Winter Solstice on the Farm

The shortest day of the year came and went but it felt a lot like summer. To mark the day we planted some ake ake trees.

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The kids were down to their undies.

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And easily distracted from the task at hand.

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Mama worked on cutting some firewood.

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The garlic we planted a fortnight ago is up.

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Strawberries looking good.

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A great day for the solar dehydrator.

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There was even time in the afternoon for papa to hit the waves.

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And the cat just slept.

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Peace, Estwing

 

Early Winter Permaculture Update

We have had a busy autumn here on the farm with our three amazing interns. They left us last weekend after presenting their fabulous design projects.

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After 10 weeks on the farm they have learned a ton about permaculture design.

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Now, for the first time in eight months we do not have interns on the farm. It is a welcome break from continuously having to manage a group of eager helpers. We’ve shifted gears to a slower life with easy chores like drying apples. We had a very large harvest of Monty’s Surprise apples this year and are processing many of them through the solar dehydrator.

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I made this a few months ago out of salvaged timber and an old shower door.

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Before the interns left we made a good push to plant out our strawberries…

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… but we had so many that I’ve had to pot a few dozen up this weekend. Too many strawberries? That’s my kind of problem!

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We also made a good effort of planting garlic, but the process is not quite halfway done so far. I enjoy planting garlic and can take the next fortnight to chip away are the remainder of the 4,000 + cloves that we’re planting.

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Other early winter things happening on the farm: ducklings?!?

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We have cockerels to process once there is enough space in the freezer.

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And the first lot of poplar poles was delivered by the regional council. But those can wait until the August internship begins.

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Peace, Estwing

 

Permaculture Internship: A Day in the Life

Here is a glimpse of what a permaculture internship on Kaitiaki Farm looks like. It includes regular chores like animal care, solar cooking and cutting firewood in the winter, but it can also include unique projects.

One morning this week our interns had the opportunity to meet with land care specialists from our Regional Council who came to the farm to advise us on a planting plan for our stream and hillsides. While we were in the valley we planted some willow poles at the bottom of a recent slip. (We cut and prepared the poles the previous day.)

Later that day they helped out at a pop-up Curtain Bank we started to hand out free curtains to families in need in our community. Once we got home there was still a little sunlight left so we planted another few rows of garlic.

The permaculture ethics can be summarised as: Earth Care; People Care; Fair Share. Our interns immerse themselves in these ethics along with the four-dimensional design strategies we employ on the farm. After two months they leave us with a Permaculture Design Certificate, a large array of practical skills, and a new perspective on the world and how to re-design it to better serve people and the planet. Our current group of three interns graduate tomorrow. We wish them luck!

For more information on the Kaitiaki PDC internship programme:

http://www.theecoschool.net/workstudy-permaculture-design-certificate.html

 

Peace, Estwing