Growing your own food

As mentioned before growing your own food is one of the most important steps to living a healthier and self sustaining life. All our circumstances are different and not everyone knows where to begin. We began ours with getting on the list of our local allotment whilst living in a flat in London.

In the UK, allotments are small parcels of land that are rented out to an individual for the purpose of growing food crops. These are available to anyone to rent and maintain. Just because you live in a apartment building doesn’t mean that you need to stick strictly to growing indoors, or give up all together. One of the main benefits of an allotment is that it’s a great starting point in terms of size. Having a farm is no small feat for a new beginner. The reality is cultivating and maintaining the land takes a lot of time and energy, if you have the financial freedom to do so. Having an allotment enables you to start with putting all the theory of growing into practice in a manageable space. The yearly fee is generally a small fee, in comparison to what it yields.

Liban 2 years old in our allotment in london.

This is just one example of where to grow that worked for us, as a starting point. We also grew various herbs & aloe vera etc in our flat. Now we are growing everyday fruits and vegetables that we eat such as: tomatoes, onions, ginger, pumpkins, bok choy, melons, yam, beans etc. in belize. We are learning what works in this climate whilst incorporating what we have had already picked up. What you grow is mixture of what you like to eat, what grows in the climate you are in and what you would like to add to your diet. Self sufficiency is possible for everyone and anyone.

In urban dwellings you can use containers, trellises or hanging gardens for those that are limited on space and many more creative ways to make use of whatever space is available to you.

Growing your own food may seem like something that is unachievable or it has not crossed your mind because we take food for granted. We have supermarkets that have almost everything under the sun and most of it doesnt seem to cost much. So why the hassle that comes with the initial start to growing your own? As we have all learnt over the years a lot of food is brimming with pesticides and all sorts of harmful chemicals. Is our health and our childrens health worth the few pennies we supposedly save? The other route then would naturally be to buy organic. Unfortunately organic food is expensive and majority of people cannot afford to buy organic food regularly to feed a whole family. Organic food always costs more than conventional foods, anything from 40%-120% in the case of vegetables such as carrots and broccoli.Growing your own organic produce means that you save money. Which means that you are able to allocate your finances to other areas in your life.The key point here is to do your due diligence, make a plan & prepare to put in the work.

Liban and awralla picking mixture of vegetables from our garden that they helped plant.

What may seem like a lot of work right now will be your saving grace in the long run. Investing in the food you eat and growing it yourself is the best investment you can make. You will be healthier, a analysis of over 300 studies published in 2014 by the British journal of nutrition ( researchers found that organic crops have a substantially higher concentration of antioxidants and other health benefits. You know everything that came in contact with the food you put on your table. As a parent my ultimate goal is to protect my children to the best of my ability, children are way more susceptible to pesticides and other chemicals put on food than adults. According to the National Academy of Science about 50% of lifetime exposure occurs in the first 5 years of life. You are more likely to avoid cases such as E. coli outbreaks linked to spinach in 2006 and lettuce more recently when you grow your own.

Having your children grow around food and cultivating the food that ends up on their table is one of the most valuable lessons you can provide as a parent. This is the ultimate skill in providing them with essential life skill, growing food and being capable of providing for themselves. We introduced food growing and maintaining a garden to our son from the age of two, at 5 he has his own corner of the garden. He collects seeds and is always eager to plant and identify different plants. Our younger one is just over one and as a result of where we are and what we are doing shes already become accustomed to the garden. One of the first things she did when she started walking was to pick tomatoes and eating them. This is just the beginning but as the saying goes “start as you mean to go on”. This is not by all means the only way to go, every family is unique in their growth and development. As a family wer always striving to grow and want to share the lessons we have picked up along the way and hopefully serve as a guide to others.

Frank, Liban and Awralla picking cucumber on our porch in Belize.

On a more personal level gardening in great for your mental health. Although indiginous people had known this from the beginning of time, science now confirms the immense benefits of gardening and its therapeutic effects.

For a more in depth information on growing your own please feel free to drop us a line, wer more than happy to share resources on what will suit your circumstances best.

