Posted by the deTerra diarist

How do kitchen crew?

Pictured: Not George Iona! This anonymous coconut tree climber is harvesting the tasty treats at the top of the tree!

Now, you all know just how much I love trees and anything tree-related – I cannot begin to tell you how excited I was today when I learned about a new timber-centric sport which is just absolutely fantabulous! A gentleman from the beautiful Cook Islands, in the South Pacific, has been crowned the first winner of the world championships in coconut tree climbing. You read that correctly, my fun-lovin’ friends – coconut tree climbing has a new champion and his name is George Iona.

Coconut trees are a view to behold and whilst I have never clambered to the top of one myself, I suspect the sights to be seen from the top are quite spectacular; the competition was held in French Polynesia which looks incredible enough from the ground.

Coconut tree climbing is traditionally done to harvest the delectable coconuts at the top, and the competition is a celebration of the skills handed down over many generations. Now, these guys make it look incredibly easy – George Iona won the race in just 5.62 seconds – but climbing a coconut tree is trickier than it looks. It seems many pros use rope or cotton tied between their feet to act as a hold on the tree trunk as they go, holding with their arms then moving their legs, then holding with their feet and ties to move their arms up – the rope stops them sliding back down the tree. Some crazy climbers just do it with bare hands and feet, but with some trees reaching 60 feet tall I think I’ll just leave it to the professionals!

If you don’t plan on climbing coconut trees any time soon there are a multitude of things that you can do with a coconut. The delicious fleshy inside has a mellow flavour which can be used for sweet or savoury dishes, with coconut milk and cream being particularly popular in curries in its native lands. The tough outer hussk has been historically used to make armour but is now used in a range of products from compost to furniture construction. No wonder those guys want to get to the top of the trees so quickly! What is your favourite use for coconuts? Let us know!

Ta ta for now,

The deTerra Diarist

 

Posted by the deTerra diarist

greetings nature appreciators!

As an avid fan of the outdoors AND kitchens, it will probably come as no surprise to you all that I am a big picnic lover. I recently stumbled upon some incredible new eco-friendly picnic ware that I could not wait to share with you today!

We have known for a long time that disposable food containers are no good for mother Earth, and there are already a variety of biodegradable options available – so what makes these so special? I am glad you asked, my kitchen companions!

German company, Leaf Republic, are taking the disposable wooden picnic ware and are making plates from leaves instead of the timber itself.

These fantabulous plates take just 28 days to biodegrade – 28 days I tell you! For a little context, a biodegradable plastic plate takes from 3 – 6 months and a paper plate can take anything up to 5 whole years! Wowzers! Leaf Republic make the plates with leaves covering water-proof leaf-made paper and they do not use any glue, colourings or synthetic additives at all. How do they hold the plate together? I hear you cry – good question, culinary crew! They are, of course, stitched together using fibres from the very palm leaves from which they are created.

I personally think the best thing about this picnic ware is that not one single, solitary tree has been cut down to make the products, as they are made from leaves which are collected from the forest floor. Cool, huh? They deliver worldwide – if you want to learn more or buy some for yourself, check out their website.

Ta ta for now,

The deTerra Diarist

 

Posted by the deTerra diarist

greetings eco-kitchen lovers!

Wow! I cannot believe I’m on entry three hundred and fifty – time certainly does fly when you are having fun!

I am incredibly proud of deTerra’s green credentials and we work hard to ensure that the products we use are as environmentally friendly as possible. Ever the bearer of brilliant news, I recently stumbled upon a company called The Cheeky Panda and I must say that – whilst they may find their way into my bathroom rather than the kitchen – I am already a huge fan. Harnessing the renewable nature of bamboo, they have created a splendiferous collection of luxury tissue products that are giving back to the environment!

Unsurprisingly, the team at The Cheeky Panda make some alterations to natural bamboo before it reaches you in tissue form!

Whilst we all know that this giant natural grass is good for making bamboo worktops, these guys use bamboo to produce toilet roll and facial tissues which promise to be kind to your skin as well as the Earth. The Cheeky Panda announced last month that they are now completely carbon balanced and are also working to support the World Land Trust in looking after a very important part of Vietnamese rainforest that supports a number of endangered and vulnerable mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles. The Cheeky Panda range is available from a variety of health stores and online retailers, and is an excellent way to bring sustainability to other parts of your home outside of the kitchen!

Thanks to our fantabulous bamboo worktops, we already know just how sustainable bamboo is, and there are already loads of other brilliant bamboo products you can buy if protecting the environment is your bag! Would you be willing to swap your regular tissue for this exciting eco alternative? Let us know what you think on Facebook or Twitter.

Ta ta for now,

The deTerra Diarist

 

Posted by the deTerra diarist

hello there my culinary crew!

The other day I was reading the news when an article about trees caught my eye, naturally. Forest bathing is big in Japan and – thanks to its health benefits – it is also gaining popularity throughout the West.

Now, let me explain. Forest bathing is not having a bath in the forest (as amazing as that sounds!). Known as ‘shinrin-yoku’ in Japanese, it translates as simply being around trees, and has been proven to have a number of measurable benefits, including lowering your blood pressure and boosting your immune system. Where do I sign up?!

This looks like the perfect place to get some forest bathing done - just leave the rubber duck at home!

What better way to chill out than having a relaxing stroll in the woods? I love a good hike as much as the next nature-appreciator but forest bathing really is my idea of heaven. Japan has 44 specific shinrin-yoku forests, but if you want to give it a go yourself without needing to catch a long-haul flight, there are plenty of scenic woodlands in the UK that are perfect for immersing yourself fully in nature. Just be sure to leave your phone at home so you can fully benefit from taking some time out with no distractions.

Do you have a favourite forest, wooded area, or – especially for all you urban city-dwellers – perhaps a park? Let me know – I’d love to get some inspiration for shinrin-yoku locations on Facebook or Twitter!

Ta ta for now,

the deTerra diarist

 

Posted by the deTerra diarist

Greetings, kitchen lovers!

I have seen some very interesting news today, my solid wood enthusiasts! I was thrilled to learn about a project using tree faces that has been taking place in the Forest of Dean. The Forest of Dean is a magnificent ancient woodland located in Gloucestershire, not far from our original flagship showroom. Since it is full of beautiful trees, I am of course a huge fan and have visited on more than one occasion – and Cabineto enjoys it too, since they have a little train to ride on and acres of fields to frolic in. On a recent trip, I noticed some strange faces watching me from the woods…

These handsome fellows have been planted throughout the Forest of Dean to catch litter-bugs!

These tree faces aren’t just for decoration – oh no – they live to serve. See, workers in the Forest of Dean noticed lots of litter – including crisp packets from over 30 years ago – and felt action needed to be taken! Crime fell in Rotterdam after 10,000 pairs of eyes were painted throughout the city (that’s 20,000 eyes in total!), and taking inspiration from that, the Forest of Dean council decided that this would be the best way to deter visitors from leaving litter behind.

What do you think of these friendly tree faces? I love them and hope they roll this out to woodlands far and wide shortly!

Ta ta for now,

The deTerra Diarist

 

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