A local culture of giving #farmvoices #NorthlandNZ

A few months back one of the Maungaturoto locals came up with the idea that food should be free and thus Maungaturoto Crop Circle came into being. Every Thursday at the local kids playground a group of people from all over gather together bringing the excess they've grown in their garden. Everything from eggs to vegetables and fruit. I took home some chilli jam, and a jar of cucumber pickle. My contribution was some parsley seeds and some succulent plants. All sorts of things get given away at the weekly crop circle gathering. Not just that it's a great way to catch up with people and get to know some new folks as well.

Actually I can't get over the generosity people can show. In a world full of the old "Greed is good" concept a quiet culture of change within communities is going on. People have become tired of having the every man for himself attitude, and have chosen now to go and help each other. Out there in the wider world every day people end up homeless and without any means to feed themselves. As I've grown older over the last few years I've started to question why society is geared so people are missing out on the basics of life. It's staggering the amount of perfectly good food that gets thrown out every day by the large chainstore supermarkets. Literally thousands of tons of food that people could eat end up being processed for animal feed.

I think our society does need to change. There seems to be a few haves and a lot of have-nots out in the world. I don't like the idea that somewhere out there tonight will be a family or an individual going without because they don't have the means to pay for food. We need to learn again how to grow our own vegetables and fruit even if it's in a pot. What do you think?  I'm all for sharing the bounty that comes out of the home or farm garden. Hopefully next year we will be overflowing with fruit and vegetables we can share at the Crop Circle. Hope everyone has had a great Thursday. I know I certainly have.

Farm Photo of the Day- Boat at Batley Bay on a warm summer's day

Batley Bay is just a short drive from our farm. It's a quiet spot with a gorgeous beach and few people around. This old tin boat belongs to a local farmer - and it's still in use. It makes a great summer photo.


Farm photo of the day

Tempest with all his wild tangle of a mane. He reminds me of Thunderhead from the Flicker books by Mary O'Hara. We almost called him Thunderhead. He kind of suits it.


Reclaiming my garden now the cows have gone

The idea of living off the land isn't new. Once a long time back I used to have a thriving garden. It fed me and the kids without the fear of certain (now departed) bovines destroying everything in sight. Now they have gone I've been reclaiming my garden back again. Winter after winetr it got pounded into the ground by the cows - in the end I just gave up bothering! The only thing that survived their onslaught was the mandarin tree, and the heritage grape vine. Everything else ended up demolished.

The empty tyres that had been scattered everywhere are slowly being put back into use again as glorified planters. My soil is so bad that nothing likes growing in it; except maybe for the blackberry which is rampant as all heck. My quiet persistence has paid off I'm gradually knocking the nasty things back with loppers, and a deadly brew of rather nasty spray I put on the stumps. I was so happy I had planted a sunflower with the rather colourful name of "Moulin Rouge" an F1 hydrid put out by McGregor's Seeds. I didn't think it would even germinate, but there it is growing like mad. It will reach a height of two metres (6.5 feet) in height with a gorgeous red/purple flower. I can't wait to see it in bloom. Happy me.

After being trapped in a tiny pot for months I planted the zucchini I had bought from the local store. Despite the weeds there I picked our first yellow zucchini yesterday, and added it into a salmon quiche I made for me and the girls last night.  It was delicious.

This is a young pomegranate tree I got from a lovely lady who lives locally. Since I've planted it the little tree has taken off. Thankfully there will be no cows to eat it all!

And last but not least my rather sad looking Meyer lemon tree. I'm going to give it a good dose of blood and bone, plus some magnesium. In couple of years it might be okay to fruit. The mandarin struggled for years in my horrible soil until I gave it a good dose of horse poo. Since then it has thrived. Well that's another post done. Hopefully I'll be able to have something else new in the garden to show sometime in the next few weeks. We'll just keep at it bit by bit.