During an Eco Living Experience Weekend you will have the opportunity to learn about and participate in a variety of activities and topics.
These activities fall into two categories and are selected by you to be tailored to your personal interests. Some of them are seasonal or weather dependent:
• “Show and Tell” – showing and talking to you about specific topics.
• “Hands-On Experiences” – activities which you can try for yourselves.
SHOW AND TELL OPTIONS:
1. Animal husbandry – small scale sustainable farming of cows, sheep, chickens, etc.
2. Composting toilets – two or three different designs.
3. Alternative power – we use both solar and wind power along with a battery storage system.
4. Eco-housing – principles of design and self-build of healthy houses – we will tour several houses in the village so you see different styles.
5. Organic gardening – we are virtually self sufficient in vegetables which we grow in our only moderately large garden year round.
6. Composting – how to create the ‘black gold’ which is essential to sustainable gardening.
7. Living in community – which is both rewarding and infuriating. Why we think it is worth it. And a tour round the eco-village.
8. Living ecologically – everyone’s personal definition may differ but we are happy to share ours.
9. Bee keeping – while we don’t do this ourselves, three of our neighbours do, and one at least is happy to explain their management system and show you their hives.
10. Community assisted agriculture schemes – a neighbour runs a successful one in Auckland and would love to tell you how it works and why it is such an important aspect of a sustainable future for us all.
HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE OPTIONS:
1. Make ice cream using our own Jersey cream and flavouring of your choice – honey, vanilla, peach, strawberry, etc.
2. Make lemon or lime curd using butter, eggs and lemons from our land.
3. Bake bread: grind the organic whole grain and make a loaf to sample here or take home.
4. Make butter – churn the Jersey cream until it splits and use old fashioned butter hands to press out the whey and form into butter pats.
5. Make halloumi cheese from our own raw milk. A two hour process involving heating the milk, adding rennet, cutting the curd and leaving it to drain in a mould. Will be ready for sampling at dinner.
6. Make marmalade using our own Seville oranges or jam using strawberries or plums.
7. Make chutney or relish using rhubarb, beetroot or aubergine.
8. Fire a pizza in the outside clay oven – make the dough in the kitchen, and the toppings, including homemade tomato sauce, home cured olives and home-made grated cheese, and watch it bake in the clay oven.
9. Collect oysters from the mud flats at low tide. Shuck them and serve with wedges of home grown lemons (and Chardonnay on the side).
10. Make kombucha – bottling and sampling some which is previously made.
11. Make sauerkraut using cabbage and salt – so simple and so good for you.
12. Cure a rabbit skin using age-old methods, you can take it home and complete the process at home or we will send it to you when it is complete.
13. Spin wool on an old fashioned wheel.
14. Start a compost heap using both ‘green’ and ‘brown’ materials, so you understand the principles of how to make one for yourself at home.
15. Prune fruit trees.
16. Pickle olives.
You will be supplied with hand-outs and resources on the topics of your interest. Time will be given to your own circumstances, with advice about how you can implement some of these principles in your own home environment.
These are not for everyone and should not put anyone off. But for those who are interested, we would be happy to share what we know.
• Butchering, haggis, pate, black pudding – in former times all part of the beast were used for food. We do as much as we can, using traditional recipes.
• Drawing, plucking chicken or game bird – this requires a certain knack but is not hard to do. Gaining confidence will enable you to do it more quickly in time.
• Quest 13 retreats – Lori has been offering these for years – for people who want to do focused healing work in a retreat environment. See www.quest13.co.nz