The Artists' Home of Kyra de Vreeze

Writer, gardener, photographer, homecook, teacher and crafter. Simply a few words that come to mind when thinking of Kyra de Vreeze. A year ago she and her family left the city of Utrecht to live closer to nature. Here, surrounded by tall trees and birds songs she combines her work as a creative and naturopath with growing an organic garden and building a greener home.
Visiting The Artists’ Home of Kyra de Vreeze
Kyra’s artistry: Naturopathy & Regenerative Living
Living in Doorn, The Netherlands

1. You recently moved home with your family, was it a longtime dream to live a more rural life?
'I spend the first 5 years of my life very rurally, on a large plot of land on an island in the Caribbean. My father designed and build the house himself. Our home was off grid. The electricity, to burn lights, came from a small windmill. We had a propane fridge and a propane stove but no washing machine, no computer, no TV and no warm water. We moved to The Netherlands when I was 5. I went from offgrid, with a view of the turquoise ocean to the concrete jungle of Zoetermeer, and later Utrecht. I always knew I would go back to the countryside, someday, because that's where I feel true belonging and aliveness.'
2. That move sounds like a big change in your early life. Tell us, last year you and your family changed house too ― you moved from a big city to a smaller town within The Netherlands. What effect did this change of scenery have on your creativity? 
'Before the move I felt like I was stuck in a loop. I felt stagnated, depleted and limited in my growth. As soon as we received the keys to our new home my energy started spiralling up again. The space offers me a playground to observe, discover and create.'

3. What is your favorite place at home - or around the home - to work from?
'I love diversity, in what I do and where. I alternate between the kitchen, the garden and the cabin. I love the atmosphere of the wood cabin that's situated at the back of the garden. This is where my husband writes songs and I hold space for one on one naturopathic consultations. The cabin overlooks the vegetable garden and smells of pine wood. But to be honest, my absolute favourite place to be is outdoors. Always. In summer I hardly spend any time inside: we have an outdoor kitchen and sleeping underneath the starfilled sky reminds me of the magic called life.'
4. What is your favorite season and why?
'That's a difficult one, simply because I love the rhythm of the 4 seasons. Each one comes with such an unique character. Winter is introvert when we gather around the fire and rest and contemplate. Spring is when we start new projects, sowing the seeds of flowers, grains and vegetables. Summer is peak season when my energy is at its highest. I love the social time of summer, foraging together and potluck picnics outdoors. Autumn is when we compost the old and preserve the bountiful harvest. Like squirrels we ready the home for winter.'

5. Becoming more self-sufficient, finding alternative ways to living a greener off-grid life; we see it popping up everywhere but for many of us it feels this is quite ‘new’. How do we make a start?
'With whatever makes your heart sing! By lighting candles at night instead of switching on the lightbulbs, by using a whisk instead of a blender, by growing some of your own herbs or vegetables on your balcony  or by learning to cook using woodfire. It all starts with a single step. Eventually all those small steps add up to form one big leap.'6. We’ve discovered you are always interested in learning new things that reconnect us to our true nature. What skill or craft caught your attention recently?
I am learning how to craft with wool from our local sheep. I am teaching myself how to knit but also how to make felted rugs from raw unprocessed wool. Sheep have been roaming the Dutch countryside for over five thousand years, grazing, diversifying the ecosystems and revitalizing the soil. Traditionally, Dutch people dressed themselves using wool from those sheep. Unfortunately there's little market left for local wool as much of the clothing bought comes from mega factories abroad. This means many local shepherds have to pay yearly for their wool to be destroyed. My focus, in everything I do, is always to close the loop. In Earth-based closed loop systems there's no waste. Every one and every thing works together in reciprocity to create a whole that's greater than the sum of its parts.'7. Earlier this year you gave online classes about saving energy, how to make sourdough bread or grow your own vegetable garden. How did you come up with these themes? And can we expect more?
'I teach what excites me and what I know and practice myself, in combination with what I see around me. I teach what excites others towards a more empowered, Earth based and aligned life. I had many enquiries from people who wanted to learn how to bake their own slow fermented sourdough bread. That's when I came up with the guided program and later the self-paced version. At the moment I am working on a 'raw dairy program' where I teach how to make sour cream, cultured butter, buttermilk, yoghurt and fresh cheese from one simple base ingredient: raw milk. I teach how to make these totally off grid, no fancy electrical appliances or electricity needed!'
8. What is your vision for the future when it comes to crafts, makers and community?
'We come from a period in time when 'more and cheaper = better' and industry, advancement and technology received Godlike status. As we head into the future I feel crafting, creating and hard skills (wood work, carpentry, weaving, gardening, etc) will again become of great value. Our great grandparents knew all of these hard skills by heart. They knew how to chop wood and build a fire for cooking. They knew how to shear sheep, spin the wool into threads and weave it into rugs and blankets. They knew how to grow their food and preserve it. They knew how to make candles from beeswax. My hope and vision is that more and more people will relearn (some) of these essential crafts and hard skills and by doing so will feel deep fulfillment, belonging and self empowered, knowing how to deeply care for themselves, their community, their locality and vice versa.'

9. Is there something you dream of, big or small?

'It is my dream and destiny to own and care for a couple acre regenerative homestead with plants, trees, pasture, ponds and animals, where we eat and live 100% off our land. A closed loop life :)'9. Your husband Yoshi is a singer songwriter, what kind of music - or which song -reflects your life today?
'My husband writes incredibly catchy modern pop songs for artist like Tiësto. I love the tunes he creates but at the end of the day my soul always drifts back to Americana ('country music'). Kate Wolf's 'Like a river' and 'Cowpoke' by Colter Wall are on repeat this week.

10. Is there something you'd like to share that we did not know about you?
'It's no secret that I wrote a book called 'homegrown.' recently. Some of your readers may not know it yet and might be interested! It holds many recipes and ideas for living a vital, local and community sufficient life. At the moment it is only available in Dutch, but fingers crossed!'
Find more about Kyra's projects on and @kyraskitchen

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