ro G a greener tomorrow
Design is an opportunity to continue telling the story, not just to sum everything up. Tate Linden
Get To Know Gro Who are we? What we do? And why we do it?
Gro was created with the vision of being a 100% sustainable and recyclable magazine that would be influential to todays society, and guess what? We did it! That’s right, this magazine that you’re holding right now is 100% made from natural resources and every part of it can be recycled or reused. The pages are made up of recycled paper from items such as old magazines, newspaper and books. The ink used to print this magazine is soy based so is not only natural and good for the planet but will degrade much faster than normal inks. You will have noticed when you opened the magazine the coloured piece of paper, this is in fact seed paper made with food colourings. So how does this all tie in to become a totally reusable or recyclable magazine? Well, when you have finished reading this magazine and decide its time to make room for our latest issue, don’t reach for the bin! This magazine has been designed to compost. Simply soak the magazine overnight in cold water and the next day throw it on your compost heap and within 2 weeks the magazine will be totally decomposed. The seed paper is an extra feature to make your compost heap attractive, in a week you can watch the seeds sprout and in four watch your compost bloom. Don’t have a compost heap? Simply tear our the seed paper to plant in a pot for your garden or deck and throw the rest of the magazine into your cardboard and paper recycling. Each article features a dashed boarder surrounding it for your ease to cut and save articles for a later date, So no matter whether you live in a city apartment, a small cottage or on a lifestyle block this magazine is for you! We hope you enjoy and love our magazine as much as we do. The team at Gro
A Letter From The Editor Welcome to our first issue! Created and edited by Emma Turner As a child I was known for collecting bits of things that my parents always referred to as rubbish only to emerge hours later with little masterpieces. As I have grown older I still have the same passion for re-creating new and exciting pieces from old and used materials, but people seem to lack the excitement about reusing items like they used to. Along with this I started to show an interest in recycling and green living, it then became apparent that people actually knew a lot less than I expected about recycling and the importance of it. While studying design at University in Auckland I began to learn new skills and started interacting with people to find out their views on green living and green designs. I soon realised that its not that people donâ€™t want to re-use materials and live more green but in most cases they simply lacked the inspiration and motivation to do so. From here Gro started to surface. It began with blogs and research with which people soon started becoming interested. People started following the stories and ideas. It was then I realised that actually I could make the difference in peoples lives by inspiring them to help me make a change. It didnâ€™t take long for companies to hear about my ideas, showing their interest and lending a hand. We are so pleased and thankful to each one of you for purchasing this magazine and beginning the Gro journey with us. With your help we can make a huge difference to our planet, one little step at a time. We hope you enjoy this issue and welcome any feedback and ideas you may have. We invite you to share it all with us on our website at www.gro-magazine.com or on our facebook page at Gro magazine. Thank you so much. Emma Turner
Whatâ€™s In This Issue Home 10 Can For a Coffee 12 A Talk With Malcom Rands
18 Rubbish Free Challenge 22 Saving Money At Home 26 Sustainable Stubbies
DIY 35 Re-use Your Recycling 36 A Colourful Collection 40 DIY Lighting
Garden 46 Say It With Seed Paper 48 Anna Garforth
50 DIY Moss 54 Bee Keeping 60 Spring Gardening Tips
Well being 64 DIY facials
70 Benefits Of Yoga 72 Simple Living 74 Natural Room Scents
Food 78 Use your Coconut 80 Freedom Farms 84 Going Raw 88 OOB Organics
90 Fruits Of Abundance
What Is Green Living? G
reen living. It’s something that is thrown around continuously these days, but what does it actually mean? The technical meaning is, “Any action or activity that results in a positive impact to any degree, on the environment so that the planet can continue to support future generations.” So how can we do this? Is it easy? What do I have to give up to live green? The answer is it’s easy! You don’t have to give up anything! If we only take what we need and dispose of the things we use in the most economical way for the planet it will have a huge impact! We live in a society where life is in the now, we want things instantly without having to wait and no sooner do we get them, we want something else. Items we purchase are not disposed of properly and end up being piled in landfill sites across the country.
Auckland Gets World’s First ‘can for a coffee’ Cafe If you love coffee and you love helping out those in need, then you’ll love
this idea. Auckland just got the worlds first ‘can for a coffee’ pop-up cafe, on 13 Rose Road Grey Lynn. Words by Vera Alves
he cafe is open 9am to 11am on Fridays and Saturdays and, during that time, people can trade a can of food for a cup of coffee. Every single can goes straight to the Auckland City Mission who then distributes them to those who need them.
owners, we owe a responsibility to society at large. We would love to see more and more businesses that operate in a manner that is both profitable in the traditional sense and profitable to their surrounding community,” says Wong.
