Category Archives: Eco Thrifty Life

Life Finds a Way

Practicing regenerative agriculture on the farm for the past seven years we’ve seen remarkable improvement in soil life, plants and animals. Biology is so powerful if we start by doing less harm than good. The key is working with nature instead of against it.

Here is a poplar that got blown over in the wind about two months ago. Instead of cutting the stump with a chainsaw I left it because I knew it would recover. It just started re-sprouting this week.

Re-sprouting poplar

Here is a mushroom growing out of an old snapped limb of this birch tree.

The wetlands and riparian corridor have made huge advances since we fenced out stock and planted 2,000 natives.

Before
After

The culvert is a weak link along our stream so we’ve reinforced it with biology – much stronger than concrete and steel!

Before & After

Every morning it’s so exciting to get up and see what else is growing on the farm!

Peace, Estwing

Permaculture Gifts

We believe in appropriate technology and sound advice. We offer items that help build resilient properties and communities.

The items we sell include the following:

Solar Oven: $100 plus post ($10 North Island or $15 South Island) + $5 rural
Stainless Steel Broad Fork: $190
Hula Hoe (Stirrup Hoe) – Hand-held: $30
Retrosuburbia Book: $89 plus post: $9.80 + $5 if Rural
Muscovy Ducklings: $10
Permaculture Calendar: $18 or $30 for 2 post paid

Email to order: theecoschool@gmail.com

Programmes @ Kaitiaki Farm

Tentative 2022 Programme

Given uncertain times we are publishing a tentative schedule with regular updates to follow.

Forest Educator Training 10th-14th January 2022

5-Day Forest Educator CourseWhanganui, January 2022Kaiako i te Taiao – Te Kaupae TuatahiForest Educator Course -Level OneJoin us at our forest school farm property for five days while immersing yourself in the theory and practice of forest schooling. You will leave feeling inspired and invigorated by practical lessons, thoughtful conversations, and good food. Experts in mātauranga māori, bushcraft, outdoor safety, and education will share knowledge guided by lead instructor Dani Lebo. Take the next step in your learning. Turn your classroom into your dream job.

Family Camp – 22nd-24th January 2022

Family fun and learning on a thriving organic farm.

Spaces limited.

Family Camp – 5th-7th February 2022

Family fun and learning on a thriving organic farm.

Spaces limited.

The Resilient Farm Tour 13th February 2022, 1-5 PM

This farm tour covers the essentials of designing and managing a resilient rural property in New Zealand. $60 per person. Couples $100.

Kaitiaki Farm Weekend 5th-6th March 2022

This programme covers all aspects of a permaculture property: Zones 0 through 5: House; gardens; orchards; animals small and large; managed tree lots; bush and wetland restoration.

Saturday 1 pm through Sunday 4 pm with all meals included. $160 per person. Couples $290. Accommodation $30 per person.

Tutors: Dani and Nelson Lebo are leaders in New Zealand’s permaculture movement. They are recognised experts in their respective fields of outdoor education, ecological design/management, and home design and renovation.

Contact: theecoschool@gmail.com

Abundance @ Kaitiaki Farm

We are into a spectacular spring with the entire farm thriving: goats, pigs, garlic beds, vege gardens, the orchards, olives, avocados, native plantings, etc. A combination of rain in October and sun in November has set photosynthesis to full throttle. Below are some images of the thriving kai and landscapes here on Kaitiaki Farm.

Garlic
Avocados
Piglets
Planting Olives in 2017 (Before)
Olive Trees in 2021 (After)
Wetland in 2016 (Before)
Wetland in 2021 (After)
Cuddling a newborn goat
Goat’s Milk

We can hardly keep up with the milking and cheese-making.

Fried Halloumi

Tomatoes and Corgettes in the Ground
Duckling Season
Strawberry Bed
Feijoas in Flower
Avocado Orchard with Tagasaste Nurse Trees

Amazing how working with nature instead of against it give such amazing results!

Peace, Estwing

2022 Permaculture Calendar

2022 Permaculture Calendars for sale

Calendars are $18 post paid and two for $30.

Proceeds go to wetland restoration.

Orders: theecoschool@gmail.com

Filled with inspiring images that can change the way you see the world. Practical examples of each of the 12 permaculture design principles showcase photo contributions from the broader permaculture community.

Daily moon planting icons can help you get more organised by observing the rhythms and patterns of the lunar cycles, no matter where you are in the world, supporting regular planting routines.

Produced using vegetable based inks on post-consumer recycled paper. 100% of profits donated to permaculture projects internationally.

Climate Resilience PDC Internship

Immerse yourself in eco-design for climate resilience on a thriving permaculture farm outside of Whanganui. We take a systems approach to managing the farm holistically to maximise carbon sequestration and minimise carbon emissions.

