BACK ON DECK and Change happening as fast as the waters of life flow.
The Earthskin Newsletter October 2022- January 2023
written by Nancy King
After getting a new hip installation, I have returned home to Earthskin Warkworth. My daughter, Vanessa, was absolutly amazing in her infinite post operative care. From the early morning coffee and help to dress, to the evening kiss on my forehead, and all the homeopathy treatments, ice packs and counteracting hot water bottles so I didn't freeze, tucked into place throughout the day.
Vanessa and my grandson, Matthew live in the quaint Matakana Village, which was perfect for strengthening my body post operation. I had a fine and flat walking surface with plenty of community kindness surrounding me, including the magical appearance of a raincoat when a sudden shower caught me unaware.
While I was away, life at Warkworth Earthskin house progressed without me, including intense garden care, shared lunches, laughter, and numerous maintenance jobs from Ken, our appreciated visiting Trustee from Wilderland in the Coromandel. A Mushroom workshop run by Guenther as part of a local PDC also took place, so I have some wonderful shiitake inoculated logs at work! The gardens are cared for weekly by our all girl team. Anna, Nicola and Kate, and now Minhal is bringing his artistic skill to bear with art works on walls, doors, and roofs, and inside the old house 1860 the old kitchen is slowly becoming a new kitchen, while Tom our wild Tiler is bringing the bathroom into being.
For a while I was on low energy settings,so thankfully I gathered some words from the delightful newsletter from The Waygood Foundation at Piha, written by Claire, so you have a compilation of news.
Here in Warkworth and at Piha we are in an exciting time of collective projects and gorgeous spring and summer growth with the rain to support our new plantings and regenerative practices. These rains have continued thankfully with just enough sun, and the land is pulsing with life.
Out in Piha at The Waygood Foundation, Laura, (our wonderful no. 2 Care- taker) continues to create her bountiful monthly stall at Te Piha Market sharing fresh greens, citrus, cuttings, flowers, herbs and little bags of compost as microbial inoculant for home composting. She has also agreed to help put up photos and Earthskin news in multimedia so this year will be super connective of our growing local community news.
Claire, our Managing Caretaker, is also continuing the facilitation process, in liaison with DEANZ, to start up a Repair Cafe at the old Piha Hall as a monthly event started on November 5th. As a child we used to attend movies there, with memories of consistent fun and frustrating breakages of the reel films. Seems fitting that we are setting up for REPAIRS, and needless to say this brings much joy!
Heritage seeds from Koanga and The Heritage Research Trust in Whanganui are being shared and planted on the land while education and workshops continue.
Splendid visits from our tamariki (cherished preschoolers from the center across the road) continued to their own designed Community Garden at Piha, and we have an exciting addition of 8 new hens arriving over this holiday season so the children can delight in hen house painting and collecting eggs!
Here are a mixture of Piha photos including the Microgreens Workshop by locals Vanessa and Danny which was well attended by 15 students at Piha, and a few more from Piha from Laura.
I am including photos of the rich development of the Warkworth house and gardens as the beauty continues to build. The experience of living in a garden that includes a hand built home designed into the land with utter love and almost no interface is unlike any sensation I have felt. Everyone is in the “living room”, people, insects, birds, bees, plants, herbs, pineapples, flowers and ferns.
Claire and Laura made a “Welcome home” visit to Earthskin Warkworth in Kaipara Flats on my homecoming. They worked their garden magic, applying a foliar feed to all the garden beds and most of the fruit trees, followed by a perfectly timed drench of the remainder onto the vegetable beds. They also planted medicinal seedlings of yarrow, motherwort, nettle, lemon balm, and evening primrose. We closed the day with gathered kai to share on their overnight stay, warmed by fire, laughter and candlelight.
Earthskin Warkworth hosted another weekend workshop of twenty people doing their PDC training. It brings such pleasure to see them welcomed into this environment, with a large, conducive space in the “old house” available as a learning room, and now a new big family sized table for the upcoming light earth workshop and working bee.
Oh and I am beyond excited to announce that our 6 Heritage Māori potato beds of different varieties were planted and now in full production. (With new baby rabbits in my garden I might just need to focus on potato gardening and do some swaps for other vegetables!)
The bird, insect, animals and wildness arriving into this land is beyond abundant, and quite humbling to see what happens when we honor nature. My daddy used to say if we just had one little child's finger it would be miracle enough, but we have miracle upon miracle and only man feels they aren't enough or have enough while nature proves abundance in every moment.
With the endless rain and no ark in apparent readiness our chickens voted unanimously to shift their housing requirements into the unused dog house right outside the kitchen door. The flower gardens were decimated and underfoot a minefield . We introduced our new chicken tractor borrowed from Piha trusting sanity would prevail but the chickens ignored the idea.. so they have been banished to the old chook house and they seem to be happy to be finally home now we have fixed the leaking roof !
It has been so special to hear from so many of our Earthskin Artist family, and hear from the PDC Scholarship recipients as well as the EBANZ Conference Earthskin Recipients and reports of how you all are.
Thank you, and we hope to see or hear from you soon!
Already we are receiving so many applications from overseas from Artists wanting to come to Muriwai, and know Piha will fill the void of that profound place once the process of consenting and building the new upgrade of our water and sewerage system is completed and Earthskin Warkworth evolves to draw new energies, and opportunities. When we are completed, hopefully by halfway through the year, we will re-open the residency application process.
If anyone has time to spare and wants to come and help to grow the garden of Earthskin Warkworth and develop the new Community Centre there, you are more than welcome to be in touch.
Mega love and blessings,
Nancy, supported by Vanessa, Claire and Laura.