"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

Mark Twain


Welcome everybody to my profile page! My name is Carolina Winter and I am from Germany. Currently I am enrolled in the Bachelor’s Degree program “Integrative Ecosocial Design” with Gaia University. In February 2017 my second year begins (Pre-Capstone 2).
On this page I share my project work and my transforming unlearning journey with Gaia University.
I will present the following:

  • Notes to the reviewer
  • Overview of my story
  • My main areas of interests and overall goals
  • Output Packets (OPs) containing my project work with Gaia University

To view the our (my boyfriend and me) german website, please go to: einfachfroh.de

Notes to the reviewer

The profile page is part of my Portfolio, where I document my work. So far you can find documentations from my first Action Learning Cycles (~ two semesters) in the pre-capstone phase with Gaia University.

In each Action Learning Cycle (three in total) I am going to produce five OPs. The first one is always a Learning Intentions and Pathway Design and the last one a Learning Review. The three OPs in between are content-related and document my project work.

To read the OPs I produced so far, view the section My OPs below. To navigate in my OPs just use the tabs on the top of the OP page or click ‘continue report’ on the end of each page.

The OPs are build up in a three-folded structure beginning with specification/commentary, going to the Core Report which talks about my Project Work and ending with Supporting Evidence.

The feedback of each OP (self, peer and pro-review) is found on the bottom of the first page in the OP. The pro-reviews are written by Laura Kästele.


My Story

I grew up in Freiburg in Southern Germany. After secondary school, I did a four-month internship on an organic farm working with dual-purpose-chickens. During the internship, I got to know my boyfriend Fabian. I decided to study agriculture. After three months of studying it was clear to me that this was not the education I was looking for and so I stopped my studies. Working again in different areas on the farm gave me time to think about what I really want to do and I discovered Gaia University.

Fabian and I moved to a community in Northern Germany called “Lebensgarten Steyerberg” where we volunteered in the permaculture area. The projects of my first year with GaiaU all took place or were influenced by the permaculture area and the community in Lebensgarten Steyerberg.

After the volunteering year, we found ourselves in a new transition phase where we thought a lot about our future and visited several projects in Italy and Germany. With a lot of inspiration, ideas, and possibilities we were enthusiastic to design our future.

At the beginning of 2017, I got pregnant and gave birth in November 2017 to our daughter Valentina Rosa in my mother's house. During the time of pregnancy, our situation of living was still unclear and we decided a little spontaneously to build a Tiny House. Four months after birth the Tiny House we moved in. An organic farm in Austria offered a site for our Tiny House on Wheels. They provided a piece of land where we can grow our own vegetables. We planned to settle there, but after a few months, it was clear that we want to look for our own site to implement dreams and vision.

So we started again a research-intensive time, and one day my boyfriend showed me a 2,5 ha big property in the south of Germany with a little house for drying herbs. We were so enthusiastic and suddenly all went very fast… We bought it.

Since November 2019 we are the proud owner of the wonderful property. Our dreams become concrete plans and step by step we are living our vision. Sure, there are also a lot of challenges we are facing. But the first time in life our work feels so purposeful. In the season 2019, we start growing herbs to produce teas, alcoholic essences, and herb salts and experiment how we can grow a business.

Life Situation

Living situation: We rent a room in the local village, to have a main place of residence and to make social integration and interaction easier
My boyfriend Fabian: Works as gardener in an anthroposophic company nearby
Me: I spend the day with our 1,5-year-old daughter on our property and try to start herb cultivation (very challenging to combine being mom and gardener at the same time)



Profilpage diagram

Our Property

Location: 72351 Geislingen-Binsdorf, Germany


Size: 2,5 ha (including woodland, grassland, fruit trees), steep south-facing slope

The property lied fellow for 10 years, that is the reason why it is partly a huge wilderness (hundreds of wild damson trees).

Social Condition:
The previous owner was a very difficult person and actually the local people did not know him. He wrote unfriendly letters and had one legal proceeding after the other. Nobody knew what he is doing on the property and so local people started a rumor.  Many things he implemented were only semi-legal, so we are the owners of a property with a very complex social history. We are very aware of this and meet the concerned people emphatically. By talking to them and presenting our plans, we want to remove the fears that they have from the past. 

Main Structures:

  • A newly build herb house: it is built to dry and process herbs, but nothing else (e.g. living). But the architecture is designed for living, not for drying herbs.
  • Our Tiny House, we are allowed to place it next to the house, but officially not longer than for three weeks
  • Stone steps to make the steep access easier
  • Pond (not dense)

Areas of interests

In my Gaia University Pathway, I want to focus on designing an ecological lifestyle, also to make my family more independent from the current economic and industrial system. That includes the holistic design of our property as well as of our personal life.

On an ecological level, I am learning how to manage small scale agriculture to sustain our family. Furthermore, this aspect includes natural building and alternative environmentally friendly technologies.

On a social level, I want to unlearn the old way of learning and instead learn a lot about life long education. Gaining skills in self-directed learning as well as being a facilitator to others are my main goals.
A local and global social network will benefit our life in all areas! So we are paying attention to build up this network.

On an economic level, I am interested to gradually become more independent from the current finance system. That is possible by being as self-sufficient as possible and additionally exchange goods. But money is necessary (at least for the next years) and I want to earn an income with the skills I build in the ecological and social area (e.g., education, selling organic herbs, etc.)

Our current herb project integrative combines these three dimensions. We are starting to produce on our herb field high qualitative herbs (without the use of machinery) and process them directly in our herb house (ecological). I want to offer workshops for children where they can learn more about herbs. We are connecting to many people to make the first step to be fully integrated into the local region (social). This may hopefully help to sell our products locally so that we can earn 75% of our income in the future (economic).

Our daughter


Books that inspired me


Online Course "Main Advising and Mentoring"


Mid-of-year-presentation: "Steps towards resistant bees"

End-of-cycle-presentation: "My first Year with Gaia University"


Mid-of-Year-presentation: "Life Transition Pregnancy"


Gaia Radio

Mona Speth and I hosted a Gaia Radio call about "Honey-bees in resilient eco-systems"

Honeybees in resilient ecosystems

Carolina Winter's friends

13 friends