This PDC focuses on ecological land management, regenerative agriculture, water management, eco-housing – both building and retrofit, appropriate technology, human-scale approaches and transport along with the full PDC curriculum.

5th January 2022 – 8 WEEKS WITH A WEEK OFF IN THE MIDDLE. ($700) 

From a recent intern: “I’ve just completed my 2 month PDC at the Eco School and have had an absolutely sensational time. If you want to learn how to become a permaculture home-steader FOR REAL, skip the two weeks of PowerPoint presentations offered elsewhere, and come get fully immersed in the lifestyle. Dani and Nelson have got the art of sustainable living down pat, and both are an absolute gold-mine of knowledge to be tapped. I left knowing how to do everything from preparing and planting garden beds; to raising livestock; milking and cheese-making; harvesting and preserving; butchering, baking (no candle-stick making…); DIY and carpentry. Essentially, we covered in incredible depth the art and science of ecology and land regeneration, as well as all the principles of design and analysis vital to making permaculture work properly. It was like being back at uni, except this time I was learning something useful (and deeply fascinating).”  – Harry

David Holmgren’s Retrosuburbia

RetroSuburbia: the downshifter’s guide to a resilient future

This 592 page manual shows how Australians can downshift and retrofit their homes, gardens, communities and, above all, themselves to be more self-organised, sustainable and resilient into an uncertain future. It promises a challenging but exciting mix of satisfying work, a more meaningful way of living and hope for the next generation.

RetroSuburbia is divided into three main sections: the Built, the Biological and the Behavioural along with the introductory section ‘Setting the scene’.

NZ $89 + $9.60 parcel post tracked.

Orders: theecoschool@gmail.com

2022 Permaculture Calendars for sale

Calendars are $18 post paid and two for $30.Proceeds go to wetland restoration.Orders: theecoschool@gmail.com

Peace, Estwing

Lucky Seven (Years)

We have reached another anniversary on this piece of land, which is always a good time to reflect on our progress. Samuel Goldwyn once said, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” We have been very lucky on this patch, but at the same time unlucky – facing a flood, a fire, and land slips. Our primary goal on the farm has been climate resilience so I suppose there is nothing like being put to the test.

Despite the challenges the farm is thriving, although we’ve cut back on growing kai a bit lately due to other commitments. Here are the market gardens at about half of their usual capacity.

Market gardens in mid-winter.

There are only ripe guavas and citrus this time of year, but we had a great plum, peach, feijoa and apple harvest earlier this year.

An orchard in mid-winter.

The valley is looking great, with about 2,000 trees planted on the slopes and along the stream, along with the avocado orchard.

Plantings in the valley.

At the moment we’re busy with the goats kidding and starting the milking season.

Alfie with her twins

Looking forward to more luck tomorrow.

Peace, Estwing

Festival of Adult Learning 6th – 12th September

The Festival of Adult Learning Ahurei Ākonga 2021

For the seventh year the ECO School has partnered with Adult & Community Education Aotearoa to bring a series of free workshops to Whanganui.

POSTPONED – PLEASE WATCH FOR UPDATES

Monday, 6th September. Location: Springvale Bike Park

3:30 – 5:00. Hot Composting for Serious Gardeners

This workshop explains how to build and manage a hot compost pile. Other compost methods will also be addressed.

Bagged sheep manure available for sale. Bagged compost for sale.

Wednesday, 8th September. Location: Whanganui Learning Centre, 232 Wicksteed Street

12:30 – 1:30. Backyard Gardening

This workshop explains some tips for success for vegetable gardening.

1:30 – 2:30. Fruit Tree Care

This workshop covers the basics of fruit tree pruning.

Thursday, 9th September. Location: Whanganui Learning Centre, 232 Wicksteed Street

12 – 1. Healthy Homes Brown Bag Lunch Session.

This workshop addresses the most cost effective ways to improve the health and comfort of existing homes. It covers some Dos and some Don’ts of where to spend your money.

Come on your lunch break.

1 – 2:30 Bicycle Maintenance and Repair

Home & Garden PDC Internship

This is a unique opportunity to dive into the core aspects of a permaculture lifestyle: a roof over your head and kai in your belly!

While covering the usual PDC curriculum, this hands-on and farm-based PDC will focus on building a sleep out and managing an organic vegetable garden. These practical skills are invaluable for anyone considering a resilient and sustainable lifestyle; anyone thinking about a “Tiny Home”; anyone seeking experience in growing food and caring for animals.

Other topics include: composting toilets, grey water, retrofit double-glazing, etc.

Start Date: 14th September

Duration: 8 weeks

Cost: $700

Contact: theecoschool@gmail.com