A few books on starting to grow your own:

  • RHS Grow your own veg and fruit year planner
  • Allotment Month By Month- Alan Buckingham
  • Grow vegetables: Gardens, allotments, patios and balconies- Alan Buckingham
  • The grow your own food handbook- Monte Burch

with love,

From me and mine to you and yours.

Financial literacy and Generational wealth: Part two

The importance of Teaching your children how to invest and thrive for the future.

We left off part one with the simple idea of taking action to incrementally increase our savings and invest our money to start making at least some money work for us instead of us working for it.

Financial literacy is not something that’s only reserved for the fortunate few lucky inheritors of fortunes, in-fact without financial literacy even they end up broke again within a generation.

Think of generational wealth as first and foremost being about financial literacy, rather than about the actual money itself. It’s the process of educating yourself and your children how to manage this aspect of life that is vitally important.
The money comes as a result of basic financial principles.
I often question why these basic concepts aren’t given any mention at all within institutional education? Shouldn’t even a very basic education include some simple lessons on financial literacy ?!

“Produce more than you consume and the surplus becomes wealth over time”

Money is the store of wealth from the transactional value of the goods or services that you provided to those who wanted them (the consumer).
Be the creator more than you are the consumer, produce more than you consume.
Choose a lifestyle that enables you to consume less than you produce, therefore your able to save the remainder, in other words “live within your means” don’t max out your credit cards on shiny new toys!

Don’t think that a small relatively insignificant few hundred dollars can’t grow into generational wealth over time, it can and it will with the right mindset, consistency and dedication.

With my first $500 investment capital i opened a brokerage account and invested in 3 companies I thought had good potential at the time.
While I grew up with absolutely no knowledge of even the concept of financial literacy, I had an interest in investing and at some point began reading and doing some basic research, and eventually years later I was ready to give it a go.

Partially I got a lucky start, one of the three companies I initially put money into handed back 556% returns within a few months, the other two didn’t do much, but that was good enough for me, I was convinced this was doable. I continued to add a hundred here and there as much as I could over the first year.
I bought more positions in other companies and by the end of the year when I calculated what I’d initially invested in each position, (some winners and some losers) taken away from my total balance I had an overall return on investment of 57%
I was very happy with that as I knew id done better than I could have expected from any broker, CD, savings account, high interest vehicle, or even most charter services. So I decided then and there to continue and I’ve being doing it ever since, and slowly but surely it is building up nicely,
I tell my own story here to demonstrate it is possible to start with not much at all, get it working for you and see the rewards within a year or so, from there you just have to keep at it.

….But back to financial literacy and generational wealth….,

If you’r lucky enough (or have worked hard enough in your life) to have a steady job as an employee or as a small business owner to have savings and essentially some capital you could deploy to work for you then you’ve got a head start.

If not then you need to think about how you can both increase your income and decrease your living costs (even just a little bit), save the remainder each month.
How do you begin to produce more of whatever it is that you do and consume less in your lifestyle so you can have a surplus?!
you might want to look at monetizing a skill or two you probably already have as an extra income source?
Most of us can if we really try, cut out one or two small expenditures that aren’t absolute necessities from our monthly budget, use this little cash to start your savings.

Yes….the word “budget” comes up here, I spent the majority of life without understanding the importance of having a budget! I’d be way ahead by now if only I’d cared enough to figure that one out.

If you currently live paycheck to paycheck and want that to change then you need to seriously think about creating a realistic budget and sticking to it!
You budget and your lifestyle should always cost less than what you make, keep it that way

To be continued……

Financial literacy and Generational wealth: Part one

The importance of Teaching your children how to invest and thrive for the future.

Generational wealth is that which is past from generation to generation, most of us probably weren’t lucky enough to be taught the importance of putting your money to work for you instead of working for your money.
probably because many of us were born into family’s without much money in the first place.
our parents could not teach us what they did not know which is financial literacy.

It’s something that seems to have a distant air of “that’s only for the rich to teach their children” some sort of fantasy we all shrug off like it’s something that’s not realistic for the rest of us??

I have to ask…..what’s the plan then?
Wait for a few million to drop on your lap and then start to learn how to manage your money?

