An Introduction to Permaculture  & Sustainability

Here at Kinsapacha we have our very own permaculture garden abundant with fresh organic vegetables, fruit and herbs. We compost all of our food waste and sustainability is a key principle that we adopt in how we live here. Read on to find out more about Permaculture!

A bird’s eye view of our garden

At Kinsapacha we have our own permaculture organic kitchen garden, using the vegetables to feed ourselves and our guests. It is one of 12 organic farms in Urubamba. 

What is Permaculture in a nutshell?

Permaculture is the development of agricultural ecosystems intended to be sustainable and self-sufficient. It’s a set of specific design principles that takes into account the whole system and the cycles of nature. Permaculture works with the fact that we are a delicate yet resilient ecosystem where everything is connected. 

It provides a framework to live sustainably and is a way that we can implement practical solutions to the current climate crisis. Permacutlure asks us to be resourceful, self-sufficient and smart. By using less we can actually gain more, we work with the environment rather than against it and leave behind lasting systems for future generations.

Permaculture is more than gardening

Permaculture is the design of a fair, productive, practical and green way of living. This can apply to how we garden and farm, how we live in our households, how we construct buildings and even how we run our businesses. 

Harvested organic veggies

So what exactly is sustainability?

Sustainability is a word used to describe projects or a way of living, working and creating that meets the needs of the present without having a negative impact on future generations, the environment and the local community. Sustainability can be split into three pillars, economic, environmental and social. 

Just like permaculture, sustainability comes from an ethical viewpoint about how to live well in a way that benefits the whole. It’s about making decisions that are ecologically sound, community minded and practical.

Founders Jorge and Ilse on the land

How Kinsapacha Yoga Retreat & Eco Lodge Farm embodies permaculture and sustainability

When Jorge and Ilse came together to create their own business in Peru, their skill sets and different backgrounds fit together well. Ilse manages the Yoga retreats and Jorge manages the permaculture garden.

Ilse says “We both resonate with the idea of conscious living through everyday practice. For me that involves being aware of the internal and externalities around my body and mind. For Jorge it involves working with the land and being present in the garden, which is a form of meditation.”

Jorge adds “We make sure to participate in a circular micro-economy. We recycle many of our materials, including food which is the soul of Kinsapacha. Food waste is turned into compost through different methods, such as vermincultre, where worms help break down the food. In nature nothing is wasted, everything transforms into a fertiliser that nourishes the earth.”

The restaurant at Kinsapacha is an adobe building made from earth and organic materials. The food served has many vegan options, sources local produce and uses fresh veggies from the garden. We also have a water refill station to encourage guests to use their own reusable bottles and we use solar power to heat water for our showers. 

The principles of permaculture and the principles of Yoga fit together perfectly to create a safe container for community, nature connection and self-exploration. This is what makes Kinsapacha so special and we love nothing more than sharing this way of life with our visitors from around the world!

Want to book a stay with us? Click here for bookings as a guest and click here to book an affordable yoga retreat.

Blog post written by one of our resident Yoga teachers Jasmine Sara @jasminesarayoga

Simple Ayurvedic Vegan Recipe

Here at Kinsapacha Yoga retreat & Eco Lodge Farm, we believe cooking food is an act of love and connects us to the cycles of nature. This is why we have our very own organic permaculture garden which provides us with fresh veggies and herbs for our guests and family. We have a special interest in Ayurveda and in vegan food.

Our organic permaculture garden onsite at our Yoga Retreat & Eco Lodge
Farm

We’ve put together a simple recipe to share with you so that you can cook up some healthy, delicious treats from wherever you are in the world! Ayurveda is an ancient system of health from India, which takes into account many different aspects of how a person lives their life. For optimal health Ayurvedic food focuses on fresh produce locally sourced and balanced meals.

Golden Milk – an Ayurvedic Drink

Use your favourite cow’s milk alternative (e.g. coconut/almond/hemp) and slowly heat in a pan with a sprinkling of cardamom, dry ginger and turmeric plus a little bit of ground black pepper (to help absorb the benefits of turmeric.) 

