The Sweet Meadow


Where the Wild Things Are

inspiration, living the sweet lifeAishe Besim
"Blue Eye", Sarande, Albania

"Blue Eye", Sarande, Albania

We often forget that we are nature. It is when we lose our connection to nature that we lose the connection to ourselves.
— Fem Gucluturk

Our cafe is closing for a winter break and I am bloody excited! I don't create well around chaos, so a chance to slow down and be present will help me draw inspiration from the magic and beauty of our incredible planet. 

I was recently reading about the concept of re-wilding, which, broadly speaking, referred to the ecological recovery and restoration of natural systems. Over the years however, the definition of the word has now begun to include the idea of re-wilding ourselves

The article explained it as, "...getting closer to nature, de-domesticating ourselves, and discovering our wilder selves. Through this, we may perhaps find a deeper, more authentic way to reconnect with our innate sensibilities and feel more holistically entwined with nature."

Of course, the idea that spending time outdoors is beneficial to our overall health and wellbeing is not a new one. Studies have shown that spending time in nature can have a profound impact on stress, happiness and healing. Walking outdoors gets our blood pumping and increases our intake of oxygen, invigorating our bodies and encouraging a supply of hormones that make us feel balanced and creative. Bathing in natural sunlight will give you a boost of immune-balancing vitamin D. Swimming in a cool river, lake or ocean is great for promoting mental wellbeing because it triggers the release of endorphins. It also exposes us to beneficial minerals and microbes that support the thriving biome found on our skin.

The thing I am most excited about doing over our 11 days off is switching off - literally. I plan on deleting my email app from my phone, along with logging out of The Sweet Meadow's social media pages.  It goes without saying that to feel more connected with nature, we really need to put down the technology. Some moments in life should be for fully giving yourself over to the experience and not capturing at all. When not looking down at our phones, tablets, or computers, we can become more absorbed in our surrounds and feel more connected. 

We'll be back on deck from Friday, September 7. Until then, stay healthy, be happy and get outside!

To slow time down, practice enjoying the moment. It is where we spend our entire lives.
— Wu Wei
Whitehaven Beach, Hamilton Island, Australia

Whitehaven Beach, Hamilton Island, Australia

Video - Gardening: Food for the Soul

videoAishe Besim

The last video filmed on my family farm showcases my favourite part of the home - the garden!

Funny to think that before I started growing food about two years ago, I didn't even know what compost was (seriously). Fast forward to today and it's one of my favourite ways to spend time outside. I actually prefer being surrounded by plants than people.

Watch the full story here:

Thanks again to James for putting these videos together.

Drying flowers

flowersAishe Besim

I cannot do without flowers. Their ability to convey emotions, evoke memories, change our mood and transform a bare room into a place of great beauty never ceases to amaze me. They are my muse, my passion and my world.
— Saskia Havekes, Grandiflora

I was never a huge fan of flowers. Why spend money on a bouquet of flowers that were just going to shrivel up and die in a week or so?

Since going plant-based I've done a complete 180 - I love flowers! They appear in our most significant rituals and traditions all around the globe, from ancient civilisation to the present day. We give different flowers for different moments in time, but all for the same purpose - to say that which cannot be said, and to say it with beauty and grace.

I soon discovered I could prolong the life of freshly cut flowers by drying them. They could then happy sit in a vase for months on end. Keep reading for a super easy method of drying flowers.

1. When picking flowers for drying, they should be in full bloom but not full blown or they will drop their petals. They are also best gathered in the morning of a dry day.

2. Hang them upside down in bunches in a warm, preferably not too light position and leave them there until they are dry to the touch. This could take up to a couple of weeks. 

3. Once you are confident that your flowers are fully dry, pack them into boxes and store in a dry place until you wish to use them. It is important to store dried flowers in boxes in order to keep them free of dust and preserve their colour. 

4. How to use dried flowers? Display them in a vase, leave them hanging, press them into your favourite books, or frame them!