23. Piwakawaka Eddy

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Your Host: Elizabeth Proulx

Address: 602 Pembroke Road, Stratford

Property Size: 3.5 acres

Opening Hours:

  • Sat 27 Oct, 10 am - 4 pm
  • Sun 28 Oct, 10 am - 4 pm
  • Sat 3 Nov, 10 am - 4 pm

Tours, Talks & Demonstrations:

Tours: No set tour times, informal tours are available throughout the day

Property Description:

Liz has 3.5 acres bordered by a meandering stream. The property is being developed on permaculture principles, with vegetable beds close to the house while the orchard and soft berries are positioned further away. Veggie beds are shaped to fit naturally into the landscape, with a keyhole design to prevent compaction of soil. 

 

The stream margins are being planted with natives to create more bird habitat. Tree Lucerne is used in the young orchard to give the fruit trees a nursery environment as they establish, with companion plants planted around them.  

Liz's small house is a converted shed, with recycled materials used where possible. Her home is off grid, powered by a 3.4kw solar array with battery storage, and has a composting toilet. 

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24. Upcycle Acres

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Your Hosts: Phil Bielawski and Catherine Groenestein

Address: 113 Warwick Road, Stratford

Property Size: 4.6 acres

Purchases Available: Plants

Opening Hours:

  • Sat 27 Oct, 10 am - 4 pm
  • Sun 3 Nov, 10 am - 4 pm

Tours, Talks & Demonstrations:

  • Talk: Gardening with Physical Challenges, 27 Oct, 1:30 pm
  • Tours: 10 am, 11 am, 1 pm, 2 pm, & 3 pm on days open

Property Description:

Phil and Catherine garden at 320m above sea level with high winds, high rainfall and a shorter growing season, necessitating some smart thinking and experimentation. They are developing their property with the aim of living off their 1.88ha block, while also balancing life’s other demands.

 

Phil and Catherine have a small Wiltshire sheep flock, (grazed on a restorative agriculture regime) Orpington chickens, fruit trees, a large plastic house for tomatoes and frost tender veggies and plenty of wildlife habitat around the fringes of the cultivated area. They like to recycle and reuse scrapyard finds - old bed frames protect trees from sheep, recycled timber is used for raised beds, a demolished barn has been refashioned into a greenhouse, and their hens lay in lawn mower catchers!

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25. Maranui

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Your Hosts: Sue and Greg Rine

Address: 120 Makuri Road, Stratford

Property Size: 140 acres

Purchases Available: Plants

Opening Hours:

  • Fri 26 Oct, 10 am – 4 pm
  • Say 27 Oct, 10 am – 4 pm
  • Sun 28 Oct, 10 am – 4 pm
  • Mon 29 Oct, 10 am – 4 pm
  • Sat 3 Oct, 10 am – 4 pm
  • Sun 4 Nov, 10 am – 4 pm

Tours, Talks & Demonstrations:

  • Tours: Informal tours and discussion on passive solar house design and living off grid on days open

Property Description:

Sue and Greg have a 140 acre property, half of which is in production forestry and the other is grazed by sheep and cattle. They have a stunning off-the-grid house of passive solar design, which includes a composting toilet and grey water system.

 

Near the house they have veggie gardens, a developing food forest, tunnel houses, hugel swales, a berry house, a shade house, chooks, ducks, guinea pigs, rabbits, geese and sometimes donkeys. Bird and insect food are integrated into the gardens/food forest. The gardens implement permaculture principals and they like to use the waste from one element in the garden as a resource for another. Sue enjoys growing unusual veggies and is always on the lookout for opportunities to replace annuals with perennials. They enjoy seed saving, pickling, bottling, drying and freezing. They grind their own flour and produce all their own meat.

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26. Tidy in Town

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Your Host: Lorraine Kelsen

Address: 87 Cordelia Street, Stratford

Property Size: 0.25 acres

Purchases Available: Soaps

Opening Hours:

  • Sat 27 Oct, 10 am - 4 pm
  • Sun 28 Oct, 10 am - 4 pm
  • Sat 3 Nov, 10 am - 4 pm
  • Sun 4 Nov, 10 am - 4 pm

Tours, Talks & Demonstrations:

Tours: No set tour times, informal tours are available throughout the day

Property Description:

Lorraine’s suburban quarter acre dispels the myth that organic gardening is always messy. While still in the early stages, she has established a food forest, plastic house, shade house, pizza oven, worm farm, vegetable garden and chooks - all within a tight budget and using scrapyard treasures. Lorraine also lends a hand at Upcycled Acres.

 

Lorraine enjoys using the lasagne bed growing system (see photo), a technique for building soil fertility where organic materials such as seaweed, grass clippings, coffee grounds and cardboard are layered onto garden beds and composted in situ each year. She dehydrates excess fruit from her food forest and collects some of her own vegetable seeds each year for propagating the following spring.

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27. Toko School

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Your Hosts: Toko School staff and students

Address: 1057 East Road, Stratford

Property Size: NA

Purchases Available: Yes, from the school's Envirostall

Opening Hours:

  • Fri 26 Oct, 9 am - 3 pm
  • Mon 29 Oct, 9 am - 3 pm
  • Tue 30 Oct, 9 am - 3 pm
  • Wed 31 Oct, 9 am - 3 pm
  • Thur 1 Nov, 9 am - 3 pm
  • Fri 2 Nov, 9 am - 3 pm

Tours, Talks & Demonstrations:

  • Tours: Students will be giving tours throughout their days open

Property Description:

Toko School was the first school in Taranaki to be awarded the Green Gold Recognition by the Enviro Schools Programme.  The school integrates education for sustainability into all aspects of their school curriculum.

 

Their sustainability in action projects are student led, with all classes fully involved in the school's environmental journey.  Supported by the community and organisations such as Toko Rural Women and Toko Lions, the school has gone from strength to strength. So much so that many other schools around the province visit to see what they are doing!

The school enjoys finding opportunities to make products with the foods they grow.  On your tour of Toko School you will see a ‘fertiliser factory’, recycled bottle house, chickens, an Environmental Arts Trail, a heritage orchard, a bug hotel, beehives, distilling and more. 

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