A taniwha in the garden
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A taniwha in the garden

Living willow sculptures can add fun, exploration and even legendary creatures to a garden, as Jen Rodgers discovers during a project at Warrington School, north of Dunedin.   Tucked down the back of the school, past the swimming pool, is a little white gate. It leads to a garden, with the seasonal delights of shiny blackcurrants, native flaxes…

Low-tech living in a light-earth house
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Low-tech living in a light-earth house

No fridge, doing the laundry by hand, and carting composted humanure around in a wheelbarrow are not everyone’s cup of tea, but for Wolfgang Hiepe and his wife, Sabine Drueckler-Hiepe, it’s a good lifestyle. Theresa Sjöquist finds out why they’ve prioritised resilience and independence over convenience.   Wolfgang and Sabine emigrated from Germany in 1987, full of verve and the…

Beauty and the feast
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Beauty and the feast

A passion for our natural heritage, an imaginative artistic vision, and some determined scrounge-hounding has resulted in the destination café that is Eutopia, in Northland’s Kaiwaka. Theresa Sjöquist tries the coffee and finds out what’s behind the scenes.  First opened in 2001, Eutopia Café had fallen into disrepair when Marijke Valkenburg and her husband Robert ter Veer bought it in 2014. They imagined eighteen months of solid slog should do the trick to upgrade the funky coffeehouse, but…

Grassroots and global
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Grassroots and global

Being served cooked rat and unwittingly drinking rice alcohol spiked with dead eagle are just a couple of the things Chris and Jenny May experienced as they travelled the world, advising, supporting and building organic networks. Sue Gilmer finds out more about what these organic stalwarts have done over the last half century.  The content below is available with a print or online reader subscription The following content is accessible for members only, please…

Learning by growing
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Learning by growing

In the picturesque seaside town of Riverton, west of Invercargill, a school garden is proving to be a fertile ground for the cross-pollination of learning, as Hollie Guyton and Rebecca Perez show here in words and pictures.   At the edge of the third sports field at Aparima College, between a forgotten soccer goal and the river mouth, you will find the Aparima College School…

Whenua Warrior
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Whenua Warrior

Whenua Warrior Moko Morris talks with Kelly Francis, a Kai Oranga graduate and the catalyst for over 250 food gardens that have been planted since last spring. Motivated by attending a Kai Oranga course at Papatuānuku Marae, Kelly Francis (Ngāti Wharara, Ngāti Korokoro and Ngāpuhi) created a charitable trust and social enterprise movement called Whenua…

The best of both worlds
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The best of both worlds

Aotearoa New Zealand is seeing a groundswell of regenerative agriculture. Martin Freeth finds out just how complementary the new thinking and practices are with our longer tradition of organic farming.  Southland farmer Tim Gow smiles to himself when regenerative agriculture (regen) is discussed. This organic sheep and beef farmer has been building soil quality, growing nutrient-dense feed for well-adapted animals, and concerning himself…

Soil under pressure
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Soil under pressure

This third article in the Soil Doctor series by Dr Tim Jenkins looks at the issue of compacted soils.  In this series we look at some of the common problems facing soil health. We explore the symptoms you might notice, how we can diagnose the root causes and what treatments, and indeed cures, can be implemented. Scroll down to access the full article  The following content is accessible for…

The rainforest of the sea
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The rainforest of the sea

Trudy Kessels finds out about AgriSea’s sustainable harvesting of seaweed for fertiliser, and research into other uses of this taonga.   “Bring the kids!” Tane Bradley, managing director of AgriSea tells me on the phone. “We’re all about having the kids around!” So I arrive, two children in tow, and am warmly invited into the staff lounge, where a spread of delicious muffins is laid out before us.  “Tane doesn’t do anything without…

Nourishing our elders
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Nourishing our elders

Good nutrition is important for us all, and perhaps even more so as people age. Anne Gastinger offers suggestions for how older people can get the best nutrition, and shares her own family story.   In their retirement years, our parents often worked together in their garden. Both dedicated gardeners and capable cooks, they practised ‘garden to plate’ nutritional care for over six decades of marriage. The enjoyment, exercise…

Shovel-ready solutions to fight climate change
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Shovel-ready solutions to fight climate change

It’s vital we scale up organic, regenerative agriculture to reverse climate change, writes Andre Leu.  There is a long-term disaster far worse than the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic will end in a few years, but the world will lose many millions more to sickness, hunger, poverty and catastrophic weather events because of the unprecedented climate emergency.   Despite the…