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Watercolour of four beavers in blue, pink and purple

Are there beavers in Cantabria?

Good, beaver, best The Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) is one of the most fascinating of Europe’s native mammals. Its dam-building behaviour makes it a “keystone species”. Beaver-constructed wetlands help to prevent soil erosion and flooding by slowing the flow of water through river catchments. By the same token, they improve water quality in rivers as well as helping to mitigate the effects of drought. They also create a diverse habitat for hundreds of other species,… Read More »Are there beavers in Cantabria?

Tocar la tierra

Thich Nhat Hanh, uno de los grandes maestros de nuestro tiempo, ha sido enterrado en su lugar de nacimiento, Hue, Vietnam. Thay (como lo conocían sus alumnos y seguidores) murió hace una semana, el 22-1-22. No puedo dejar de pensar que eligió la fecha de su fallecimiento conscientemente, como un gesto final para indicar la unidad en el corazón de todas las dualidades aparentes. Robert Quiero compartir uno de los poemas de Thay, “Bhumisparsha”, que me parece… Read More »Tocar la tierra

Thich Nhat Hanh, ” La muerte es una ilusión”.

“Yo no soy este cuerpo, no estoy atrapado en él, mi vida es ilimitada,nunca he nacido y nunca moriré. Sobre el ancho océano y el cielo con sus numerosas galaxias todo se manifiesta en la base de la conciencia. Desde los tiempos sin inicio he sido siempre libre. El nacimiento y la muerte no son más que una puerta por la que entramos y salimos. El nacimiento y la muerte no son más que jugar… Read More »Thich Nhat Hanh, ” La muerte es una ilusión”.

Recipes for Health, Sustainability, and Heritage

As part of the Sustainability, Health, Heritage European project, Abrazo House will be editing a book of recipes from several European countries (mainly Spain, the UK, Lithuania, and Greece, but we’re hoping to include some from elsewhere, too).  The idea is to promote each of these three core values by presenting traditional recipes from different cultures, adapted for a contemporary context, which use healthy ingredients and promote a more sustainable diet. In this blog post,… Read More »Recipes for Health, Sustainability, and Heritage

Bottling summer: an easy recipe for plum liqueur

If you have access to one or more plum trees, then in an average year you’ll easily be able to pick more plums than you can possibly eat. A plum tree in July, its branches sagging under the weight of ripe fruit, is an image of the fecund abundance of nature. What to do with your superabundance of plums? Well, plum jam, plum crumble and dried prunes are all nice enough, but for my money,… Read More »Bottling summer: an easy recipe for plum liqueur


“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collectwood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to longfor the endless immensity of the sea…” Antoine de Saint Exupery(1900-1944)

Forgotten food: Two recipes for acorn bread

Eat like the ancestors: reclaiming your birthright For many thousands of years, wherever oaks grew, acorns (‘oak-corns’) were a staple food for people. Balanophagy, the eating of acorns, can be seen across a wide range of cultures since earliest prehistory.  Across northern Spain, where Abrazo House is based, large quantities of acorns have been found hoarded in Celtic hill-forts. Anyone who’s read an Asterix book knows that the Celts venerated the oak, but who knows… Read More »Forgotten food: Two recipes for acorn bread

Meditation bell from a propane gas cylinder

Morning meditation is part of our daily routine at Abrazo House. The beautiful, resonant sound of a bell being struck (or “invited”) with a wooden striker calls us back to the present moment and reminds us that, despite all our projects and worries, were are always living precisely in the here and now: the only place and time we have. We made this meditation bell from the bottom of a propane gas cylinder, as a simple… Read More »Meditation bell from a propane gas cylinder

Quick and easy wall of strawberries

The stone retaining wall on the driveway leading up to Abrazo House was overgrown with tough matted grass and other weeds. With this quick, easy and almost free project we turned it into an edible “wall of strawberries”: Put down a layer of cardboard, hanging down from the top of the wall, as a mulch to kill the matted grass. (In time, the cardboard hanging down will be removed once it’s done its job of… Read More »Quick and easy wall of strawberries