Alexandra Ettlin & Tobias Kappeler
A day in the garden with exceptional nuns
In 2011, Alexandra used the time between her bachelor’s and master’s degrees for a somewhat different education: the women’s school of farm practice and administration at the Benedictine Convent in Fahr in Zurich. During five months at the convent, she learned to live and work with nature, based on practices that blend ancient and modern knowledge - a unique and life-changing experience. In 2013, the farm school closed its doors for good, for financial reasons and a shortage of young nuns to support farm school operations. Alex and Tobi started a TOY Cap project to support the nuns with intense garden work; they are also concentrating on preservation of the cloister infrastructure to support this institution. The fascinating and practical knowledge about herbs, plants and nature in general, as well as the sisters’ unique sense of humor, warmth and positive attitude towards life, are deeply impressive. Especially now, as we become more and more aware that we all must live in harmony with nature and apply a more sustainable approach, there is so much we can learn from the universe of knowledge embodied in this 900-year-old convent and its grounds.