Photo by @oshakey

Lentil Dhal with Brown Rice & Green Salad

To serve 4, you will need:

For the Dhal & Rice

  • 2 cups of brown rice to 4 cups water 
  • 2 cups of red lentils to 5 cups water 
  • 1 tbsp turmeric 
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  •  ¼ tbsp black pepper 
  • 1 sliced small chilli 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cardamom pods

For the Salad

  • 1 broccoli head
  • A handful of green beans
  • 1 cup of garden peas
  • A handful of fresh coriander 
  • 3 tbsp of goji berries
  • 1 lettuce
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • A handful of almonds
  • A sprinkling of salt

Rice & Dhal cooking instructions

Add the rice and water to a pan with the cardamom pods for flavour, bring to the boil then leave to simmer for around 30 minutes or until the rice is soft with no water. 

Bring the water for the lentils to boil in a big pan. Add the lentils and cook for about 10 minutes, occasionally stirring. 

Next you need to stir in all the remaining ingredients and keep simmering on the stove until you have a slightly thick, less watery texture and the lentils are soft.

Green Salad cooking instructions

Wash the fresh lettuce and put in a serving bowl. Chop the broccoli and green beans then lightly steam with the peas until cooked. Add the green veggies to the serving bowl. Add the lemon juice and the salt. Chop the almonds in half to lightly toast both sides in a dry frying pan. Sprinkle the goji berries, toasted almonds and coriander to the salad. 

Enjoy your meal and don’t forget to add in some love and take a moment in meditation before you eat, cultivating gratitude for your food!

We host affordable yoga retreats in The Sacred Valley Peru where we serve organic vegan meals cooked with love. To find out more click here. 

Our resident Yoga Teacher and Co Founder of Kinsapacha, harvesting fresh veggies from our garden!

Urubamba hike Sacred Valley

Mountain Life in The Sacred Valley

I always thought of myself as more of a “beach girl” but somehow life has brought me here, to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. I have had the opportunity to live on an island and was blessed to have the “island life” experience, twice! But that is a story for another day.

It was my “life’s purpose” that brought me here. The first time I came to Peru was in 2014, to stay in the jungle and learn from the mother plant, Ayahuasca. I already knew back then, when I stayed in the jungle of Iquitos that I had a special connection with Peru.

Later last year the Universe brought me back here, and this time to the warm presence of the mountains. What a welcoming embrace that was. I keep loving it more and more here every day.

 

Morning Routine in Urubamba

On a perfect day, I prefer waking up early to experience the mist hovering over the mountains and the cool crisp air of the morning. This time is ideal for a morning yoga practice, when all that is audible are the sounds of the birds waking up and your own breath.

The Local Market

Depending on how much time I have, I sometimes feel like walking to the market which takes about 20 minutes. The walk goes through the local village, with spectacular views along the way of the mountains. The market is a feast for the senses with a multitude of different colours, fresh produce and the friendly faces of the local community. Sometimes I like to stop for lunch at only 10 soles ($3) at one of the vegan stalls on the third floor of the market.

Organic Kitchen Garden

We don’t need to buy so many vegetables at the market because we are abundant with fresh organic vegetables from our own orchard based on permaculture design principles. I love being able to walk into my own garden and pick vegetables to create magic in the kitchen! We sell our vegetables to our guests and women from the local community, as well as making the most of this delicious fresh produce in the restaurant vegan menu for guests here at Kinsapacha.

Hiking in the Mountains

Some days when I’m not too busy I like to go for walks on one of the easy routes that are accessible from our doorstep. One of the routes takes you up to a beautiful viewpoint where you can explore some Inca ruins and have a breath-taking view of the Valley during the sunset golden hour.

Sundays are for Rest

Living in the mountains we sometimes lose touch of what day of the week it is! Things can get very busy here and although I stay grounded with my yoga practice, I still need some time for myself. So, I decided to make sure I always take Sundays as a day off! Some Sundays when we are very ambitious, we go on an adventure to either Ollantaytambo, Pisac or Maras. But to be honest my favourite past time is chilling in the hammock reading my favourite book or writing in my journal or taking a well-deserved nap. It’s also the  bird watchers paradise with hummingbirds fluttering in the sun.

Yoga as a Way of Life

Kinsapacha is now my home but yoga is still my life and always will be. At Kinsapacha I have learnt to take things slower, to be more present and to enjoy the beauty that nature provides, as well as the knowledge that she teaches us. My passion for teaching has evolved to a more spiritual and grounding practice. I like to encourage my students to connect with their inner teachers and liberate themselves from unnecessary stress of missing out on the whole point of life which is to be happy and free!

       

If you’d like to experience this way of life for yourself then our doors are always open! Click here to learn more about our yoga retreat packages or here to book your stay as a guest.