There really is nothing quite like this time of the year in the māra… The joys and rites of spring… Seeds are sprouting merrily on windowsills and being transferred optimistically to the māra where ngā manu are maniacal, digging out every new tipu they find. We find ourselves in the act of ongoing and creative problem solving. Parakore (zero-waste) measures for plant salvation involve cutting the bottoms off plastic bottles and using them as small slug-proof hot-houses for seedlings that will otherwise be dug up and kicked over by the nesting, maddening and many manu, or failing that, eaten by the slugs and snails who are on the chomp. A bamboo stake will help sure up bottle hot-houses against the equinox winds.

We love our ever-reliable chamomile and marigolds that self-seed and spring up in a flurry adding colour, texture and warmth around the māra, we are popping hollyhock seedlings in where we want higher flowers later in the season, and cosmos in gaps! The most exciting gardening news is we have had a digger in the paddock and have a big flat clear space to play with, where there was, for quite some time, a mountain of stones and claggy soil pulled out from under the Hub by the hard-working building team who are probably quite pleased they are almost done here!

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Māoriland Māra is now partnering with Kaibosh, New Zealand’s first food rescue organisation, to help get quality surplus food to our community who can use it. An important part of the Māoriland Māra kaupapa is to support people to have free access to kai. We are making kai available every Tuesday in our village main road-front space from around 11.00 a.m, for as long as it lasts. 

We are also accumulating some frozen and tinned/packaged goods for those who need extra. Along with distributing now, we are keeping in mind the end of the year where families often find they need extra kai for the busy Christmas season while also wanting to purchase gifts for their tamariki. 

We invite you to come and access kai for your household, or to deliver to someone you know who is in need, on a Tuesday. What is on offer is variable and each week is a kai adventure! Join us in meeting community need, sharing together.

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You may have come across Mike King’s mahi at Ōtaki College gardens online, or seen him as the NZ spice expert on Country Calendar. As a parent at OC Elishka has been gardening at the school with other volunteers, helping to support this great project for the community. We have invited Mike to present this and related mahi at our Taiao Tuesday coming up on the evening of Tuesday 9th November, thanks to longer days and warmer weather we hope you will brave a night out! Doors will open for a seed and crop swap at 6.00 pm, with Mike presenting his project at 7.00 pm. We hope to see you there.

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