Eco Community

Green to the Extreme

We are Green to the Extreme, including no garbage, please.


We don’t let any non-compost-able garbage onto the retreat. After taking a hard look at the land fill areas all over Bali, we made hard choices.

Nothing comes onto the land that can’t be composted or reused. If it slips in with a guest, such as a toothpaste tube or battery, we ask them to take it back to their own country to bury into their own lands.

We know where all our garbage goes: kitchen foods to the village pigs and everything else is composted or recycled. There’s even a special composting trough from feminine hygiene products which guests are given a special paper bag for disposal. See our article on our Library of Articles page

Organic is an interesting word and we know that many gardeners and farmers feel that it simply means not using pesticides. For us, it means NO commercial anything; no bags of fertilizer, fungicide, herbicide, insecticide and taking dead clay soil and resurrecting it into life-giving-food.

Baby cow eating grass
  • Poopook day is every day from our 3 Balinese cows.
  • Watering the gardens with fish pond water.
  • Breaking up clay soil by growing cassava, burying an old banana trunk to hold the moisture in dry season, resting the soil with nitrogen fixing crop and then trying to grow a vegetable we like to eat. For each new crop we introduce more rice husks and compost. This process of resurrecting the land from chemical rice farming, takes a long time.
  • Saving our seeds lovingly and selecting their location depending on their need for light and water and then trimming them back at just the right times.
  • Cherishing the Balinese native foods that naturally reproduce themselves and thrive.
  • Harvesting and serving within 3 hours.
  • Adding worms and worm castings to the compost.Raising red tiger worms for fertilizing our orchids with the worm “juice” (urine)
Garden crew with jackfruit
  • Watching what grows, where, and how well.
  • Moving water the Balinese way.
  • Experimenting with creative non-chemical solutions to insect and disease problems; asking questions and more questions.
  • Allowing medicinal herbs to flourish and using them in our recipes, juices and smoothies.
  • Letting the land rest – everything needs a rest sometimes
  • MOSQUITOES?  Ponds with a solar night lights and fish to eat mosquitoes.
  • See the Library of Articles section called Green Clean Alternative for interesting info on controlling mosquitoes, garbage philosophy, building with bamboo and yes . . . worms.

It seems I’m obsessed with these banana leaf disposable cups, because I am. They are so darn cute!!! AND I don’t need to watch people walk around Bali Silent Retreat with plastic water bottles. They can actually be free to let their arms move around as they meditate through the labyrinth or walk the jungle. I love these little cups! They’re at the meditation octagon near the drinking station.


Well water, tested regularly plus a UV purification is added to the process.
For drinking water, we offer: Reverse Osmosis, or Distilled, or Deep Well water coming from the holy mountain, Batu Karu – filtered again.


The whole retreat is chemical-free including the vegetables, fruit, herbs, flowers and even our anti-ant program. Bali Silent Retreat is as self-contained, local, and self reliant as possible. We think we’re the most environmentally friendly accommodation of our size on the island . . . maybe in the world? We invite swapping stories with other facilities.

Mosquitoes Mosquitoes Mosquitoes!!!!

We had a great education and lots of fun with Trudy, the mosquito lady, who is a super mozzi detective.

She combed all 6 hectare with her jars of water, a mini siphon to suck up samples of water, a moz zapper for protection, net & scissors & duct tape and most important – her expertise on where the little mozzies hang out, dance, breed, lay eggs and expand their reach.

Read more in our full article in our Library of Articles, Green, Clean, & Alternative section

Mosquito Detective

Rice – Beautiful Rice

Harvesting the rice in Our Front Yard

Harvesting, turning the soil, duck mania, and planting again.

Bamboo Time

This isn’t an article but it’s a fun little video about building with bamboo. We needed a covered shed to keep the bibbitts (veggie babies) at Bali Silent Retreat. Click on this photo to see the video. Our bamboo has not been treated, but just cut fresh from our jungle (with hacking knife, called a gergaji).

We probably would never try to build a permanent structure to sleep in, made with bamboo and these are the reasons:

  • None of the Balinese seem to live in bamboo houses . . . mmm? Wonder what that’s about?
  • We listen to chain saws mowing down bamboo in our neighboring jungles, way too often, supplying the current trendy bamboo architecture, which claims to be sustainable building. And bamboo does grow quickly and repeatedly after it’s initial years under ground, but is its treatment for insects green?
  • The conventional ‘treatment’ for preserving bamboo (2 choices: with high pressure borax* or insecticides) is NOT ‘Green’ by our standards. Regardless of the pretty words attached to bamboo architecture, unless it’s treated in the old Balinese way; soaking it in mud for 4 -6 months, it’s not natural -ok? And it MUST be cut on specific days and in specific ways . . . something to do with the sugar/starch content.Well, that’s what the Balinese say, anyway.

*Borax is natural but so is salt. If you dump enough of either into the water supply it can’t be good.

For Banana Aficionados

We have 17 species of bananas at Bali Silent Retreat and a chart you can read, to discover the purpose and characteristics of each species.

How and when to harvest is a full and complicated process, unless you’re Balinese. If you’re Balinese you’ve grown up within the culture of many many Balinese ceremonies and offerings, using all the different types of bananas and you know which banana is used for what. You can read the full article with pics on the Library of Articles page.


Bali Silent Retreat - Mrs.SSSSS - Tomat Super Strong Self Sustaining Seedlings Tomatoes

Our Garden’s SSSSS’s Veggies (Super Strong Self Sustaining Seedlings)

Growing anything without commercial fertilizer is challenging,…
Bali Silent Retreat Ricefields overlooking Mount Batukaru

Is the so called ‘Green Revolution’ turning brown?

Look around you. Everything you see came from soil, and one day…
Growing bamboo

Building a simple shack with bamboo

This isn't an article but it's a fun little video about building…