“Locals” is a not-for-profit initiative and the brainchild of Brad Robinson, Oliver Johnston and Joshua Wong, supported by Caffe L’affare. The team hopes this new “can for a coffee” cafe will be the first of a number of them around the world, as they work to inspire other coffee roasters to create “Locals” of their own (if you’re interested, check www. canforacoffee.com).
The pop-up cafe is definitely going to be open for a month and its continuity will depend on how successful it is. So far, a few cafes have expressed interest in adopting the ‘can for a coffee’ movement on a weekly basis and the group has also had a few offers from volunteer baristas. The Facebook page has grown to almost a thousand “likes” in less than a week and Wong hopes the number will continue to go.
“Our motivation is pretty simple: We want to encourage businesses, whether coffee related or otherwise to help meet real needs in the local community. We believe that as business
Dig through your pantry, find a can of something tasty and go trade it for a cup of coffee and some karma points at the “Locals.”
A Talk With
The inspirational and captivating story of how an organic gardener and social entrepreneur took the business of green global.
alling his seventh form, all-boy rock band ‘Beavershot’ might not have been one of his “light-bulb” moments but setting up ecostore was, without a doubt, a very bright idea indeed. In fact, ecostore founder and CEO Malcolm Rands is an ideas man and dreams big.
This multi-million dollar company began its life twenty years ago as a mail order business operating out of a dug-out basement in the Rands’ Northland home. Eco-conscious Kiwis were quick to embrace the ecostore vision and today they have a large, savvy and loyal customer following. Thousands like ecostore’s Facebook and there’s a very active blog of consumers who Malcolm believes “inform their buying decisions with ethics, values and desire for positive social and environmental change”.
Here are some examples how: • He famously trucked in snow to the winterless north for a festival. • With his wife Melanie he established New Zealand’s first eco-village, embracing permaculture practice • He remains determined to take ecomatters mainstream • And he’s brought hundreds of thousands with him in his eco-journey, including the humanitarian Sir Ray Avery, who he appointed as his lead scientist, and a billionaire US business man who bankrolled their entry into the US.
Today, ecostore is a household name as a producer of environmentally-friendly and healthier cleaning and skin care products. Its masterfully-branded products are also now in thousands of stores in the US, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and other Asian countries, leading the way in a new era of chemical-free household products. The company is poised for further global expansion...
With more than 84,000 chemicals in existence worldwide for commercial use, and another 1000 being developed every year, Malcolm is more determined than ever to work toward restoring the health and wellbeing of people by making it easier for them to be green and healthy. Now, this charismatic and visionary CEO shares his whole business backstory in his new memoir Ecoman: From a Garage in Northland to a Pioneering Global Brand. It’s a captivating story of humble beginnings, taking on the multinationals, bucking the trend and setting the standard of healthier living, with lots of twists and turns along the way. It’s a book for both entrepreneurs and exporters, the science
community and greenies, the art community, aspiring business owners, and of course, the hundreds of thousands of people who want to live healthier and more sustainable lives. Joined-up thinking is the current buzz word but what does it actually mean? Here’s a man who shows us how we can truly integrate our values system with business. Others have tried with varying degrees of success. Malcolm believes that consistently applying just two key business drivers — no nasty chemicals and ethical profit — has been ecostore’s recipe for success. Malcolm generously shares the business philosophies, commercial strategies and personal touchstones that have worked for ecostore over the years. He thoughtfully
canvases all aspects of the ecostore business mix, in which consumers are central to the eco equation — from branding and sales to distribution and growth. He describes how they’ve achieved their point of difference in the intensely competitive and crowded supermarket environment. Malcolm is out to transform capitalism, and he’s proud of it. He’s in the business of creating sustainable wealth and plenty of it. This sits comfortably with him because it allows him to channel funds into his not-for-profit activities. He’s a big fan of mind maps to help bring clarity and integrity. He believes in brand management with a passion. Over and above everything else, he believes
in people and the ability of an individual to make a difference. He surrounds himself with like-minded people who share the Rands’ vision. Malcolm sees little separation between work and life and his personal story flows through the narrative. Melanie and their daughters, Keva and Ahi, who also now work in the business, are all integral to the ecostore journey. Finally, never one to miss an opportunity to encourage us all to keep on the right path, Malcolm wraps up his book with everyday tips to live more healthy lives and green up our homes and offices — a practical layer to a most inspiring, informative and illuminating memoir.
