Wednesday, April 23, 2014

travels with tea

We are fresh from a road trip circling the North Island of New Zealand. Well, not quite. But almost! It involved lots of family and friends, a few adventures and many cups of tea. We stopped off at Waima in Taradale, my aunt and uncle's huge orchard that my cousin Mark and his lovely partner Leah now run. We had hooked up with my sister, her new man (I approve!) and Jed's cousin Amon to see Uncle Pete and Mark in action. It was great for the boys and fun for all pretty much. So cool to be walking the same paths we did as youngsters, watching our boys do the same. On our return we had a full boot of beautiful apples and golden kiwifruit. And they are so sweet and juicy. Nothing like produce picked yourself or by loved ones on land you have a connection with. 

The cousins in full apple picking mode. Note the blur of piwakawaka (fantail) at the top of the image. She followed us everywhere and I had everyone laughing as I tried to capture her on film. As soon as I focussed, she'd be off again!

Animal whisperer Jed came to my rescue.

Waima was in full fruit picking action. 

The amount of fruit was just astounding. 

Uncle Pete is truly the best. I love my uncle Pete. Too bad you were still in Fiji Auntie were missed! The boys were stoked to ride the quad bike with Pete, while us poor grown ups walked everywhere.

It was great to see the big orchard in full swing. As well as fun, it's another of those educational asides that you happen into.

And a big congratulations to my Uncle Rob and his new bride Robin. We were thrilled to be together with all our family for their wedding. (Er, apologies for interrrupting your ceremony with our slightly late arrival. This guy had a spectacular spin out on the scooter in full wedding regalia just as we were leaving.) May the years to come bring you much joy and comfort in each other. xxx

Monday, April 21, 2014

Living and Fermented Foods workshops

My dear friend Nicki MacKinnon is a talented Naturopath and Herbalist who specialises in Raw Foods. New Zealander's may have heard of her Green Smoothie Workshops. 
She has teamed up with Kamilla and Jo of 'Be Nourished' to give this fantastic series of Living Foods workshops. I get to go for work (I'll be the one behind the camera!) but I thought locals might like to be part of it. You can go to one or all four. You leave with a wad of workshop notes and recipes. It is one of those potentially lifechanging workshops. 
The first one is THIS THURSDAY - the 24th April from 7-9pm.
At Ethos cafe at East West Organics New Lynn.
Call 09 826 5454 or email to book.
Might see you there?! (I am quite excited!)

Friday, April 18, 2014

this lovely lady

We have been seeing rather alot of this lovely lady recently. We just became friends of Auckland Zoo. Magazine, email updates, behind the scenes opportunities. Ideal for folks who study animals ALOT. Despite my issues around keeping animals in captivity we do love having the opportunity to see them close up and appreciate the conservation work the zoo is doing. Especially their campaigning against Palm Oil...good stuff zoo'sters!

Seriously, that zoo thing ever for homeschoolin' folks.

Saturday, April 12, 2014


We stumbled across a little gem recently. On adventure up to see friends we stopped by a cafe called Bees Online to show Jed the bees. But. It no longer existed. This was actually a good thing. The bee colony was still in residence and a new group had taken ownership. Now called Provenance, we had the best lunch. It began with homemade plum and mint soda garnished with flowers from the garden. So good!

They are about to embark on a total refurbishment to achieve their vision of a more sustainable dining experience. Most of the vegetables are from on-site gardens or sourced from their farm down the road, which also provides vegetables and herbs for their other cafe. 

I love seeing more seasonal food available at reasonable prices. And that vision of knowing where all produce comes from and having relationships with suppliers HAS to be part of the future if we are to be more sustainable. And no, they didn't pay me to gush about the meal...I just get super excited about stuff like this. And check out my salad...all freshly picked from within a mile of the place that morning. The colours!

Monday, April 7, 2014

parenting tools - what are yours?

I field a fair amount of questions about parenting. I think it is about time I added a bunch of parenting resources here on GrowMama.

It changes so much doesn't it...from conception, pregnancy, birth or adoption and the unfurling of our parenting selves into later child raising years. You just get into a groove and they go and change it up and you have to upskill, talk to other mama's or just tune into your instincts. 

What are your go-to parenting resources? I would love to know the books, websites and other resources that feed your parenting soul. Leave a comment below or email me if you'd rather (quite a few of you do it seems!)- I would love to hear from you.

Maybe our favourite parenting books, links and resources will reach more folks that need them. This would be a good thing!

My favourites? I have always loved Jon and Myra Kabat-Zinn's book 'Everyday Blessings'. I have a copy and lend it out alot. I love Pennie Brownlee, Gordon Neufeld and Aletha Solter's work. Sarah Napthali's Buddhism for Mothers is another great potentially lifechanging read. Genevieve Simperingham's Peaceful Parent Institute has a fantastic archive of articles and if anyone ever gets a chance to go to one of Genevieve's workshops...GO!  And now in the thick of our homeschooling/natural learning journey...there are more resources along those lines. There is more and I will put up a blog post announcing when the parenting resource section is complete.

Gosh I had a blast going back through these old photos! What a trip this mama path is!
And sheesh, we have fun.