Intentional Living with Zenaya Sol
We spoke with Arnhem muse, organic gardener and herbalist Zenaya Sol @abundantia_sustainable_living about intentional living and her top gardening tips.
She also shared her yummy Dill Pickles recipe at the end. Check it out!
Tell us about yourself.
I am an Organic Gardner, Herbalist, Homesteader, Wife, Mother of two & business owner. I live an intentional and sustainable life with my beautiful little family on 8 acres in the hinterlands of Byron Bay.
I have always had a great love of the natural world. My desire to be more intentional and sustainable in our living choices was encouraged by my journey into motherhood 8 years ago.
It was a slow progression to a more intentional way of living and now we live in closer alignment with the land, eat mostly fruit and vegetables that we grow in our garden, eggs and honey from our chooks and bees, we cook from scratch, bake sourdough, make ferments & preserves, raise animals and are passionate about land regeneration.
It all started with a dream and now 4 years on the evolution of our little homestead in the hills has progressed into a thriving food forest of abundance and prosperity. Despite all the hard work it has taken to get us here, we are lucky to live and thrive on such fertile soil, surrounded by such great community and opportunities here in the Rainbow Region - there is nowhere else we’d rather call home!
Zenaya wears the Valentina organic cotton bralette and mini skirt in moonstone
What are your tips for starting an organic garden?
One of the most common statements I get on Instagram is that my garden is a dream of so many others. It was once a dream of mine too, until I sowed the seeds and grew it into my reality.
My garden has progressed in size over the years (my first garden was in pots while we were travelling around Australia!) If you have the dream of creating an abundant garden - all you have to do is start! Start with soft herbs and greens, you will taste the quality and the freshness of homegrown and you’ll never go back! You will also save yourself money while eating food more nutritionally dense and the great thing about herbs and greens is they take up little space - they can be grown easily in a small space, balcony or in pots. Soil quality and biodiversity is the key to any abundant garden so maintain the soil well, ensure plenty of sun and water and plant some edible flowers for the pollinators too.
ZENAYA’S DILL PICKLE RECIPE
One of my favourite preserves is Dill Cucumber Pickles. They are so versatile! Perfect with smashed avocado on sourdough, simply on their own or to accompany a curry or any meal really.
600g cucumbers, very thinly sliced
1 brown onion, thinly sliced
1 & 1/2 TBS fine Sea Salt
60ml hot water
250ml white wine vinegar
100g (or more to taste) coconut or raw sugar
2 tsp brown mustard seeds
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
3 TBS chopped fresh dill OR 1 TBS Dill seeds ( I prefer fresh)
Chilli flakes & fresh sliced garlic clove (optional)
In a large non reactive (glass or ceramic) bowl, toss the cucumbers with the onion, salt, hot water and set aside for 2+ hours.
In a medium saucepan put the vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, dill, turmeric, chilli & garlic (if using).
Bring to the boil over high heat, add the cucumber and its soaking liquid then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
Transfer the pickles to sterilised jars.
Store for a month ideally before opening to allow flavours to develop (if you can!)
* I hot pack my pickles in jars with pop lids or process in my Fowlers Varcola.
* I also usually always x3 the recipe. Enjoy!