at the same time, which normally would never happen. The bees are certainly happy though! Read more…
Our love for pachyderms has found multiple expressions on this blog. With us now journeying with Asian Oasis in Thailand and Kerala as home, this love links our efforts in both these lands, serving as common ground for all that we hope to do in tandem with nature. For all that we’ve penned on elephants, we’ve not stopped to think what or rather how much food keeps their giant souls (and stomachs) happy.
Both captive and wild elephants eat a lot, but what else would you expect from one of the largest land animals on the planet? Wild Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) can spend an average of 16-18 hours of every day eating. In the wild they forage for food, constantly searching for roots, small trees, bamboo, grasses, and any other edible plants.
Do you believe in a literary cosmos? I do. In the seemingly innocuous collision of two pieces of writing SO removed from each other that they are all that similar. Two articles – one found last evening for work, one chanced upon during the routine Instagram surf on the way to work. One standing out in the mayhem of a news feed; the incredible story of an Israeli man and his wife moving to India in 2003 and buying 70 acres of barren land. To build, sustain a forest. Reafforestation, to be clear. The other titled The Builder’s High. Yes, I’m ‘building’ this up.
Water and light… History and tradition… The patina of layered paint on classic four-part doors, and sun-faded signs help inspire the Xandari Harbour color palette.
The design brief was simple: honor history, but be not a slave to it. Embrace the fresh language of Indian aesthetics while celebrating the materials of the past.
Two entrances are here to welcome you. Choose classic – Choose modern. They both lead inside.
One may be the loneliest number, but it is not a hopeless number, we hope. Thanks to the Atlantic for this story:
There are about 15,000 jaguars living in the wild today. They are solitary creatures, preferring to live and hunt alone. But the one living and hunting in the United States takes the word “loner” to another level: The jaguar, nicknamed “El Jefe,” is the only known wild jaguar in the country.
El Jefe, which means “the boss” in Spanish, made his public debut Wednesday in video footage released by the Seattle-based Conservation CATalyst and the Tucson, Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity. The brief clip shows the big cat roaming the grassy forest floor of the Santa Rita Mountains, outside Tucson, navigating rocky creeks, and just doing jaguar-y things: Read more…
Walk. That’s my one-word gospel for all who will listen in on the best way to discover. Meander. Be curious, the good kind. Because stories wait around corners, discoveries often plonk themselves on one-way streets. And some are found in messy backrooms of squeaky clean shops lined with mannequins and smiles. Like this woven tale of the people, history, and fabric that go into the making of the Indian drape. There’s more than just five yards to the sari, trust me.
We pore the Science section of the New York Times each Tuesday, looking for stories that seem intriguing, and therefore (however much a stretch related to the “fascination with nature”) relevant to our conservation message. We rely on many publications with online outlets for such stories, but always stop at a certain point with stories that simply get us to ick, or which lead to implications not inherently appropriate to a company that operates lodging establishments around the world.
Nonetheless, we read even those stories that make us wince–in the spirit of eat your vegetables, in the interest of learning–but there are some phenomena we promise never to subject our readers to. Not that we do not see the value in understanding such things, but we can only stand so much ick in a day.
Bamboo comes up frequently on this blog, since it is such a fast-growing plant that can be used in various ways for construction and design. Recently, we learned of a collaborative project at Cornell University where bamboo-based structures intended to resist the violence of earthquakes and hurricanes in the Caribbean (and tested on the island of the Dominican Republic) use an aluminum joint system invented by a Cornell professor. Roger Segelken reports for the Cornell Chronicle:
The first field test of Design and Environmental Analysis (DEA) associate professor Jack Elliott’s “Triakonta” structural system stands in the Punta Cana coastal region of the Dominican Republic, as an outdoor classroom for the Puntacana Ecological Foundation.
“The structure itself is elegant and has sparked dialogue about sustainable architecture amongst visiting guests, students and even architects,” said Jake Kheel, M.S. ’02, environmental director of Grupo Puntacana, which operates a resort adjoining the eco-preserve where Cornellians and locals built the bamboo structure in mid-2015.
On January 20th, researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology published a paper in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B titled “Convergence of broad-scale migration strategies in terrestrial birds.” Using data from eBird that indicated the presence and absence of over a hundred different bird species in the Western Hemisphere, they tracked migration patterns among the various species and found that many of them used very similar routes that avoided or took advantage of certain geographical or atmospheric factors. In short, the paper illustrated that scientists can use the data from eBird in just the manner that I always tell guests here at Xandari: with thousands of observations by people in different places and at all times of the year, population statistics, migration data, and other information can be gathered about bird species around the world. All through citizen science.