16 November, 2010 21:37

” I was brought up in that natural world. As a girl I rember going to the Moana to collect the seaweed for the barrel. Each of us had a job and mine was too take care of the barrel. I rember crushing kina shells and returning them to the soil so they could nurture Papatunuku” Na Shone Telford Otaraua Hapu

Posted in kai reka

12 November, 2010 10:36

Fish Fertilizer

I’m just trying this recipe out Sooo excited about using the fresh fish remains kindly donated from by fisherman neighbour! He thinks I’m a little NUTS! however I’m sure the Kai thats grown will speak for itself!

If you use fresh fish, you need to compost it in a 5 gallon closeable bucket. Fill bucket 1/2 full with extra browns like sawdust, leaves, or straw. You can add some molasses to the fishy mixture in order to build up microbes to speed up decomposition. Stir the bucket daily or every other day in order to get air in the mix for better decomposition and better aerobic microbial growth in the emulsion. Let this paste rot for at least 1-2 weeks.

If you like you could add 1-2 tblsp of Epsom salt to the mix for extra magnesium and sulfur and for extra trace elements you could add 1-2 tblsp of apple cider vinegar.

You can apply this fish emulsion at a dilution rate from 1:1 to 1:5 ratio (5 gallons of tea to 25 gallons of water).

I’ll let you know how it goes

Posted in kai reka

10 November, 2010 15:37

Hua Parakore model is designed to restore and harmonise the consciousness of resource and people. By healing the Whenua you heal the people. Producing a healthy product is a process of neutralising the land so it is free of toxin. It takes time and is a process that the land must go through and also the people taking care of the land.

Posted in kai reka

Indigenous Knowledge guides Mother Earth

Italy – 24 Oct 10

Today was a day of listening and sharing amongst some of the most important delegates at the 2010 Terra Madre: those who represent the network of indigenous peoples. Fifteen indigenous delegates from countries and regions across all parts of the globe spoke on issues of rights to land and food production, farming and biodiversity, food and taste diversity, cultural sovereignty and caring for “terra madre” – mother earth.

“As indigenous people we have a lot to tell the world; we have great food systems and agro biodiversity,” said Phrang Doy an indigenous man from north east India who is part of a partnership between Slow Food and the Christianson Fund, working to unite global indigenous communities. “When today people are looking for answers about many of the world’s crisis, we have the answers”, he continued. This message resounded amongst the delegates gathered and was reiterated by many who spoke. All agreed that amongst the network’s diverse groups, they have much in common and a wealth of knowledge.

Bringing the work done by the partnership of Slow Food and the Christianson Fund into fruition, today’s session was a chance to identify local communities and their representatives with the aim to go to the United Nations as stewards of their knowledge. Ola-Johan Sikki, president of Slow Food Sami, and Lars-Andes Baer, member of the Sami Parliament invited delegates to join in the first Indigenous Terra Madre, organized by Slow Food Sami and planned for June 2011, as a way to further consolidate this commitment and continue growing this crucial network of indigenous peoples.

Food sovereignty and rights to access and manage the land were central issues for many who spoke. “The government wants to change our eating habits, they ask us to grow artichokes when we eat maize,” said a delegate from Peru. “Land resources are so important; for many indigenous people land is life,” said Ola- Johan Sikku. However, many of the delegates also added that the issues discussed were not only issues of indigenous rights and the right to choose what to grow and eat, but also a matter of biodiversity and caring for the land upon which all people rely.

Posted in Conferences, Nga Korero mai te Ngakau | Tagged , , ,

Workshop coming up

Learn more about healthy soils ……and the principles behind
……biological agriculture
 Reduce costs
 Increase fertiliser efficiencies
 Reduce chemical reliance
 Grow more nutritious crops?
Check it out in this flyer here
16th-17th November Waipukurau
Soil Seminar flyer Nov10

Posted in Whanganui | Tagged ,

Kono for Pure Kai

Posted in Harvesting, kai reka, Te Wai Pounamu, Whakawhanaungatanga | Tagged ,


Kaanga or corn, can be planted in Whiringa a nuku to Hakihea (October to January). Sow seeds at a depth that is approximately three times the diameter of the seed, with 20 30cm space between them. Pick them when the silky threads on the cobs turn brown or black. Part the top of the leaves and test ripeness by pressing a grain with your fingernail. If it is milky it is ready.[1]

Posted in kai reka, kānga, māra kai practical guide | Tagged , , , , ,


Taro is also an important variety brought from Polynesia. It is said that it was left here by Kupe for his daughters on the WairarapaCoast. These crop are best planted in Mahuru in wet, boggy, light filtered soil. There are different methods for growing taro; small offset roots could be pinched off and propagated, or the stem could be removed from the corm and placed into the soil. They are an excellent starchy vegetable and a natural steroid.

Posted in Growing Vegetables, kai reka, kānga, māra kai practical guide | Tagged , , ,

Mahi i te Mahi

Whiringa-ā-nuku ( October November)

E ngaki ana a mua, e tōtō mai ana a muri.
First clear of the weeds, then plant. (If the first group do their work properly, those following can accomplish their task and everyone gets the job done.[1]

Make sure you are observing what is happening with your crops. Get in early and start getting rid of the weeds, nurture all new plants by adding manure where needed and you may want to consider doing some companion planting to support your crops. Grass will be growing very fast and you may want to cut it to mulch or use for compost. You may have some edible flowers in and around your vegetable garden that can be collected for drying or using fresh. Subtropical fruit trees will fruit at this time of the year if you are in the North. Now is also the time to mulch the trees you planted last winter.

You can now plant potatoes and corn, pumpkin, beans, lettuce and beetroot seed into trays. Its also time to transplant peppers, tomato, eggplant and melon seedlings into the vege garden, unless its still quite cold and in that case leave it until next month.

Posted in kai reka, Maramataka, māra kai practical guide, Nga Korero mai te Ngakau, Whats happening in your Rohe? | Tagged , , , ,

Taewa, Riwai Spuds

Taewa, riwai[1]

Taewa, riwai or Māori potatoes are some of the most deeply treasured Māori foods available to us today. Ironically they are not native to Aotearoa or even Polynesia but instead originate from South America . There are 18 varieties, with information about many of these being held only by the few that grow them. However beginner growers should try and grow some of the more accessible varieties.

All potatoes prefer cool, moist soils and will not grow on the same soils year after year. Try and rotate your potato crop at least every second year. Māori potatoes are grown using very similar methods to those used for kūmara, in mounds.

Once you harvest your taewa, if you are going to save them, you should leave them out in the air to dry off first, to harden off to ensure they store well, making sure to get all the ones with bites or nicks out so that they dont contaminate each other and rot. Sugar sacks are good for storing them in, however when they start sprouting theyll go through the sugar bag and you tend to damage them too much trying to get them out. Covering them with fern leaf is a good way of keeping them dry as the fern spores keep them healthy. Mamaku is a good fern for this. Plastic crates are also good to hold them in as they are easy to handle. It is important for Māori potatoes that your pataka has good free air flow and is dry, cool and dark.

Posted in kai reka, māori potato/riwai/peruperu, māra kai practical guide | Tagged , , , , , , ,