Stats show in cases where this does happen, (which is statistically rare) like the lottery, (essentially just luck) the probability is so small it’s barely worth buying a ticket other than to try your luck.
Lottery winners are majority broke again within five years. so how much time did the winner spend learning to be financially literate after the money landed on their lap? None!

The point is, if you ever have a hope of building your wealth to be anything meaningful and then maybe one day pass it on to your children, you’d best start learning how to make your money work for you now, not later… don’t put it off any longer.

It doesn’t matter if you can barely scrape together $500 in savings over a few months, even $500 is enough to make a start.

Speaking from personal experience that’s all I had when I made my first investment some years back, over time with self education and direction it will grow…..and grow….and grow.

The first step in learning to be financially literate is to take action!
If nothing changes in the way you operate your day to day life then nothing changes in your financial life either, I’m not talking about massive changes or commitments just small incremental efforts that over time add up to something and have a positive impact.
If you like the idea of putting your money to work for you instead of working for your money and want to start investing then start by investing in your own savings.

Add at least something every week or month until you have at least a few hundred dollars, then invest that and repeat the same process over and over, this action alone will compound over time into a decent nest egg.

To be continued in part two.

Why holistic living

One of the main reasons that has triggered us to embark on this leg of our journey as a family i mentioned before is to live a holistic life. Holistic living is a concept that has got a lot of light in the past few years. What holistic lifestyle means to different people differs. To us it is to take care of our entire selves: body, mind, spirit/soul and environment.

So keeping this in mind we started our focus on growing our own food. We started educating ourselves on the process of growing food when we still lived in london. We were fortunate enough to get some space in our local allotment. It was here we first introduced the process of planting and maintaining a food garden to our son who was 2 years old at the time. This was also the start of familiarising ourselves with the practice behind the theories of food growth for us both. Our children are growing seeing hours of our lives spent cultivating the land. This is their normal. Now being in central america we are in the first stage of learning what works here. No matter where or what time as humans we live in, it is important to learn the skills associated with growing food and sharing these valuable lesson with the generations that follow. Growing your own food isnt something that will only save you money, provide you security, contribute to a healthier life, ensures mental clarity and connection to mother earth but small scale farming is best for the environment.

The other main component was to continue our education on natural medicines. Doing different courses on natural health remedies, collecting books to further our education. I am by no means saying there is no good in conventional medicine but it is not to be taken lightly. More often than not equipped with the right information we can heal our bodies from many of the ailments we go to our local GP/health care provider for. Conventional medicine is important to understand but to always ensure you do your due diligence on possible side effects. We have been blessed to be given a temple that is immensely powerful and has the capability to self heal. There is a solution for every ailment in nature.

The second was to take stock of what products we put on our bodies, what products are in our homes which cause more harm than good. This is a journey i had started on prior to our sons birth. Setting up my natural skin and hair care business started off as personal project to eliminate toxic skin and hair care from our home. This also lead to all cleaning products being re examined and replaced. Understanding how much of what touches our skin, the largest organ in our body, goes into our bloodstream. This was a major overhaul all the way to our mattresses.

We also started designing our family home. Making sure that we continued this approach of health over convenience/conditioned behaviour. We wanted to ensure we would live in a building that didnt do us nor the environment any harm. The building process and journey i will go into more depth as it is far too long to fit into one paragraph.

This is a brief glimpse of our journey and what holistic living means to us. All of the above will be broken down further in future posts of course. If there is any specific aspect that stands out or you want to know more of, please feel free to give us a shout.

Until then,

WIth love from us to you

Decentralised Investor Intro

The idea behind decentralized investor is to share the financial part of our journey, how we got to where we are now financially, and importantly how we are increasing our financial stability going forward. We think we’re doing remarkably well, however we haven’t yet reached our goals yet.

Our goals are:
1-maintain our standard of living and
2-ensure our personal freedom.

our readers will know it’s not all glitz and glamour, nevertheless to maintain even a basic standard of living permanently requires significant amounts of money.)

We share our ideas with the hope that our journey will help contribute to our readers achieving their financial goals.
Whatever they may be, probably quite different from our own and maybe more glamorous but equally as important, so if you haven’t set yourselves some important goals yet, now would be the perfect time to start!

