Hei Mahi Māra


Hei Mahi Māra
Spring and the beginning of a Mini Ice Age?

The sun is currently going through its usual decline in sun spots as part of its 11-year solar cycle of increased and decreased sun spot and solar flaring activity. Some scientists now speculate that the sun has entered a prolonged period of very low sun spot activity which will lead to a mini ice age like the “Maunder Minimum”.

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Mahi Māra Winter
Aloe Vera & Strawberries

My favourite part of winter is looking at the empty spaces in the māra and planning for the coming spring growth. Even though we had a cool spring and summer, my strawberry patch was incredibly productive this year and rewarded my whānau for their foraging efforts. Having berryfruits in the māra is a real treat not just for one’s taste buds, but also for one’s health.

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Hei Mahi Māra
Angels in the Māra Kai

In my summer holidays I was fortunate enough to read two new books which opened my eyes to the power of the old saying of Hippocrates: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” While this concept is nothing new to me, the books have led me to a new level of understanding of the saying. They have informed the ways I can use this information for my health and that of my whānau, and apply it in my māra.

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Hei Mahi Māra
Summer Sweet Stevia

One of the treats from last year’s māra growing season was my first attempt at growing Stevia as a low-calorie sugar substitute to sweeten up some of my food. Being diagnosed with a large cancer tumour in my pancreas in 2012, it was expected that if I survived for any length of time then one of the side effect symptoms would be diabetes.

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Hei Mahi Māra
Herbs for good health

For this article I thought it would be a good idea to focus on herbs that are incredibly beneficial for your health. What follows is a list of my favourite herbs, ideas on how to grow them, and their potential beneficial health properties. I am a recent convert to herbs after years of having a very restricted plain diet. However, as I am not dying of cancer this means that I can eat a much broader range of foods than I have been able to since being diagnosed with terminal cancer in July 2012 .

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Hei Mahi Māra
Biologically intensive gardening

During Waitangi weekend I was fortunate enough to attend a two-day workshop in Christchurch entitled the “Six Figure Farming NZ Tour”. Two Canadian micro-market gardeners shared their stories and skills on how to successfully run two very different yet very profitable small-scale organic vegetable growing operations. The term “Six Figure Farming” comes from their realisation that it’s possible to make more than $100,000 per acre in gross income with a general profit margin of around 40–60%.

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Hei Mahi Māra
Recovery on track

Five years after the first big Canterbury earthquake of September 4 in 2010, I am still in recovery mode in the māra. Every time I think I have finally done the last piece of work around the place, something else in need of tidying up becomes obvious.

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Hei Mahi Māra
Winter a time to recharge

Winter is providing a nice relief for us as we finally slow down after the hectic process of moving back into our new home.

Our new house is great but the section was devastated by the building process and we have had to carry out vigorous reorganisation and replanting. Fortunately, we remembered not to go overboard and plant a whole lot of trees and plants that will need constant pruning. Instead we focused on pongas and ferns to create a Poutini West Coast feel to the garden.

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