Tag Archives: permaculture

Kaitiaki Farm Experience

Kaitiaki Farm Experience

7th-8th September, 2019

These events are part of Whanganui Permaculture Weekend.

Choose one, two or all of the events on offer. Register: theecoschool@gmail.com

Saturday, 7th Kaitiaki Farm, Whanganui

4:30 – 5:30 Building & Maintaining Weed-Free Garden Beds. $10

6:00 – 7:30 Shared Meal. Bring a plate to share.

Sunday, 8th Kaitiaki Farm, Whanganui

9:00 – 12:00 Farm Tour: Diversity and Complimentary Systems

On 5 hectare we integrate plants and animals to maximise benefits for land protection, food production and biodiversity. The property contains many distinct micro-climates within a relatively small area, and we have established all five permaculture zones in five years. $45 (Couples $75)

12:00-1:30 The Alternative Lunch

Learn about solar cookers and rocket stoves (and the world’s best solar dehydrator) while enjoying a delicious lunch. $20

Mid-Winter Permaculture Update

Close to the shortest day of the year we’ve discovered a hatch of 11 ducklings walking across a paddock. We moved them to a protective pen to keep them safe from predators.

Earlier in the day I captured some images of other things happening on the farm, such as these young citrus trees.

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The garlic is starting to grow in the market gardens.

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After four years we have our first avocado.

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The broad beans are thriving in the cool weather.

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Yakon is ready to harvest.

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Peace, Estwing

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Permaculture Weekend 2019: 7th-8th September

The 7th Annual Whanganui Permaculture Weekend is scheduled for 7th-8th September, following as usual the Festival of Adult Learning (formerly Adult Learner’s Week). Thanks to Adult and Community Education Aotearoa (ACE) we’re able to offer a full week of events for the community in addition to Permaculture Weekend.

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Workshops, presentations and tours to include: Small backyard gardens; Basic care for fruit trees; Cheese Making; Reducing plastic waste at home; Renter’s rights and responsibilities; Ensuring a healthy rental property (for landlords); Permaculture Farm Tour; Heritage Seed Swap; Building weed-free garden beds; Forest schooling for children; and more events to be posted soon.

 

Saturday 7th September

9:00 – 1:00  River Traders Market: Whanganui’s Saturday Market

Whanganui’s Local Currency: The River Exchange and Barter System (REBS) has been operating in Whanganui for nearly 30 years and has had a stall at the Saturday market for over a decade. Come to the stall and learn more!

 

Flax Weaving with Tracey Young. Details Pending

 

1:00 – 3:00 Cheese Making: 30-Minute Mozzarella.

Learn to make 30 minute mozzarella cheese and then we’ll make a pizza with homemade sauce to enjoy the cheese. Recipe provided.
$20 per person

Bronwynne Dowson Anderson

Register: kiwibokslady@gmail.com

 

2:00 – 4:00 Caring for Fruit Trees

Learn the basic nutritional requirements of fruit trees, how to prune and train for healthier and more productive trees and basic tool use/maintenance. The workshop will culminate in pruning a tree together to put that theory into practice. $20

Sam Moore. 74A Wakefield Street, Whanganui East

Register: theconsiderategardener@gmail.com

 

4:30 – 5:30 Building & Maintaining Weed-Free Garden Beds

Kaitiaki Farm, Whanganui. $10.

Register: theecoschool@gmail.com

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6:00 – 7:30 Shared Meal

Kaitiaki Farm, Whanganui. Bring a plate to share.

 

Sunday 8th September

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9:00 – 12:00 Farm Tour: Diversity and Complimentary Systems

We manage a diverse 5 hectare farm integrating plants and animals to maximise benefits for land protection, food production and biodiversity. The property is unique in that it contains many distinct micro-climates within a relatively small area, and that we have been able to establish all five permaculture zones in less than half a decade. Kaitiaki is a model permaculture farm that serves as an outstanding learning place.

Kaitiaki Farm, Whanganui. $45. Couples $75.

Register: theecoschool@gmail.com

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12:00-1:30 The Alternative Lunch

Learn about solar cookers and rocket stoves (and the world’s best solar dehydrator) while enjoying a delicious lunch using the ones we use regularly here on the farm. These tools are great for reducing energy use, saving money and resilience to power failures.

Kaitiaki Farm, Whanganui. $20.

Register: theecoschool@gmail.com

 

2-4 PM Annual Heirloom Seed Swap! 

This is a chance to meet other Whanganui gardeners and to swap surplus heirloom and open pollinated seed that you have bought or saved. It will be a relaxed, friendly gathering with a cup of tea to follow.  If you have seedlings or plants you would like to share please bring these along too. You don’t need to have seed to share in order to partake.

Bring:   Details of your seeds such as a description, variety, date saved/use by date and any other notes you would like to share.

