Saturday, 26 November 2011

ROOTS...local food

We have decided to live our truth and go for what we believe in and create the future that we want to see. We have always believed that choosing the easier road is not always what it seems to be. We aim to take no shortcuts. We are starting with nothing, nothing but our vision. We have jumped from the paradigm of working for someone else trapped in another mentality to creating a future and being present in exactly what we want to see happen. We are grateful for that in its self is a freedom of the mind.
People say all sorts of things like you need money… you need crockery… plates...riedel glasses and so the list goes on and on. This fear mongering that you need money, that you will never make it without those special pieces of paper. We see it differently. We believe that you need the community and people that believe in what you are doing. So we have started our new adventure that will lead us to making our dream come true of having a restaurant so we started a local food service called Roots. We do not need new things. In starting we thought that there is such amazing craftsmanship here in Aotearoa. So the research began in plates and kitchen items. There is such amazing ceramics from the 60s and 70s. Who cares if all the plates look the same! It is more fun to have a story and uniqueness and that sense of local, which really to me in this spectrum says real and quality. So Giulio found people with all of these ceramic NZ crafted plates. They are beautiful. He explained what we are doing to an older gentleman and bought some plates from him. The gentleman then called him back and said that he would love to help out, that he was literally swimming in too much NZ ceramic dishware and that Giulio could take what he wanted at no cost just because he believed in what we are creating and wanted to help us out! We are now realizing if we explain what we are doing maybe people will want to join in or contribute in some way, anyway that they can. It does not have to be with even giving us anything, but just words knowing that what we are creating is also something that others want to see happen and are excited about.
Our concept of food…this should be a book, however, here are some of Giulio’s words from his blog about our project:
“These are very exciting times for us, we have decided to start our own food service focused on everyone who wants to taste honest local food.
Lyttelton is surrounded by food, and by my own experience in the last 10 months I have been eating leaves, herbs, nuts, fruits and flowers that I forage during my daily walks. We are so lucky to have the Farmer’s Market every Saturday, and now starting the spring season we can find something new every weekend. Lyttel Piko is my favorite shop, you can find almost everything there and it is the starting point of my whole food based pantry.
The philosophy is local – organic – biodynamic – animal welfare supporting the local producers and suppliers. It is my dream to create a sustainable food service that supports the community and the community does the same in return. When I think in food I think about sharing, in the end that’s the whole purpose of my craft, but it is not only food, it is food made with respect and love, it is nourishment for our body that is why it has to be healthy and nutritious.

Our food is an invitation to the senses, to experience new flavors or a different culture or a completely new food experience, who said that it is not right to start eating sweets before savory??
Everyone is welcome. Peace”
We offer local food parties (breakfast, lunch, dinner, tapas) as well as cooking classes, and any other cooking needs whether it be for the holidays, a neighborhood get together… you name it…contact us. Christy and Giulio 021 120 8083

Posted by: Christy Martin

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

for urgent sale: good sort needed.

Macbeth Performance Structure 
Donor or Purchaser:  As Good Intentions Turn into a Nightmare 
A project that started with great community intentions has quickly turned into a nightmare. The Loons, with the help of Pete Evans, secured precious community earthquake funding from Project Lyttelton to purchase a cover for an outdoor stage. The cover enabled the very successful production of Macbeth to take place in Lyttelton for the Arts Festival. All was going well, the stage was erected and the show played on. The bills were paid and then the show finished at the end of September. 
Project Lyttelton and Pete Evans were both keen to enable Lyttelton to maintain this temporary stage so that more shows could be performed and the community would have another focal point until The Loons could reopen. Money raised by the Matakana Market for Lyttelton earthquake recovery was earmarked for more live performances in Lyttelton, and so this money was allocated to keep the structure going.  
We all hoped the stage could remain and the shows could continue on. 
Thats when the red tape started to get in the way. No longer was the stage considered a temporary structure.  A building permit, structural engineering report, fire reports, inspections etc were new requirements from the council. Our desire to keep shows rolling was stalled.  
Too expensive, time consuming and frustrating.  Two weeks ago the decision was made to sell the stage cover and just wind the site up. Two weeks of Trade Me later, there is still no buyer, but the debts keep mounting.  Unless a buyer or a donor can be found we are going to have to use vital community funding to pay off the structure. Is there anyone out there who would like to help, or a community, or project that has need of such a structure?  It can readily be       
reconstructed in a day. It will already be deconstructed and can be picked up with a normal trailer.  
Please contact Pete Evans 021 328 707 or Wendy Everingham 021 047 6144 if you can help the Lyttelton Community out. 

Sunday, 13 November 2011

open day at the community garden

Flower gardens grow flowers.
Vegetable gardens grow vegetables.
Community gardens grow community.

In the rain and wind we gathered.
The bar-be-que and cups of tea were kept on the go the whole morning to keep away cold and weariness.
And the distill provided an evocative centrepiece.
Stinging nettle distilled as we stood around it, checking the fire and the warmth, timidly tasting and smelling the hydrosoil that appeared.

Foraged elderflowers were also celebrated; their smell, their taste and sheer prettiness reminded us that it was indeed Spring in the midst of a Southerly blast..

Elderflower frittters:
Elderflowers dipped in batter, fried in oil with a sprinkle of icing sugar.

Elderflower cordial:
20 elderflower heads (flowering now)
1.5 litre water
800gm-1kg sugar
30gm citric acid
3 lemons
Make a hot syrup with the sugar, water and citric acid and then pour over flowers. Use a large bowl. Let stand in a sunny spot for 24 hours.
Strain through muslin.
Use straight away or bottle for storage: heat the syrup again until about to boil, heat the bottles at 100oc for 15 minutes, then using a funnel pour and cap bottles.

