From Organic Gardening to Permaculture

Spring: being outside, digging in the earth, weekend-gardening and actually learning a lot about how to change our already organic way of living into a real harmonious and reciprocal co-existence with nature and animals, way beyond sustainability.
We’re deep into permaculture, at home and in the school, with family, professionals from around the world and with the community:

Happy spring to you and yours!

The three ethical principles of Permaculture are as follows:

  • Care of the earth
  • Care of people
  • Return of surplus to earth, animals and people

The Permaculture ethics compel us to take personal responsibility for our actions. We can either “choose to be part of the problem or part of the solution”, the choice is ours!

Twelve Permaculture design principles articulated by David Holmgren in his Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability:[17] 

  1. Observe and interact: By taking time to engage with nature we can design solutions that suit our particular situation.
  2. Catch and store energy: By developing systems that collect resources at peak abundance, we can use them in times of need.
  3. Obtain a yield: Ensure that you are getting truly useful rewards as part of the work that you are doing.
  4. Apply self-regulation and accept feedback: We need to discourage inappropriate activity to ensure that systems can continue to function well.
  5. Use and value renewable resources and services: Make the best use of nature’s abundance to reduce our consumptive behavior and dependence on non-renewable resources.
  6. Produce no waste: By valuing and making use of all the resources that are available to us, nothing goes to waste.
  7. Design from patterns to details: By stepping back, we can observe patterns in nature and society. These can form the backbone of our designs, with the details filled in as we go.
  8. Integrate rather than segregate: By putting the right things in the right place, relationships develop between those things and they work together to support each other.
  9. Use small and slow solutions: Small and slow systems are easier to maintain than big ones, making better use of local resources and producing more sustainable outcomes.
  10. Use and value diversity: Diversity reduces vulnerability to a variety of threats and takes advantage of the unique nature of the environment in which it resides.
  11. Use edges and value the marginal: The interface between things is where the most interesting events take place. These are often the most valuable, diverse and productive elements in the system.
  12. Creatively use and respond to change: We can have a positive impact on inevitable change by carefully observing, and then intervening at the right time.

Literature: Sepp Holzer, Masanobu Fukuoka, Bill Mollison

Information online:

and more detailed articles on change from organic gardening to Permaculture:

and on Islam and Permaculture:



The horizons of the Infinite


« …the desert, more than anything else, opens the human mind to observation, mediation and initiation into meaning.
…The relationship with nature was so present in the Prophet’s (sas) life from his earliest childhood that one can easily come to the conclusion that living close to nature, observing, understanding, and respecting it, is an imperative of deep faith.
Nature is the primary guide and the intimate companion of faith.”

Tariq Ramadan “In the footsteps of the Prophet”


“Oh, my Lord! Open for me my chest (grant me self-confidence, contentment, and boldness). And, ease my task for me and make loose the knot from my tongue (remove the defect of my speech) that they understand my speech. And, appoint for me a helper from my family, Aaron, my brother. Increase my strength through him, and let him share my task that we may glorify You much, and remember You much. Indeed, You are of us Ever a Well-Seer.”

[Dua’ from prophet Moses, Qur’an 20 : 25-35]


Favorite Herbs

krauter favs

Since several years I use plants to cure disease and pain.
Over these years I read a lot of different books to learn about the healing power of different herbs and weeds.
And little by little, I really found “my” herbs – the favorites I know and trust in, inchaallah.

These are the four plants I prefer over all the others.
I experienced their healing effects in many cases, alhamdulillah. I can figure them out now without doubt, even in the wilderness. And the best is, they grow near to us, carying in their juices, cells and parts the very essence of the soil we live on, subhanallah. They shine with the healing benefits of mother earth and provide us with wellness whenever we need a little help – often much better and quicker than any artificial medication could do.


krauter marigold krauter plantainkrauter schrieb

favorite books on herbs and natural medicine:

Maria Treben : «Gesundheit aus der Apotheke Gottes » / « Health from God’s garden »
Susanne Fischer-Rizzi: “Medicine of the earth” / “Medizin der Erde”
Susanne Fischer-Rizzi: “Mit der Wildnis verbunden”
Wolf-Dieter Storl: “Ich bin ein Teil des Waldes”
Wolf-Dieter Storl: „Mit Pflanzen verbunden“

krauter yarrowkrauter buch krauter sage

two other articles I once wrote on the topic of natural medicine:

krauter lieblinge

latin and pharmaceutical names: achillea, calendula, plantago, salvia

What are your favorite healing helpers?

Dreaming and Planning Summer and Life


7 weeks summer vacation, 7 weeks off-school, 7 weeks of opportunities and the chance of making the most of this precious time that comes only once a year, subhanallah.

And now, as so many times before, when put into such a situation of “break”, I ask myself many questions about how to spend the time wisely. I wish to make the best out of it, to benefit as much as possible of this pause.

plaene fresh

I would like to relax; I would like to work on personal projects, stuff and things around the house; I wish to spend time with the children, my husband, family and good friends; maybe travelling a bit, but not too much;  and I’d love to be alone to refill and to refresh my personal batteries and to gain distance, quiet of mind and new inspiration.