A pen and envelopes to take seed home in.

By donation

Whanganui Heritage Seed Savers

Quaker Meeting House, 256 Wicksteed Street.  
Queries: nangethepange@hotmail.com

Farm Design: The BIG Picture:

Thanks to a drone picture from our interns, I can explain a bit about our farm design from a different perspective. While this image only shows a small part of the farm it does capture an intersection of farm systems.

One of the first major changes we made on the farm was fence off a remnant wetland in 2016 and plant native grasses, flax, shrubs and trees. The aims are to improve water quality, control erosions, provide habitat, and increase biological diversity.

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Next we bisected the valley with fencing and designated one side for goats and one side for kune kune pigs. On the goat side – where you can see the bee hives – we’ve planted around 50 poplar poles to stabilise the slopes. Each of these is protected by a heavy duty plastic sleeve to prevent the goats from stripping the bark.

On the pig side we have planted around 40 poplars, 32 olives, and 60 akeake trees, all of which are unprotected because the pigs eat grass but do not browse trees.

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Next we fenced the rest of the stream, which goes far beyond the picture shown here. Along this stretch of stream we’ve planted primarily cabbage trees and Australian river oak (casuarina). Both are known to have fibrous root systems that are good at holding stream banks.

Part of this area contains a small hillside formerly covered in gorse and thistles, as well as another remnant wetland. We’ve planted more native trees, flax and willows there. This area can be used as an emergency browse block in case of severe drought.

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The area under the pines provides seasonal grazing as needed. We can rotate the goats or  pigs through this area to rest other paddocks.

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Most of the farm has poor soil drainage that does not suit avocado trees. But there is a shelf of land above the stream that has better drainage that will host 30 to 40 trees. We’ve fenced this area temporarily to establish tagasaste (tree lucerne) as a companion to the avocados.

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The olives are on the dry and windy hillside above the avocados.

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We planted 40 ake ake on a dry hillside on one side of the large poplars seen in the middle of the image and another 20 on the other side of them. Ake ake are well adapted to dry conditions.

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In the short term we are having to hand water many of these trees, but in the long term they will contribute to the resilience of the farm. Trees help build resilience to both drought and flood. We’ve planted over 2,000 in the last four years.

At present the bees are managed by a contractor who pays us an annual fee. We have a good diversity of flowering plants that provide more-or-less year-round bee fodder.

Peace, Estwing

 

Solstice Permaculture Update

The longest day of the year has arrived in the southern hemisphere, and it is all on for Kaitiaki Farm. Some 200-odd fruit trees are setting fruit, including apples, apricots, American paw paw, blueberries, avocados, black currants, feijoas, figs, guavas, grapes, nectarines, olives, pears, plums, peaches, persimmons, prune, and quince.

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The market gardens are pumping.

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We harvested the winter crop of broad beans and made about 10 litres of falafel mix.

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We have been milking three goats since September and making goats cheese twice a week.

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Here are the kids.

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Finally, we have been selling grape vines, peach trees, muscovy ducklings, kune kune pigs. Garlic goes on sale tomorrow.

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After 4 & 1/2 years, a kilometre of new fencing, and 2,500 trees planted the farm is hitting its stride. Our regenerative systems are in place and natural processes are now doing most of the work.

Happy Solstice, Estwing

6th Annual Whanganui Permaculture Weekend

6th Annual Whanganui Permaculture Weekend

8th-9th September, 2018

Whanganui’s permaculture community offers up another great weekend of sharing and learning with two major themes this year: RetroSuburbia and Making & Doing.

Saturday, 8th September

9:00 – 1:00 – River Traders Market

Local Currency: River Exchange and Barter System

Resilience Products: Broad Forks, Solar Ovens, Rocket Stoves, Hula Hoes, Permaculture Calendars, RetroSuburbia Books, Permaculture Plants, and More!

10:00 – 2:00 Natural Cheese Making – Bronwynne Dowson Anderson. $75

This teaches how to make cheese the natural way using raw milk, home grown cultures and not spending a fortune on equipment.

For each of these classes people will take home what we make. All ingredients provided and includes refreshments.

Register: kiwibokslady@gmail.com

10:00 – 11:00 Setting up a Home-Based Plant Nursery – Nelson Lebo. $10

Plant propagation can be fun and easy, and save you hundreds of dollars a year. See how we have set up our nursery for verge seedlings, fruit trees and natives. Kaitiaki Farm, No. 2 Line.

Register: theecoschool@gmail.com

11:00 – 12:30 How To Grow Strong Healthy Seedlings – Louise Knight. $10

In this workshop we will cover
– step by step from seed to planting out
– reasons why to grow your own
– helpful tools
– trouble shooting problems
– seed dormancy and ways to break it
– heirloom, hybrid and growing your own saved seed

Kaitiaki Farm, No. 2 Line.

