Atamai Open Day 2013

Phew ... what a day! 

Today our village celebrated it's official 2nd open day ever! ... the one held last year turned into a "soak fest" due to the rains, but today the weather gods were kind to us. We had about 80 people turn up including 2 dogs ... no cats were reported, at least not in any official capacity. 

After a bit of preparation the weeks prior, the day started with all of us each helping out to set up the central meeting area. This year we decided to gather on Lot 5 which had a couple of small cabins already situated on it.

This little fellow was super helpful! Here you see here is carrying a water jug in one hand, and a butter churn dasher in the other.
Banners, signs and decorations were set up thanks in part to the local Rudolf Steiner school who lent us some of their decoration materials ... much thanks guys!

We also put up a colourful entrance way. It made for a very festive and colourful entrance.

Agent Lukas and Agent Jeff were on walkie talkie duty, taking care of traffic and helping any visitors who needed a lift.

Even the Te Mara farm (Atamai's farm) food stall was stacked with goodies to display the current produce available for sale. Later in the afternoon visitors were given a tour of the farm, together with the Santa Barbara household.

Some of the items on display at the central area included a demonstration of low energy cooking. Here a solar cooker and insulated cooking vessel was displayed. The day was certainly quite suitable for it.

Inside one of the cabins was a display of crafts made in the village and surrounding areas. Below is a sample selection of what we had there:

Our grain grinder was on display. We actively use this grinder to make our flour, which then transforms into sour dough bread.

A selection of home knitting items were displayed from the various knitters in the village. Also available were samples of textiles made from the Ambrose clan.

Added to this was some exquisite wood work crafts done by Mr. Ambrose himself. Oh yes, he also made the table which everything is laid upon. He's one talented dude!

Antonia is our master soap maker, and here you see her wares on display. Katie made some olive oil and beeswax lip balm in reusable metal containers. The silk work to the left was done by a close neighbour of Atamai. She has impeccable attention to detail in her crafts.

Ben gave a talk about the village to explain what we are about, and what our aims and aspirations are. This was repeated several times in the day and well attended. It seemed that many of the people who visited were very attuned to the reasons as to why Atamai was created. If you'd like to learn more, read about the village at

The local Scyting expert Ross Doyle came to give a demonstration of scything on the site. This drew quite a bit of interest, including those who were keen to try it out.

Here are some smiley shots :)

Introducing Atamai's first baby :)
Even the kettles were happy :)

Tours were run throughout the day showing various houses in different stages of build, and what features were incorporated into them to meet goals for resilience and sustainability. A tour of the orchard was also made available to those who were interested, as well as Te Mara farm later in the day.

 We ended the day with a debrief of the event and some fish and chips.

Thanks to everyone who helped make this a great day!


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