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:



How to Print with Potatoes

print how to

Take some potatoes, cut hem neatly into half, take a (not so sharp) knife to cut out nice shapes that stay, whereas you cut the surrounding areas lower.

Take liquid fabric paint and a thin brush and put then some paint on the higher ornaments/forms you’ve just cut out.

Make a first try by printing it on a piece of paper.

Make some adjustments to the cut if needed, but if you are happy then go on and press the shaped potatoes onto the fabric you’ve chosen (old ones to repurpose or new; linen and cotton work best); arrange the print in a row, in circles, groups or totally by hazard, close or in a wider distance – even kids can do this.

Let the paint dry (and maybe iron it) and then go on and use this unique piece of art however you want – for gift bags, pillowcases, table runners, curtains, etc… happy sewing!

print blatt print blätter
print butterfliesprint fabric
print hand print addi
print flowers print HT
print print print potatoe

Children’s prayer mats


In Ramadan I always enjoy the more of time for really important things (reading Qu’ran, praying, being with the kids and in garden, and working on personal projects) and I enjoy even the time for the lesser important things (household, working down my to-do-list, etc), because until late afternoon there is no distraction by meal-making or eating during the day. The day feels much longer in a very positive way, subhanallah.
Surely, the children get their food, but I keep it simple and mostly it contains leftovers from the iftar (breaking-the-fast-meal) of the other day or eggs, pasta or salad.
So, beside organizing the new school year, this means that I sometimes do have time now to sit in front of my sewing machine again, alhamdulillah.
I love sewing! Although I am not at all proficient, I like the quick results that can be made by sewing and I enjoy teaching myself new skills. I am really thankful for the www, where great tutorials and step-by-step-guides can be found that make it even easier. 

For the Ramadan calendar of this year I’ve sewn some prayer mats for the children.
Do you remember the praying mat I once did for myself? It’s the same kind of how-to-do-it: easy done of two layers with a Ka’aba-appliqué and a string. The children ones simply are much smaller and the outer-side is even made out of a dish-towel.

Our children do not already seriously pray at the moment, but they like to join me sometimes, to imitate the movements and to play as if it were serious, even the little one; she puts then her own hijab (head cover) on and rises her hands high to do the initial “Allahu akbar” movement – I love to see it, it’s heart-melting!
I think it is important for Muslim children to have their own mat, to feel invited, to feel confident, and to learn doing accurately their prayers and most importantly: to enjoy them. And with these light and personal mats they definitely do, Alhamdulillah.

Happy Sunday and a blessed week to you!


Spring Make Up


The air is getting warmer, the trees are blossoming and it feels like new life is growing everywhere. Slowly we put off the second pair of socks and woolen trousers and the fire in the chimney doesn’t burn that often any more…

…Time for a make up of my wardrobe:

I am still in the green-living and repurposing mood and anyway, as I’ve told you a year ago, buying new things is nearly impossible over here, even if I would have the wish and the money.
My style and taste changed over the years and the older I grow the more I like long and wide, feminine dresses. More and more I approach the Islamic manner of making myself beautiful at home and to wear lovely clothes when with family but to cover myself in modesty when going out – its’ quiet the contrary of what I was brought up with.

So when I recently opened my closet, I found a lot of things which I liked either in color or shape but nothing seemed to fit “perfect” with my actual feeling of style.
The easiest way of renewing my wardrobe seemed to put together some pieces and to make something new out of them.

So I took several tunics, skirts and dresses; I cut off the worn-out parts or those which didn’t fit, and I pinned together matching pieces in a new way: a top part of a tunic sewn together with the lower part of a wide t-shirt made a totally new long dress; the lower part of an old skirt sewn together with a piece of a blouse made another lovely new piece; a beautiful appliqué here, a new shawl combined with it there…
Subhanallah, totally fresh home dresses without spending any money only by repurposing old things.

And those clothes which I really do not wear any longer, those which kept untouched since more than a year, I’ll give away as charity, inchaallah….

I think the spring-cleaning season has begun just as every year, friends! Let’s see what’s about next to make up – any new ideas for home and self?

Green Pee(s)


Living a greener life means also to reduce trash. And this in itself is a very specific problem in Morocco and especially out here in the mountains. We neither have refuse collection service, garbage trucks, nor any common refuse tips. Trash either goes behind the next hill or is burnt with a little fire by the producer himself. Hmm, not a very healthy thing to do…
The arrival of modern life products such as plastic bags (black Moroccan mikkas), wrapped sweets and drinks leads to an increasing number of garbage. Whereas before people grew all their food locally or made it at home, they buy now biscuits, yoghurt and other plastic stuff and produce a lot more trash than ever before, mashaallah. The lack of consciousness and education makes it worse: people throw plastic papers just right away wherever they are and no one cares. Little by little the beautiful green nature fills up with black mikkas and colourful trash.

But subhanallah, there are some movements and few people begin to think and to change. Little environmental-care education programs are held in schools and villages and in smalls steps a change towards the better can be recognized.

My family strongly supports such programmes. And I am always on the try to recycle, repurpose and reduce our personal garbage.
One great thing I recently found on the internet is cloth toilet paper.
We are already using cloth diapers, but I never thought about cloth wipes… until I saw a blog post that led me there. What a simple logical great inspiration! Alhamdulillah.
I immediately took old out-worn towels and cut them into rectangles (approx. 15 x 8 cm). In total I made about 70 pieces; and maybe, when I find time, I will machine-trim the edges with a zigzag stitch…

But for now I put them in a nice little basket and brought them into the bathroom where they are used for one’s little businesses (the normal toilet paper is used only for bigger business)…
Alhamdulillah, it feels so much better to wipe with real cotton – there’s usually only one cloth piece needed and no torn up paper roll and sticky crumbled little paper pieces any more… We produce much less refuse now, my weekly cloth diaper washing machine is loaded fully since and it feels so good to do good, doesn’t it?
Subhanallah, I am off to make some cloth tissues (handkerchiefs) out of old sheets, inchaallah….

Happy green first summer week!