Register: louise@ngileah.co.nz

11:00 – 1:00 RetroSuburbia: The Behavioural Field – Lydia Harris. Donation

Lydia Harris, TVNZ columnist, micro-entrepaneur, and author of Back to Basics, shares her knowledge and experience in the Behavioural Field with an amazing array of creative solutions on a tiny budget. Putiki.

Register: nourished2018@yahoo.com

2:00 – 5:00 RetroSuburbia: The Built and Biological Fields Case Study – Nelson Lebo.

$50 with $10 discount on the book for attendees.

This workshop covers the most cost effective approaches to home renovation and edible landscaping. Using the Eco Thrifty Retrofit as a case study – https://www.retrosuburbia.com/case-studies/eco-thrifty-retrofit-case-study/ – attendees can expect to learn many of the strategies described in David Holmgren’s book. More details HERE.  Castlecliff.

Register: theecoschool@gmail.com

2:00 – 3:00 Making Biochar – Shane Middlemiss. $20

Biochar retains nutrients, water and microbes and is a fantastic amendment to poor soils like those with mainly sand or clay. Learn how to make your own in a low or no cost kiln and how to activate it for best effects. Complimentary sample bag of biochar included.

73 Virginia Road. Park on the roadside.

Register: shane@e-govwatch.org.nz

5:00 – 6:00 Live for the Land Open Day and Tour – Phil Holden. Donation

Come and plant some seeds in our nursery including a guided tour of the urban garden property . Learn of our bee keeping business and future plans .

Koha donation welcome and a plant to take home. 106 Matai Street, Castlecliff

6:00 – Shared Meal, 106 Matai Street, Castlecliff

 

Sunday, 9th September

9:00 – 12:00 Kaitiaki Farm Tour – Nelson Lebo. $40

Ever since the Whanganui floods of 2015 we have focused on climate-proofing our farm to the greatest extent possible within a budget. The tour is an ideal case study demonstrating drought-proofing and flood-proofing simultaneously. For a list of topics please click HERE.  Kaitiaki Farm, No. 2 Line.

Register: theecoschool@gmail.com

9:00 – 3:30 Sourdough Workshop: the basics with SourBros bakery – John Wilson and Matt Ellingham. $30-40 (Pay what you can afford)

Experience the sourdough process from mixing through to shaping and baking in this hands-on workshop. We’ll be doing everything by hand so be prepared for sticky fingers!

While the dough rises, we’ll delve into the science of bread, the role of yeasts, bacteria and enzymes, creating recipes and managing time and temperature. There’ll also be tips on how to incorporate sourdough into your daily schedule and bake artisan loaves in your home oven.

The workshop includes two loaves that each participant will make themselves to take home afterwards and sourdough starter (please supply your own jar/container). Bring a plate for a shared lunch.

Place: Lucky bar, 53 Wilson St, Central, Whanganui. (bring a plate to share for lunch)

Register: john@sourbros.co.nz

10:00 – 2:00 Natural Cheese Making – Bronwynne Dowson Anderson. $75

This teaches how to make cheese the natural way using raw milk, home grown cultures and not spending a fortune on equipment.

For each of these classes people will take home what we make. All ingredients provided and includes refreshments.

Register: kiwibokslady@gmail.com

12:30 – 2:00 Keeping backyard chickens – Cyd Welsh and Nelson Lebo. $15

This workshop covers chicken breeds, characteristics, and common pests and diseases, as well as different approaches to care and management. Kaitiaki Farm, No. 2 Line.

Register: theecoschool@gmail.com

2:00 – 3:00 How to build a low-cost durable chicken tractor – Kaitiaki Farm Interns. $10  Kaitiaki Farm, No. 2 Line.

Register: theecoschool@gmail.com

3:00 – 4:00 Building Beautiful Garden Beds – Nelson Lebo. $10

Learn the cheapest, easiest and best way to prepare and build ‘No-Dig’ garden beds without the need of a rotary hoe or back-breaking digging! Kaitiaki Farm, No. 2 Line.

Register: theecoschool@gmail.com

2:00 – 4:00 Annual Heirloom Seed Swap – Whanganui Seed Savers. Donation

This is a chance to meet other Whanganui gardeners and to swap surplus heirloom and open pollinated seed that you have bought or saved. It will be a relaxed, friendly gathering with a cup of tea to follow.  If you have seedlings or plants you would like to share please bring these along too. You don’t need to have seed to share in order to partake.

Bring:   Details of your seeds such as a description, variety, date saved/use by date and any other notes you would like to share. A pen and envelopes to take seed home in.

Quaker Meeting House, 256 Wicksteed Street.  
Queries: nangethepange@hotmail.com

 

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