Our land is part of the Otamatea Eco Village www.otamatea.info on a peninsula in the Kaipara Harbour in New Zealand. We are about 1 ½ hours north of the Auckland Harbour Bridge and 50 minutes south of Whangarei. Kaiwaka is our closest township, which offers a surprising array of services.
Collectively we own 175 acres at the Otamatea Eco Village, which is under organic management and partly being grazed. The reforestation is ongoing. Our private 2.9 acres, which we call Pukahu, are looking north towards the Brynderwyn Range. We are enjoying a beautiful view to the mountains, with Pukekaroro being the highest mountain and we also get a view of the Otamatea river on the western side.
This gently rolling land has once been covered in kauri trees – and with the trees went the topsoil down the river. What is remaining is heavy clay soil, Onerahi chaos in some places - by no means horticultural land. It is our challenge to grow soil so we can grow the food we need.
We work within the permaculture framework. We endeavour to design appropriate growing systems for human and animal habitat alike. Of course there are both successes and failures, it is all about ‘design and redesign’.
The tip of the peninsula is covered in bush and provides some protection from the prevailing westerly winds. The trees planted by our neighbours and ourselves over the years are providing more and more shelter for our site.
We have named the land in our care ‘Pukahu’. Pukahu is a Maori word that describes the litter under a kauri tree and it means: ‘The ever returning cycle of life and death’.
It is our aim to play a vital and beneficial role in this natural cycle. We see it as our role to look after this piece of land under our care as best as we can.