New Episode Live: The Permaculture Vision with Peppi Gauci

The latest podcast episode with Peppi Gauci is now live. Peppi is a pioneer of the Permaculture movement in Malta. He's worked on the Bahrija Oasis project for 14 years turning a wind swept, soil eroded plot of land into a thriving food forest and educational centre.

This conversation goes into Peppi's analysis of Malta from a permaculture perspective, his travelling adventures and the personal practices he uses to keep himself grounded and inspired.

You can also listen to the podcast from soundcloud or directly from your Itunes Podcast app by searching for The Grassy Hopper Podcast.

We love to hear your feedback so if you have been touched by anything you have heard please do drop us a line at info@thegrassyhopper.com. We would also love to hear your suggestions for different guests that have an inspirational message to share!

Permaculture asks how can we recreate systems where everything is around us available, there is no waste and we can engage consciously in these systems together so whatever we take can be symbiotically returned and the system keeps on sustaining itself in balance
— Peppi Gauci

Syrian Night: charity dinner

Once a week, on Wednesday evenings, the doors of The Grassy Hopper in Gzira open for dinner. Wednesday 25th of January was an evening with a twist: we hosted a charity dinner featuring Syrian and Middle-Eastern dishes to celebrate the culinary wonders from this region, but also to raise awareness about the ongoing war and violence, and the dangerous crossing many Syrians and other refugees make over land and sea to look for safety. We chose MOAS (Migrant Offshore Aid Station) as the beneficiary of the money raised during the evening. MOAS is a Malta based non-profit dedicated to preventing loss of life by providing professional search-and-rescue assistance to refugees and migrants in distress at sea.

The menu featured different vegan highlights from Syrian and Middle-Eastern cuisine, such as Mujadara Lentil Stew, with cinnamon, smoked paprika and garlic, served with rice, bean salad and vegan mint cream, a Ras el Hanout Stew with carrots, pumpkin, aubergine, cauliflower and Middle-Eastern spices, served with quinoa and fresh mint, and Sweet pea Falafel, served with hummus and tabbouleh.

We also served Shurbat Addes, a Syrian red lentil soup and Socca, homemade chickpea flatbread. For dessert our healthy sweet shop Theobroma prepared a delectable vegan rose & pistachio cheesecake, and we also baked vegan baklava, made with filo pastry, walnuts, almonds, agave syrup, cinnamon and fresh lemon.

To raise funds we held a raffle on the evening and had a donation box ready. In total we raised over €300! Prizes included vouchers for Eco-Spa & Yoga Hub Sanya, a box of chocolates from Theobroma - A Raw Cacao Collective, vouchers for a free meal & smoothie or coffee & dessert at The Grassy Hopper, and goodie bags donated by our lovely suppliers CORE GREEN:Organic & Fairtrade, Flavours for Health and Hames Sensi - Organic World. A heartfelt thanks to our sponsors for their generous gifts.

We were happily surprised by the great interest in the evening and want to thank everyone who attended for your support and contributions.

For more information about the work MOAS do, and how you can help, please visit their website: www.moas.eu



Photos by Jason Florio (MOAS) and Luca Séllei

Podcast Episode 2 with Maria Farrugia Now LIVE

This episode (#2) features an interview with permaculturist and founder of the Kul Kul farm, Maria Farrugia. The conversation goes into the twists and turns of the journey which took her all the way to Bali from Malta and ended up with her co-founding the Kul-Kul farm with her partner Orin.

Maria is a down-to-earth yet hugely inspirational person, who talks candidly about her inner battles and the joys and struggles of starting a conscious business.

The Grassy Hopper podcast is all about sharing stories that will give you the courage to pursue your own path, stimulate your thoughts and ideas and ultimately inspire you to live a more nourished life. 

You can listen to the podcast from the link below, through Soundcloud or by searching for The Grassy Hopper Podcast in your iTunes Podcast App directly from your smartphone.

We hope you enjoy this episode and please do send us your comments, questions or guest suggestions to info@thegrassyhopper.com

Reuse Resolutions

Happy new year from all of us at The Grassy Hopper! Now that the holidays are over it is time to sit down with a cup of tea and reflect on the year gone by, as well as look forward to the new one! It is the classic moment to think about our lives, our actions and our choices, and to set fresh intentions for becoming a better version of ourselves.