We offer two newsletters at present,

Decentralized investor
Our weekly despatch is emailed out to our free subscribers sharing ideas on the current economic climate, how to make sure you are financially literate and the many investment opportunities that we come across, especially the ones we are currently taking advantage of ourselves. we share our insights into market trends and emerging profit opportunities,
ideas on how to improve personal income and other ways in which we continue to secure ourselves now and into the future.

Decentralized portfolio
our paid subscriber service is our comprehensive guide to investing for a real prospect of very good returns, often the goal is to at least double our money or more over time.
Our current focus is in the resource sector, emerging technologies and crypto, with a few other opportunities mixed in.
Often we intend to hold our positions for many months, years or even in some cases decades, buying as low as we can, harvesting profits on the way up and selling when we think further profit potential is no longer viable, risk factors have become to great or when the market variables have changed.
Complete with the names, ticker symbols, where to buy, buy up to price and monthly updates.
The decentralized portfolio let’s our subscribers know exactly where we’re putting our money and saves the subscriber the hard work of countless hours of research. We share our opinions on which brokerage firms we like best, how to sign up, and all the relevant info you’ll need if your joining us on this journey.
While the current cost of the subscription service ($250 annually as a one off payment or $25 a month for 12 months (total $300)) does not compensate us for all the effort that goes into it, we are confident, as the word spreads and our portfolio sees solid profits, in time with increased membership it will do quite well.

Decentralisation, is it for you?

I think we decided to decentralise ourselves and our finances in 2015 while living in kenya. Although at the time i don’t think we fully understood what this meant.

Earlier that year we’d left Somalia for Kenya to wait for our sons passport, (Living in somalia and the technicalities of processing his passport is a story for another time). We had moved to Somalia to try living and investing in a completely different socio-economic & political climate. Asli having lived in London most of her life and me in USA, we knew that we wanted to try a different lifestyle. Since Somalia is Aslis birthplace it made sense at the time.

It was during the period of time in Kenya that we realised we wanted more than one place to live and call home. We needed to diversify our finances to enable us to have multiple streams of income in several countries. Had we not moved from London to Somalia and onto Kenya, we may not have been able to experience the pros and cons of each place. This experience taught us putting all your eggs in one basket leaves you exposed and at the mercy of one economy and one government. The cross continent moves we did several times, shipping our belongings all over the place taught us the importance of not leaving ourselves nor our finances overexposed in one place. Each place we have lived has some amazing advantages which are brilliant, the key has been how to get the best out of them all. It’s important to understand you don’t have to be “wealthy” or travel around the world like crazy to diversify and decentralise, that being said, it does take a fair amount of work to know how to use laws in different countries to your benefit. A decentralised life does take some serious thought into what you want out of it for your life and for your loved ones. Once you figure that out then begins the research.

How we decentralised our everyday living

A decentralised life in a day to day setting for us is striving to live a holistic lifestyle.

For us this has meant making sure that we work on securing our own source of food. We have started on our tree nursery on our temporary house here in Belize. Also started our vegetable garden. It is and has always been crucial for us to continue using food as our medicine. Building our medicinal herbal cabinet. Educating ourselves and constantly updating our knowledge on how to best support our bodies to heal with the help of nature, as intended.

We are building our home, with natural materials. Our first temporary home, which will become our guest house eventually for family and friends that visit, is a woodhouse. Our bigger family home will be rammed earth. This means that we will have minimal impact on our environment. When the day comes these building will go back into the earth with minimal damage to the environment. It will be all off grid.

We have started homeschooling our 4 year old and will continue to do so for him and his younger sister. We want to empower them to become critical thinkers. To give them a varied education that does them as WHOLE beings justice. Pass on the tools for them to navigate this world as the free spirits that they are.

Ultimately it is responsible, sustainable living. That is our aim.

In the following posts i will go into each part mentioned above in more detail. It is all work in progress, like we are as human beings. We are currently working on the Belize stretch of our over all decentralised life. We will go into more details about the other countries we have land that wel build in at later dates. For now, this chapter is focused on Belize.

The take away from all this i hope for you is how can you detach from what doesnt serve you, by taking small steps and actions each day. Start from where you are.

With love,

from me and mine to you and yours.