February in the Maara

Everything is flourishing! 

The sunflowers and bergamot have been a joy to behold.

The wet blanket over ngā kākano (seeds) trick is a success! Hurrah! Wana wana e! The shoots have come to life! We are raising so many wee plants, the bird damage has been minimal. Op-shop worn-out blankets are great seed keepers in the long dry days of Sunny Ōtaki February… our teeny plants could have frizzled, but under the protective layer of damp wool they have sprouted merrily.

The scarlet runner beans are the best shade of māwhero inside their rather uninteresting kākāriki pods, and too delicious! Crunchy summer salads with lashings of basil and coriander are endlessly pleasing.  I feel like I have an after-glow…it’s great to eat healthy, raw, organic! We are starting to grow the growing space, with two new larger vegetable beds going in and we are focused on continuing to increase our seed raising.

With the fabulousness of the festival almost upon us, we are in the exciting throws of making everything beautiful! Ataahua! It’s a lively time of year, though things will start to fade as Autumn is upon us… hopefully, the garlic chives, soapwort and echinacea will still be flowering and seeds sprouting!

Tania and I have been thinking about food security, after a general meeting on the subject facilitated by the council a week ago. Ōtaki was well represented, and there was interest in a follow-up. We at Māoriland are interested in food security for Ōtaki and how we can better use our Hub location, maara and community relationships to create better food security and food justice in Ōtaki, linking surplus with need, and creating wairua enhancing opportunities for people to contribute and receive.

In this vein we are running our next Taiao Tuesday, March 9, as a double session 11.00 am – 2.00 pm cook up, join us making chutneys and pickles, bread and crackers. This will be followed by an evening tasting of the kai, and community kōrero about food security and how we can all realistically and sustainably contribute to a holistically nourishing community.

Please join us, we are eager to hear from our community and together plan what we will do to contribute to better food security in our beautiful town.

Ngā mihi,