No nasty * chemicals
“Hi there! We are Matthew Luxon and Waveney Warth, we set ourselves a year long challenge that became known as the Rubbish Free Year.” Words by Matthew Luxon
he average couple living in NZ sends about 1.5 tons of rubbish to landfills every year, but through composting, recycling and careful purchasing we accumulated only 2kg of landfill waste between us! The aim was to create new habits in order to further our journey towards living lightly on the earth. We really enjoyed the challenge and continue to live ‘rubbish free’. When we were doing the challenge we lived with our dog and two chickens in Christchurch, New Zealand, where Matthew was working 30 hours a week, and Waveney part time hours plus study. We have no kids. We have a car but bike a lot. We eat meat, but not every day. Within 5kms we did have a bulk foods store, butcher, baker and organic store and also had a section large enough to garden and deal with our own organic waste. We’ve now relocated to Auckland, New Zealand and continue our rubbish free lifestyle whilst house sitting around the city. We’ve been heartened to find that living rubbish free is not dependent on having land. We now live the equivalent of an apartment lifestyle and are pulling it off, so there’s no excuses! Although you may not call people with chickens in urban areas ‘normal’, that’s what we are calling ourselves, i.e. up until the start date of our rubbish free challenge we were still buying food in plastic, take-a-ways in Styrofoam, and toothpaste in throw away plastic tubes. We didn’t know a great deal about what we were doing when we started and are hoping this can be an encouragement to others who, like us, would like to know and do more. We have moved to Auckland to be closer to family and are house sitting. This makes living rubbish free a bit more of a challenge as we constantly need to find new sympathetic shops wherever we are house sitting at the time, but we’re getting there!
Save Money. Save The World! We all want to save a few dollars to help save for that holiday you’ve always dreamed of, or save up for something, well here are a few
strategies and steps for you to take to help save some money and do your bit for the planet at the same time! Words by Tara Wagner
Lawns and gardens are usually the biggest water users. Shut off the sprinklers and mulch the areas of your lawn that can survive on rainfall. (You can usually ﬁnd free mulch through your local cooperative extension.) Mulch anything that needs watering! Trees, shrubs, and small or large plants will retain 60% more water if they are properly mulched, meaning you’ll water 60% less.
tep One: Conserve Energy Most people don’t realise just how much energy they are wasting. But this step alone can cut your current power bill up to 75%! How much would that save you? The biggest energy/money wasters: Your AC and heating units. Changing the temp in your home (up or down at least 5 degrees) or using a programmable thermostat will have a huge impact on your next bill. Your refrigerator. It’s the next biggest energy hog. Make sure it’s coils and surrounding area are vacuumed and pull it out from the wall to give it proper ventilation to run efficiently. Also check the seals; if you can close a dollar bill in the door and pull it out, it’s time for a new seal. Drafts and leaks. Use a stick of incense or a lit candle to trace the doors and windows and ﬁx any drafts you ﬁnd. Clothes dryers. Almost a total waste of energy! Line dry outside when the weather is nice or inside when it’s too cold: hang clothing on a hanger, lay sweaters ﬂat, etc. This will also save money on wear and tear of your clothing.
Step Three: Ditch Disposables We live in a highly disposable culture. But it costs lots of money to buy, use, throw away and repurchase items for our home and personal use. And we learn to value things less this way too. Here are the top things to choose reusable: Water bottles - If you’re purchasing plastic water bottles, you’re spending at least 20¢ (and upwards of $2) per bottle. Get yourself a reusable stainless steel water bottle instead. They are safe (no harmful chemicals from plastic), and can be reﬁlled, washed and reused for years. Think about it: how much do you spend on bottled water per week? How long would it take you to recoup the initial cost of a stainless steel water bottle that costs between $10-20? Some other disposables to consider: Paper napkins versus cloth, tissues versus hankies, wrapping paper versus fabric wrapping, vintage razors versus disposables, and so on...
Step Two: Conserve Water Water doesn’t seem like a costly thing and shutting off the tap, although it adds up won’t save you money fast, but there are a few water hogs that really will slash your water bill. Check these water guzzlers:
Step Four: Food On average 13% of the average families household income goes to food. Now that’s not all bad. We need good healthy food and so it should be a priority in our spending. But it doesn’t have to cost so much. A family of three can spend as little as $125 a week on average and have almost completely organic food with these tips:
Step Five: Shopping Let’s face it: we live in a culture of shoppers. It’s part of what adds to our highly disposable culture - we keep buying new things to replace the old. But it’s an expensive hobby and let’s face it: “Stuff ” isn’t exactly fulﬁlling to our lives. Choose quality. Cheap in price should never mean cheap in quality. Purchasing well-made, but higher priced shoes that last many years (and can be repaired, if needed) is wiser than purchasing poorly-made, inexpensive shoes that fall apart in a few months. If the item lasts longer, you’ll be saving money, time, personal energy and global resources.