And as many times before, also now, it helps me a lot to follow some simple rules on dreaming and planning the near future. This process gives me new energy and fills me with joy and hope. This creative act can even be done with children. It is perfect start into a new phase.

plaene 1  plaene4

I thought I’ll share the list of “how to become the designer of your own life” here, I thought it could be inspiring for others. It can be used for all and works in every area of life, bismillah:

1. Know and decide what you want.
2. Dream big.
And allow nobody to steal or to destroy your dreams. Follow your heart. You cannot lose, you can only win.
3. Believe!
Believe in God, in yourself and your capacity, in the good and the possible of everything, even of the “impossible”, with positivity and conviction. Get rid of all your fears.
4. Share the dreams and goals with those you trust and like. Build a dream-team.
5. Visualize your goals and dreams as real as possible (for example with a treasure map of pictures) and encourage yourself with positive affirmations and optimistic thinking.
6. Act and get active, behave as if your dreams did already come true.
Concentrate on doing what you like to do and what you know well. Don’t rest. Declutter your life and work towards your dreams. Don’t see yourself as a victim. Be the change.
7. Hold on, no matter what. Never give up.
Stay courageous. See problems and defeat only as temporary challenges and chances to succeed. Take feedback as a guide to reorientate your plans, never losing sight of your main goals.
8. Be thankful and celebrate.
Pay thankfulness and appreciation to God, the others around and towards yourself.
9. Give back.
All that you give does not make you poorer, in fact it makes you richer manifold.

plaene planen    plaene leben

Bringing Light _ Thoughts on Gandalf and Leadership

tal licht Gandalf

“Why is she talking about Gandalf today?”, you might ask.
Well, you know, I love the “Lord of the Rings”- stories, I am a real fan of this fantasy trilogy, of the books and the movie. For me, they reflect and express the struggles of humanity, much of what’s happening in the world since thousands of years: the cycle of destruction and recreation, the fight between light and darkness, between shadow and sun, the fights between the elements of the whole creation, the inter-dependency of all and everything and how we are all connected – the fighting that shows on a larger scale what happens in a smaller scale in every one of us: the fight between good and evil and the longing for balance and peace and the struggle to find harmony.

For me, Tolkien’s tales are wonderful entertainment that speaks to me on high and deep levels.
One of the heroes of Tolkien’s stories, maybe the most important one, is Gandalf, the wizard, described as “the greatest spirit and the wisest, warm and eager, opposing the fire that devours and wastes with the fire that kindles and succors in wan hope and distress; but his joy and his swift wrath were veiled in garments grey as ash, so that only those that knew him well glimpsed the flame that was within. Merry he could be, and kindly to the young and simple, yet quick at times to sharp speech and the rebuking of folly; but he was not proud, and sought neither power nor praise… “


With all that happens in the world, with my work and responsibility here, the school and what we do every day, I have to learn a lot about leadership. And to me, Gandalf embodies a real leader who shows with his behavior and his whole being the big range of positive impact great leadership can make.

And in the end, we are all leaders: “All of you are shepherds and each of you is responsible for his flock. An imam is a shepherd and he is responsible for those in his care. A man is a shepherd in respect of his family and is responsible for those in his care. The woman is a shepherd in respect of her husband’s house and is responsible for what is in her care. The servant is a shepherd in respect of his master’s property and is responsible for what is in his care. All of you are shepherds and each of you is responsible for his flock.” (Hadith of the Prophet sas, reported by Abdullah bin Umar) 

– that’s what our dear prophet Muhammad (sas) taught us.
And a shepherd is a leader. In one or another part of our life’s we all are leaders. So we all need to learn about leadership, we need good role models and great examples to follow.
Prophet Muhammad (sas) was surely the best of all leaders, the one all Muslims try to follow.
And right after him came his companions Caliph Abu Bakar, Umar, Othman, and Ali, they all practiced great leadership principles and achieved highest places in human history.
An there were others, wonderful examples, like Jesus and all the other great prophets like Moses and Abraham, but also modern men like Gandhi or Martin Luther King.


If we want to learn from them, we have to analyze the basic principles that made them successful, and with successful I do not mean powerful, because a really good leader is one who empowers others.

A great leader is one who has positive influence on others, adding value to the life of others and bringing out the best in them.  A great leader is seeing and reaching far, he is carried by high and honorable moral settings, he has a strong vision and deep faith in and thankfulness towards a higher source (God, Allah).

“God is the protector of those who have faith: From depths of darkness He leads them forth into light” Quran 2:257

So a great leader is carrying a light that enlightens everything around him.
A great leader is one who is kind, righteous, fair and just, always in service for others, humble, generous, pious, courageous, committed, patient and strong.
He has compassion and empathy, trustworthiness, integrity, truthfulness, honesty, a noble character. He is touching the hearts of others, living up to his full potential, acting responsible and giving responsibility to others.

A great leader has great communication skills and is always establishing teamwork, knowing that he can achieve only with his group. So he is taking care of the needs of his followers, modelling a good way and being a good example, he is walking his talk. A great leader is one with a good planning, structure and aims, ready for sacrifice, continuously developing his own skills and personality, learning and growing, always seeking knowledge and wisdom,  encouraging the development and the strengths of each follower, uniting mankind and reducing thoughts of separateness and hostility.

Muhammad surely was the greatest leader on earth, in the Quran and Sunnah we get huge advice on how to do like he did. To follow his example is my wish, inchaallah.
And for me, Gandalf, as well as manyothers, followed these footsteps on the way towards truth and light.

More to read for example here or see the books on my list: