Written by Renee.
For the last 10 years, home gardening has been a growing passion. I could spend hours browsing at the Koanga catalogue and website, reading the blogs and looking at the photos. The knowledge at the Koanga Institute is abundant and also quite cutting edge in term of regenerative gardening practice. It is with the desire to learn from those premises that I decided to buy a little lot at the Kotare Village 18 months ago.
At the beginning, my initial plan was to come here during the summer holidays and develop my little piece land. In my head, I would continue to live in Auckland, moving permanently to the Kotare Village was a long-term project. Surprise, surprise! I changed my mind. There was so much to learn, people to meet and things to do and as a result, my transition happened faster than I thought. Kotare village has been my permanent home for nearly a year now.
The 2016 PDC course was a turning point. I met wonderful people through the course and learned heaps. This was followed by a series of exciting workshops on medicinal plants, appropriate technology, gardening techniques, beekeeping, forest gardens, and more. In the last 4 months, I also had the great privilege to work as a gardener for the Koanga Institute. Under the guidance of Kay and Michelle, our head gardener, I really came to appreciate the amount work, of research and knowledge that is required for seed savings. It is a rigorous work of love and dedication.
Building a new community is a complex and long process. It will take some years for the village to really look like a village. However, we are on the go. More people are moving in and the housing project has started. Living conditions will improve and this will make life easier. Not too long ago, I also found a part-time job in town and joined a music group, which is a soul food for me, a must.
To be happy here, one needs to be resilient and willing to learn, to share, to be challenged and to remain open-minded. I look forward to the future and hope some of you will consider moving in the Kotare Village.