This story was published by Haven
After establishing an off-the-shelf organic farming and horticultural school, the Coromandel family turned their renewal experience into a book on gardening.
Most gardeners are kind, but they have a lot of quality for Niva and Yotham Kay.
The produce they grow is not only good for our bodies but also for the planet, thanks to the rejuvenation of their market gardens and organic farms in the Kauaragenga Valley near Thames.
There, they live off the grid with their daughters, Lily, 10 and Dina, 7, Chocolate Kelpe Luna and ducks, chickens, sheep, worms and bees.
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At local organic stores and cafes, and on a weekly basis at the Thames market, their products grow on the basis of environmental care, human care and equitable participation.
In this ethic, combined with years of culinary experience, they turn the garden, which produces about 8.5 tons of lettuce, vegetables, microwaves and flowers, into a garden not far from the traditional quarter hectare. .
Soil health is very important for this type of high-yielding horticulture, and Yotham and Niva are advocates of the “digging” method.
Instead, they build garden beds on top of the ground and spray the soil with a fork when needed.
The topsoil is composed of several layers. Says Jotham. “If we mix those layers, it will really disturb the soil biological community. Keeping them safe means we can develop a more diverse, more inclusive and stronger biological community.
If you feel this is unattainable, since you are trying to sort your greens from brown to brown, make sure the case has garden and educational qualifications for their name.
In fact, After graduating in 2006 with a degree in comprehensive environmental research and peace leadership, the two met in Israel, where he grew up. Together they have taught and taught permaculture on more than 100 intentional communities and permaculture farms around the world.
A.D. Following their decision to move to New Zealand in 2012, their desire to raise a family and lead a sustainable lifestyle is also here. “We wanted to have a place where you could have clean water, get out of the grid, and become part of the community,” says Jotham.
After two years of working on organic farming, In 2014, Harry Parke, a longtime organic farmer, and his wife, Janet Fitzemons, a late Green Member of Parliament and environmentalist, volunteered to work on the Pakakaka farm in 1991.
They rented a plot of land on a plot of land, set up a market, and decided to purchase half of the property. Niva says: “We really loved Harry and Janet and decided to join the farm.
In addition to managing the garden, Harry also manages the rest of the farm, collecting and processing Janet and Harry’s chestnuts, olives and pecans, and even though they are thieves – they get a fair share of pecan crops that do not practice linguistic culture.
They say Janet had a difficult year since her death in March 2020, but her warm relationship with Harry was a comfort to all.
Harry He is assisting Yotham and Nivan by running the Paracaca PermaChucher Education Center, which they established on the farm in 2016.
For aspiring market gardeners, from one-day home gardening workshops to five-day workshops, and participants will learn lessons on sustainable livelihoods and “home-grown” skills, including how to grow food forests, including raising chickens. And develop grid systems such as grid toilets and solar panels. A.D. In 2019, they also began offering online courses.
“We are on a mission to revitalize, organic food culture,” says Jotham. “In the future, 50 to 80 percent of food will grow in people’s gardens.
You do not need a lot of space to grow your own food, and if you do, it will greatly contribute to your physical health, mental health and well-being.
As part of that mission, the couple published a book, Plenty of garden, Is a guide to growing a growing indoor garden.
It is comprehensive and accessible, includes information on improving soil life and fertility, when to plant, and preserving and fermenting – and has shelf life guidelines for a variety of vegetables.
Not to mention that Niva co-directed and co-produced the environmental documentary, it is hard to believe that they had time to write a book after growing crops, educating girls at home and conducting workshops. Do not hide high waves, Given to Janet and released in June.
But after 15 years of gardening together, they want to share their knowledge, and a large part of their message is simply to give. “You don’t need perfect land or everything,” says Niva. If possible, start making as little food as possible.
While having fun, the family reads books together, plays board games, explore the 73 jungles on the farm, swim in the river in the summer and eat a pizza baked in their pizza oven – “Pineapple Pizza, to be clear!” Dina, who confesses to love, is a fried marshmallow ice cream for Duck Island.
Life is busy and there are many late nights, but one of the benefits of being self-employed is the flexibility to support each other in pursuit of their interests.
“We share our values and we are a team. We take this world together, ”says Niva. “We try to live as we should,” added Jotham.
Recommendations of Niva and Jotham A garden suitable for the earth
- Only grow what you want to eat.
- Make sure your garden is in an area where there is enough sunlight. Leaves need about four hours of sunlight, and some vegetables need about eight hours.
- Plant your garden near your home where you can see it. “The best fertilizer for the garden is the gardener’s foot” is one of my favorite sayings because they often visit your garden, look at your plants and grow and know what they look like when pests are damaged or injured. He needs water.
- Start small to manage. Caring for 4-5 square feet[4-5 sq m]is only half an hour a week.
- If you buy fertilizer, make sure it is well made and organic. Add a small amount (1-2 cm) to the top of the soil about four times a year between crop replacements.
Visit pakarakafarm.co.nz to learn more about Yotham and Niva, including their workshops.