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Community Garden News

May 15, 2019 May 2019 Comments Off on Community Garden News

“To forget how to dig the earth and tend the soil is to forget ourselves”.Mahatma Gandhi

The garden is looking lush and full of promise for our winter crops…some of the summer crops are still producing: the ‘never ending’ zucchinis and still a few cucumbers and lettuces.

Many thanks to the Community board for their generous grant. This has enabled us to purchase two new planting beds, and another composting bin, which should help us to a high degree of self-sufficiency in providing good organic matter for the garden. It will also allow us to plan a better rotation cycle for the vegies, as we can budget for seasonal planting, rather than using the “what can we afford to plant” method. It also means that we can afford to leave some planters to ‘recover’ from a heavy cycle of production before we replant. Mauruuru nui koe, Community Board.

Some of you may have received our Survey (and those who haven’t can pick one up from the Larder at the Medical Centre). We are keen to attempt to grow more vegetables that people like to eat, know how to cook and are not readily available at the Larder. We know that people would like kumara, but unfortunately our attempts to grow them have not been a raging success… we do hear that there are some “Kumara Kings/Queens” out there, and we would love you to visit the garden and share your experience.

We are a little unsure as to the value of a large potato crop; we have the space but didn’t have a prolific crop…once again, if there are any experts out there who are keen to take charge of a crop of potatoes, please come along and share your knowledge.

Many thanks to our summer waterers. We have had a roster of people who have been invaluable to the garden though the summer, ensuring daily watering. The benefits of these contributions have been significant for the health of the garden.

What to expect in the Larder over the next month…beetroot, lettuce, silver beet, kale, spinach, red cabbage, and just maybe the first of the brassicas.

Book review – Mackenzie

May 15, 2019 May 2019 Comments Off on Book review – Mackenzie

James McNeish’s novel Mackenzie was published in 1970, however it was republished as a part of the Godwit collection of six celebrated New Zealand novels. 

Set in 1850s Canterbury the novel uses the life of mysterious shepherd Mackenzie and his remarkable dog, of which in fact little is known, as a basis for a much wider story encompassing the people and their lives in the fledgling town of Christchurch. Of the farmers who are trying to start farms on the Canterbury plains and of the squatters claiming land in the high country. Their aims often conflict but they unite in opposing the strictures emitting from Governor Grey in Auckland and in fear of the Northern Māori conflicts spreading south.

In the forward Professor Lawrence Jones wrote ‘ What unifies the novel is that despite the diversity of subjects they all focus on the place where politics and personal morality meet’. Indeed this a combination of a very extremely well told story and history lesson.

Mackenzie is more than an imagined biography for James McNeish examines in detail the daily existence of the raw settlers in a new town and the great back country sheep stations. In it examined are political and spiritual attitudes, social standards, greed and anxieties all against the twin backdrop of a hostile landscape and neglected Māori presence.

This is a satisfyingly long read which is once started hard to put down. I have enjoyed it just as much with this later second reading as I did the first.  

Mike Beckett

Blame it on the Beatles

May 15, 2019 May 2019 Comments Off on Blame it on the Beatles

Jane with client (mid 1960s).

19 year old Jane Gregory was bored with teaching hairdressing to school leavers in Palmerston North so when the chance came up to manage a new salon being set up in Martinborough she jumped at the chance. She wasn’t even sure where Martinborough was but figured a small town would be a great place to save some money for the trip she and a girlfriend planned to Australia to see the Beatles. 

The “Red Rose” was the first real salon in Martinborough.   “It was down the (long gone) arcade behind the butcher’s and we froze in winter and cooked in summer.”  Unlike modern, open plan salons the Red Rose had a curtained cubicle for each customer.  This meant, at least in theory, nobody knew your hair was coloured or that your curls weren’t natural.   At the end of one busy day Jane discovered a customer asleep behind the curtains.   “ She’d been forgotten but I couldn’t bring myself to tell her and just combed her out as if nothing had happened. She must have wondered where all those hours went.”

It was a very busy salon with just Jane and a junior to help out. “ Five days a week and one late night.  No Saturday and no men.  The evening session was when the single working girls would come in, the curtains would go back and the local gossip would start.   Every Saturday night there’d be a ball either in the Town Hall or in one the country halls.  Everyone would want their hair done for that. You had to do lots of different styles and they all had to survive from Friday or often earlier.  Thank goodness for hairspray.”   … Continue Reading

Become a Digital-Savvy Senior!

May 15, 2019 May 2019 Comments Off on Become a Digital-Savvy Senior!

A coaching session in Masterton.

Each Thursday, at St Andrew’s Church Hall, our senior citizens are welcome to come for free coaching with their smart phones or other digital devices. The coaches are members of Digital Seniors, the coaching service set up across the Wairarapa to help our seniors with getting the best out of their phones, tablets or laptops. Seniors are welcome at the coaching sessions, at any time between 9:30 and 11:30 on Thursdays at the St Andrew’s Hall; no appointment is necessary.  

Our coaches are friendly and approachable; they too are of a similar generation – it’s not like asking a teenager who doesn’t know how to go slow or explain things patiently!!

So come along on any Thursday morning and get sound and practical advice about:

  • Email and texting
  • Internet security
  • Using Skype and Facebook and the internet
  • Organising digital photos

And simply gain confidence for fully using your smart phone or tablet. Come along to St Andrews at 41 Dublin Street and learn along with others to become a ‘digital savvy’ senior!