We shared knowledge and skills, enjoyed the visitors who braved the weather and celebrated the garden and the community anyway.

Friday, 11 November 2011

what water shortage?

At this time of the year and in particular, this year because of pipes being munted from the recent earthquakes, we hear a lot of talk about water shortages.
A couple of nights ago within half an hour of arriving home and in the steady rain, I managed to collect 120 litres of water off my carport roof......and then dinner was ready.
You do the maths but I dear say,  it could be a water tank shortage rather than a water shortage.

I know the detail of my collection because we have a half completed water harvesting system at home.
Let me explain....
>We live in an old bach with guttering which I would say is probably just as munted as the city's stormwater system.  We have large barrels under each dodgey area.
>We have six of these barrels fed by the carport downpipe. These were connected but over winter discovered that the connections were leaking and so had pulled it apart to try a different system...and then it rained.
> From the 20 minutes of bucket collecting on Wednesday we now have a rubbish bin filled with water (ready for seaweed to be added and made into liquid fertiliser for the garden) and a wheelie bin.

As you can see the system isn't that efficient at the moment but we are working on it and do the best we can and catch what we are able.
Each step raises our consciousness:
> When our family began to put buckets in our showers we quickly discovered how much water we used with each visit. Some of us chose to shorten our showers, some of us turned the water off while we washed and others showered less often. Different solutions suit different people.
> Using a small container in our sink for washing dishes reminds the girls to rinse their dishes without running the tap.
> Being inspired by composting toilets for Christchurch we have been peeing in a bucket for a while now and using the diluted solution to water our non-edible plants. The Christchurch sewerage system is severly compromised from the earthquakes but still we flush pure clean water down the toilet. The bucket system is a great alternative to having the yellow settle in the bottom of the toilet and happily gets us outside more!
>We still bucket the water from the barrels..we are happy to do know, a "chopping water, carry water" kid of meditation in the middle of our busy lives.

As we raise our consciousness about our water usage, we engage further with our water project at home and plan on fixing the plumbing to our tank system.....just as soon as the rain stops.
Next week I plan to check the guttering at the community garden - a little late in the season but doing the best we can.
How are you managing store, re-use and save water in your own home?

written by Jacinda, also at

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

real wealth

Lying in bed at the end of a day I reflect on the wealth that surrounds me.
Here is a day in the life of Margaret…
I talk to my two hens as I feed them their warm mash, check their water and
pick up a still warm egg. This is like a meditation process for me,
grounding me at the start of the day.

Tuesday mornings in term time I do a regular Timebank trade with Lyttelton
West School helping with the Early Words programme. New entrants get a great
start to learning to read through this work. Timebanking is based on
reciprocity, not just of time spent, but also in the pleasure it brings to
both parties. Who can resist the welcome from a five year old, “Oh,
Margaret, it is so lovely to see you again!” – makes me smile and imagine
what great modelling her parents are doing.

On my way home I drop past the Portal (Project Lyttelton’s office) to touch
base, a few little details but it is a social visit really!
Project Lyttelton has started a new project looking at how we can build
resilience into food supplies in the Harbour Basin. Each project we
undertake has a champion to run with it (me for this one) and an advisory
group to support and direct the process. I’m just firming up this advisory
group today and send out a Doodle to arrange a time for all to meet. Doodles
are so much more efficient at planning meeting times than interminable
Lunch – based today around my favourite whole grain bread from the Farmers
On my way to my next meeting I pick up a supply of ionized water from Lyttel
Piko. A Chinese firm gifted our community this ionizer to help ease our post
-earthquake situation. This water is lovely – so much nicer than the
chlorine smelling water we have for the time being.
A meeting at Coffee Culture. I talk with the student working at the counter
and get her email as she wants to be on the contributors’ list of those
writing for the Lyttelton News.
Today at this meeting I am talking with our two newly appointed community
development workers for the food project along with the liaison person from
the funders. There is so much energy here, ideas, development of ideas,
plans, directions, sharing networks and resources. We all recognise that
prioritising is going to be important!
A quick hike up the hill back home, pulling a few weeds out of the cemetery
steps as I slip through the excluded zone. (I’d rather pull these weeds,
often isolated ones, than see them being blasted with spray.)
I pack the car because tonight I am going to my upholstery evening class,
re-covering an arm chair. The preparatory pulling out the staples takes a
long time though.
3.30pm. Eleven of us meet with Professor Bruce Glavocic at the Portal to
have an unstructured conversation about our individual and community
experiences and feelings related to the earthquake. This was quite a
reflective conversation. We learned of successful models of engagement,
recognising we have one such on our own doorstep in Waimakariri. It was
great that we had biscuits and seeded lemon muffins to hold us together – we
talked to nearly 6 o’clock!
I was a bit late for class, but that seems to run on glide time. I
discovered at the bottom of the box (I had stripped the chair eons ago –
before the earthquake – and stored the fabric pieces for future patterns) my
staple puller AND my dressmaking scissors – what joy! I’ve been looking for
those for ages!
Returning home I completed what I was scheduled to do with a section of work
on our Project Lyttelton’s monitoring and evaluating programme.
Satisfaction level is very high! This is what I call wealth! Being
surrounded by a loving world, doing what feels meaningful work, creating,
sharing and being extended.
As I lie in bed reflecting, a feeling of deep gratitude flows through me.

written by Margaret Jefferies, chair of Project Lyttelton