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Posts Tagged ‘Tremane Barr’

Hei Mahi Māra

I harvested my first ever kūmara from the māra in late autumn and was stunned to find that I had actually managed to grow a worthwhile crop. I could see that the leaves had grown prolifically over summer and into autumn, but was completely taken by surprise when I actually dug them up to find the quantity and size of tubers that had been produced. I had always assumed that it would be too cold to grow kūmara in Ōtautahi so I hadn’t even bothered to try in my 30-plus years of organic gardening.

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Autumn Mahi Māra – song of the tīpuna

Autumn is the time of harvest, which makes it traditionally a time of giving thanks to Papatūānuku for the bounty she provides. Early autumn is also the time for winter vegetables to be planted to ensure the māra has a bountiful supply of kai during the winter months – silver beet, kale, leeks, spinach, and brassicas like cabbage (red and green), cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. The trick I have found to growing vegetables in autumn is to make sure the soil has plenty of compost or other organic-type fertilisers.

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Hei Mahi Māra
Plasma in the Māra

I recently came across the Keshe Foundation, which was founded by the Iranian nuclear physicist Mehran Tavakoli Keshe. He has developed some interesting theories around the nature of how the universe works, and how this can be applied across many fields of human endeavour, including agriculture. His theories are based around plasma and how it works, from the largest galaxies to the smallest organisms.

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Hei Mahi Māra
How to grow artichokes

The dark days and rain of winter are receding, with the extra light and warmth of spring starting to kick in. I love getting stuck into the māra at this time of year; getting it ready by clearing away the winter weeds, digging in the lupin cover crop, and fertilising the soil with dolomite lime and compost in anticipation of the food delights to come.

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Hei Mahi Māra
Fruit for thought

Winter is a time of rest for both the māra and the gardener. There are, however, still tasks that need to be carried out in preparation for the growth and abundance of spring and summer. The winter vegetables need to be kept an eye on to ensure that the weeds don’t take over.

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Mahi Māra Summer
Bugs, herbs and health

Summer is a great time to relax in the māra enjoying the fruits of one’s mahi, and leaving the worries of the world behind. In this issue, I discuss recent research showing an insect Armageddon (Insectageddon) in progress, primarily driven by massive pesticide use. On a positive note, lemongrass is a great herb to grow that can naturally help relieve feelings of worry and stress. Unfortunately, the herb most successful at relieving stress, Cannabis sativa, is still not currently able to be grown legally. However, there is some light at the end of a very smoky tunnel for this king of all herbs.

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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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