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What a difference a year makes

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When I first got to Moondance, it was full of pretty flowers in bloom, teeming with lots of wildlife, especially birds, but the food garden looked like it had fallen into disrepair, and taken over by all kinds of weeds. It didn’t even have a gate of sorts.

Dan used to have a productive food garden but as a single man, he got busy with his music production business and did what he could with the rest of the house and just let the garden be. We decided that we should move towards living off the land as much as possible and eventually getting off the grid.

We started with one bed before moving to another. Dan’s family friend, Karel helped out a great deal by sifting beds of clumpy soil, and planting several seeds, including chili, radish and carrots. We bought several seedlings, but lost our entire cucumber and kale crop over the summer months to at least one bandicoot. Fortunately some seeds did spill on the ground, so we saved them for the following year’s crop. It was time for Dan to put up a fence, which he did eventually, after much nagging.

A zen nook

This is a must-visit each time I head back to northern NSW. Crystal Castle is a peaceful nook where one can recharge in nature, in the presence of large crystals. Like many places in the Byron shire, Crystal Castle is very conscious about their environmental footprint, where profits of the cafe are invested in sustainable projects. Dan and I love walking in their gardens, sitting on their lawn - either beside their enormous statue of Buddha or the world peace stupa (turning the prayer wheels is a must!), and dining at their cafe, which has yummy gluten-free sweet treats. I especially love walking through their bamboo grove. The world peace stupa was completed by the Gyuto monks in October 2012, and we...

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Vermicomposting

Early this year, I managed to persuade my parents to get a vermicompost kit. Before that, I mostly threw fruit and vegetable peelings in an open heap in my garden, which irked my parents, as they said it attracted the odd rat to our home. I still do it when they are not looking, but it's mostly weeds and leaves that I throw in that heap nowadays. Waste management is an issue that we all need to be mindful of. Most people think about their trash for as far as the eye can see, and that it is something that will take care of itself. All our trash in Singapore is incinerated and then disposed of at Pulau Semakau, but even...

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The biggest little town in Australia

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We live approximately 35 minutes away from Mullumbimby, a little town with an indie vibe. We go there once a week to do our organic grocery shopping, and usually like to pick up some seedlings while we are there.

One of our favourite stores is Santos, where we sometimes eat and then shop at afterwards. They have branches in nearby towns of Byron Bay and Lismore too. Other favourites include Edens Landing Health Foods, and The Source.