– Chahaya –
Chahaya is a wife, mother, home grown/ self taught cook and modern day urban gardener and homesteader.
While it may seem like Chahaya was born with a shovel in one hand and a rolling pin in the other, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Her journey has been full of many different pathways, but each one has led her back to the country girl that has always been in her heart.
It all began in a suburban neighborhood in California. Her European mother was all about healthy eating, shunning margarine, fast food and processed cheese (which she would later thank her for), but when it came to anything outdoors, Chahaya was on her own. While she loved baking and gardening as a child (self-taught and proud of it!), she never realized that these interests could be a way of life.
As she set out into the world to discover her passion, she tried her hand at everything from being a greenhouse propagator to a small business retailer. Eventually, she took her love for natural health and training in massage therapy and skin care and turned it into a career as a therapeutic spa developer. While the job was wonderful, Mother Nature would not stop taunting her. In order to calm her mind and appease her soul, she would spend her weekends hiking and camping wherever the fresh air could be found (hello, sunshine!).
Still, she was not satisfied. She wanted more, and went in search of it. Whenever she could find time, Chahaya would travel. A trip here and a stint of living abroad there, all led up to her visiting more than 23 different countries (and counting!). But she was anything but your traditional tourist. She immersed herself in each country’s culture, exploring the farm-to-table and homesteading traditions that were needed just to survive. These experiences became meaningful life lessons and her love of cooking and interest in homesteading began to evolve. It was in these small, self-sustaining villages that Chahaya realized what it takes to makes her soul smile: Getting down and dirty with the Earth, growing her own food and transforming it into healthy, satisfying dishes for family and friends.
Today, Chahaya has permanently traded in her suits and high heels for rubber boots and vintage aprons. Whether she’s experimenting in the kitchen, knee-deep in compost, or canning the latest harvest, you will always see a smile on her face. She has found her purpose, knowing that an amazing amount of food can be grown on the smallest patch of land and prepared in the simplest kitchen.
With everyone spending so much time in the virtual world today, she co-created this blog to encourage and share with others how cooking and urban gardening/ homesteading are fulfilling ways to bring family and friends together and feel connected to our Creator and this amazing planet we call home.
– Kaijah –
An exceptional son (according to his mum, Chahaya), Kaijah is the programmer, tech guy and photographer for the Sweet Si Bon blog, as well as a self taught cook.
From the very beginning, Kaijah was unlike most kids (yes, in a good way). Instead of merely playing with a toy robot or remote control car, he would dissect it to figure out what made it tick. Building anything he could get his hands on, his Legos and intricate hand-crafted balsa wood model airplanes were prized possessions.
As a teen, his love of flying drew him into the Lake Tahoe Civil Air Patrol, where he learned flight navigation, Search and Rescue and leadership skills. He flew an airplane solo from Tahoe to Sacramento and back long before getting his driver’s license. His first foray into the job market was repairing private airplanes at the Truckee Tahoe Airport.
As a young adult, he has no shortage of life experience. An avid traveler, he spent a month in Japan (those cultural immersion school programs are pretty cool) and lived in Costa Rica for four years – saying it was like living on the Discovery channel, ’cause everything is so alive!
Clearly a math and science whiz, Kaijah’s scientific approach to urban homesteading and his unique way of looking at things benefits everyone around him. “Just because” doesn’t exist in his world, as he is always exploring the hows and whys of every process. Combined with his wicked sense of humor, he keeps everyone ‘in the know’ and laughing!
His love of all things technical carries over to the dishes he loves preparing. Fascinated with the stages of cooked sugar, he gets a kick out of making (and eating) sweets like marshmallows, caramel and toffee. From scratch, he makes a mean pizza, yeast breads to swoon over and killer pasta (his survival food), in all shapes and sizes.
– Reno –
We live in Reno, in Northern Nevada. Still called the Biggest Little City, where the Annual Rodeo, Classic Car Show, Air Races and Rib Cook Off are big events and jeans and cowboy boots are acceptable dressy wear.
Summers are hot (100+ F) and dry, with days filled with hiking, biking and rafting down the Truckee River. Winters vary from mildly cold to freezing and snowy, with world class skiing in the Sierra Nevada Mountains surrounding Lake Tahoe only a short drive away.
The farm-to-table, seasonal foods and cottage industry movements are alive and well in our neck of the woods and growing everyday. As urban gardeners, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to be certified to sell our garden bounty to local eateries. It’s fulfilling to be able to share the fruits of our labor with our fellow Renoites.
– Contact us –
Need to contact us? We’d love to hear from you!
- If you have a question about a recipe or specific post, leaving a comment on that particular post is the quickest and easiest way to get a response.
- If you have a personal message or experience you would rather not appear in the public comment section, please direct your message to Chahaya. We welcome your personal experiences, recipes, and photos!
- For inquiries regarding advertising, sponsorships or guest posts, direct your message to Kaijah.