This is our home in the desert. Ten hectares of sand and rock. We love it.

We built our house roughly nine years ago and still continue to add, change, repair continuously. We have a small olive grove with roughly one hundred trees, a few fruit trees as well as two vegetable gardens. We try to grow as much as we can of what we consume on a day-to-day basis. This is mainly tomatoes, spinach, kale, aubergines, radishes, broccoli, lettuce and whatever else we manage to get growing. We have even attempted sweet melon and now watermelon. We will wait and see what happens with those.

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There is a chicken coup with four chickens that provide us with eggs when they see fit. They seem to be quite moody so we can’t count on fresh eggs year round but when they lay it is more than we can eat so not complaining. We had two tortoises at some stage but one died and so we felt compelled to set the other free in the nearby river bed.

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We also have two cats and four dogs. It has been a privilege to be able to raise our children in this environment, in daily contact with nature. Our kids, 8 and 11, pick fresh vegetable from the garden and finish off half of them by the time they reach the kitchen. They have also cared for each and every one of our animals and have a deep connection with them.

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These were our four dogs which became six dogs earlier this year as friends of ours had to leave the country and persuaded us to adopt their two. We couldn’t say no. So we ended up with six dogs. It was great for the kids as they love their pets. But unfortunately they have had to deal with multiple losses. In the last two months alone we have lost two of our dogs.

We have had to deal with loss a lot especially recently but this is all part of trying to live as rooted in nature as we can. We have been fortunate enough to be able to provide a home for all these creatures throughout the years and our kids are learning about life and loss in the process. This has instilled in them a deep appreciation for life. It has also taught them how to deal with this process. They are angry and sad, everything rolled up into one big ball at first, but they now know that slowly it will be better and that they can miss those that they loved and still continue to move forward in life.

Life will teach us many lessons even when we are not ready to learn them.

SAM_0043

a broad life©