In light of the new year, several of our staff members, including our founder Yasmin De Giorgio, have set the intention this year to completely cut out the use of plastic bottles, plastic bags and disposable coffee cups from our lives. Our fast-paced, on-the-go consumption culture is contributing to growing landfills and the plastic soup in our oceans, and single use plastics and disposable coffee cups (which are not recyclable, as many people think!), are among the worst culprits. In the UK alone, 5.000 disposable coffee cups are thrown away every minute!* In Malta, 88% of municipal waste was landfilled in 2014, placing our country at the second highest rank in the EU.**

The Grassy Hopper is proud to have championed compostable packaging from the very beginning of opening our business: from day 1 all our take-aways have been packed in compostable packaging by Vegware, made from renewable and sustainable resources, such as cornstarch, sugar cane fibre and recycled paper. Of course, using reusable containers is even better! We love to inspire and encourage our customers and community to make lifestyle choices that are not only better for yourselves, but also better for the planet. For this reason we stock in our shop the beautiful Thank You bottles, made entirely from sustainable and renewable materials: glass, rubber, cork and wood. For only 50 cents you can refill your bottle with reverse osmosis water at The Grassy Hopper, so together we can create an alternative to single-use plastic bottles, and remain hydrated at the same time!

We hope to add more reusable products to our shop so we can help you in making the transition to a more sustainable lifestyle. Which small change will you make this year to contribute to protecting our environment? We’d love to hear about your intentions in the comments! For now, we leave you with some further inspiration: reusable coffee cups / produce bags / shopping bags.  

https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/dec/06/modern-life-rubbish-dont-need-packaging

** http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20160326/local/malta-ranked-second-in-eu-for-waste-to-landfills.606796

Nepal Donations

For those that have been following our journey you might have seen the Adventures Of Our Tip Jar.  Every 3 months we distribute our tips and 1/3 of the tips collected are distributed to a charity chosen by the team.

Last month we decided to donate the proceeds to SOS Malta in aid of the Nepal reconstruction effort after the recent earthquakes.

We held a fundraiser at the Cafe and added 20% of the sales of the evening into the pot and also collected donations in a 'Help Nepal' Jar.

In total we collected just over 550€ which have been handed over to the SOS Malta team. We'd like to thank Friends of Nepal for supporting and inspiring the collection process, especially Melanie Vella.

And thank you to all who donated generously into our Jar and into our Tip bowl. We love the Pay It Forward movement!

Compostable Packaging Audit

We just picked up our latest supply of compostable packaging….and here is the audit

Carbon Saved: 84.586 kg
Virgin Material Saved: 72.1 kg
Potential Landfill Diversion: 130.48 kg

We supply our take-away packaging from a company calledVegware.  They make eco-friendly take-away packaging for restaurants with the highest standards of sustainability.

You won’t believe its not plastic…but its not! It is corn starch.  The vegetarian based materials are not only compostable but they are also sustainably sourced through annually renewable materials.

We think this is awesome and totally support the future revolution in take-away packaging.

A Hop in the Green Direction

The Grassy Hopper and our Permaculture pionnering partners at the Bahrija Oasis have been featured on the Air Malta in-flight magazine.

A super article written by Melanie Vella says, “This group of young, inspiring Maltese entrepreneurs are leading the way to setting new standards for businesses.  As conscious businesses, they aim to show that a successful business does not have to compromise on values to respect the environment and others, in order to cut costs to maintain commercial success.

Committing to sustainable strategies is ultimately good for business.”

The magazine showcases photos of The Grassy Hopper’s famous vegetarian burgers, fresh juices and smoothies and our iconic food truck. It celebrates the integration of ethical and eco-friendly practices and the use of permaculture principles within business.

The beauty of the marriage between permaculture and catering is the fact that permaculture offers a solution to the degradation of the soil, which ends up as the degradation of the nutrient content of our foods.

“Peppi Gauci from the Bahrija Oasis (home of Permaculture Malta) grows supergrasses, using permaculture techniques ensuring the grasses grow with the highest nutrient and oxygen content possible. The Grassy Hopper then serves daily shots of wheatgrass”

To find out more about Permaculture Malta visit their website

Supporting the YMCA

Within the first week of opening our Valletta outlet, we noticed a great opportunity to impact the city in a way we never imagined.

 

As we cook our food fresh fresh every dayit is quite common that we have left overs.  Instead of doing like what most restaurants do, and throwing this food away – we decide to donate it in support of the YMCA’s homeless shelter.

Since we have started this initiative the YMCA are now able to provide community meals for the 30 residents of their shelter on a much more regular basis.  And we are very happy to be giving them our good, healthy, vegetarian food.

We thank the YMCA for giving us the opportunity to serve the community in this way, and hope to see more restaurants putting their waste to good use!