Mud, oh glorious mud ...

Crane trucks getting stuck in mud is one thing. It's quite another when a child sees mud. There is a natural attraction that transcends any hint of rationality, magnetizing and almost hypnotically causing this very effect!

Beware the wrath of the mud girl!

Brown coloured happiness ...
My lunch time walks are a little different here because I get to go to an organic sustainably managed fruit orchard and pick fruits to eat. If I eat them on the orchard it is currently free to villagers - but if I take a few away I pay some nominal sum instead. Here is a selection of the fruits I encountered the other day:

There are a variety of apple trees which are now already mature and fruiting well. We have been advised to take the fruit which has dropped from wind, but man some of these are really ripe to pick - and delicious to boot!

There are pears, citruses, plums and other fruits there as well. Katie and the kids have even had a hand at working there, and generally just having a good time.

This is really only a small selection of stuff, the orchard is quite large. It is designed using priciples of permaculture and situated on terraces on the side of a gently sloping hill - there are no mono crops of fruit trees. The biodiversity of the plantation is meant to make the plants more robust without the use of any (petro-chemically based) insecticides, fungicides and herbicides that are traditionally used on mono cropped farms. The fertilizers are created on site using mixtures of compost and manure and the trees are lovingly tended to by an experienced orchardist. However more of its operation is being handed over to villagers who will eventually be communally involved caring for it. At this stage the orchard is also bio-dynamically farmed - but don't ask me what that means, I'm still getting to grips with the basics.
A view of the Atamai fruit orchard from a nearby hill. Incidentally this location is the place we are seriously considering as the site for our new eco home.

Over the other side of the hill is Te Mara farm which is a vegetable and animal farm. That will feature in future posts ...

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