Skip processed foods. They are the most expensive, least ﬁlling and most unhealthy, foods which increases your health care costs. Easy tip: Make meals from easy recipes and choose fruits and veggies for snacks. Shop the farmer’s market. Out-of-season foods and exotic foods usually cost more and are less nutritious after being picked under-ripe and travelling so far. Local farmers have great deals on healthy foods that are in-season, and will often have ideas on how to prepare it to. You might also ﬁnd pick-yourown farms, which make it even less expensive (and more fun for the family) or strike up a barter with a farmer for fresh food.
Recycle and repurpose instead of buying new. Support local small businesses. Some small businesses may actually cost more than mass produced items from the store but not all. Find a local beekeeper, someone who sells extra eggs from their own chickens, a stay-athome mum who offers day care or a retired seamstress who can repair your clothing, instead of replacing it.
Shop online. If it’s an item that you can’t ﬁnd locally produced, it’s going to be shipped to your local store anyway. Why not shop online for artisans, crafters and sustainable companies that can ship directly to you at low prices?
Step Seven: Making Money If you followed the previous steps you’d definitely knock a few dollars off your weekly bills, but we all want ways to make extra money right? Here are a few easy ideas on how to make you a few extra dollars. Recycling is also a great way to make extra cash. Other than your curbside recycling pickup, you can ﬁnd local recycling facilities that will pay you for your own recycling or recyclable items you may ﬁnd dumped on the road, or in the trash.
Step Six: Entertainment It’s not much fun to work so hard at saving money that you no longer enjoy yourself, nor is it sustainable. But it’s not fun to save so much money just to see it blown on expensive forms of entertainment. Here are some cheap or free ideas for having fun:
Get creative! Up-cycling clothing or accessories from free fabric scraps? Create art or other useful, sellable household merchandise from repurpose items!
Local libraries have more than books. They also lend music and movies. Make some homemade snacks for a movie night at home with friends and family.
Renewable energy. Yes, it’s costly to invest in upfront, but any extra power your solar panels or wind turbines create can be sold back to the power company! It will save you and make you big bucks.
Check out your local parks or beaches. Take a rugby ball, softball or basketball, a frisbee or kite and enjoy the sunshine.
Sustainable Stubbies upcycles manufactured bottles into re-usable,
re-fillable vases, jugs & tumblers. Using traditional hot glass techniques bottles are recycled & transformed into unique, collectable treasures.
explore their creative potential. I worked tirelessly to develop the skills to enable and empower my creative direction and travelled extensively learning new techniques, teaching, exhibiting and undertaking residencies. This bank of accumulated knowledge, experience and maturity as an artist was revealed in 2006 in my Masters graduating exhibition titled ‘Environmental Stimulation Synergetic Series’.
Tell us a little bit about yourself – what did you study and what path led you to what you’re doing today? I found hot glass relatively young, when I had just left high school. My curiosity and passion for the material was immediate. I moved from Sydney to the Canberra School of Art and commenced a 4 1/2 year degree majoring in glass. At that time the educational program was unsurpassed, the school was well funded so the equipment was exceptional and the calibre of teaching top of it’s game globally. As well as the directors of the department being internationally accomplished artists we were involved in an artist in residence program where glass artists from around the world would visit, work and teach their chosen discipline. Being a relatively new fine art medium, techniques and genres of expression were fresh, this platform encouraged students to experiment and
I am of the opinion that ‘The Synergetic Series’ inspired by Buckminster Fuller continues to be my finest work to date, but as an artist it is not easy to exist on artwork alone. In 2010 my partner and I purchased a warehouse in Coburgas a platform for our creativity. The overheads were and are considerable so I felt I needed to become smart quickly in regards to earning an income, this is when ‘Sustainable Stubbies’ was born...
As time goes by the business has become a statement about my personal ethos. A way of existing that fits very comfortably. We have recently launched the Sustainable Stubbies LIGHT range where bottles are picked up on a blowpipe, stretched, blown and contorted. The bottle moves according to where the thickness of material lies. This formula results in fantastically unusual forms that are then suspended and illuminated.
How did the concept behind Sustainable Stubbies originally come about. What motivated you to launch the business? The act of transforming a manufactured bottle into a re-usable form is not new. As students we goofed around with beer bottles in the hot shop, turning them into tumblers for a laugh. There are also people cutting, grinding and kiln forming bottles into quirky functional forms, making what they can with the skill and equipment they have.
How would you describe your design aesthetic and what influences your style of work? The bottle itself is the primary dictator of a chosen design, I love working with the ready made. I spend time appreciating individual attributes and then make decisions according to those set parameters. In regards to the stubby range, I’m aiming at creating an affordable, simple translation of bottle to function. I then became delighted with the idea of bringing a touch of style back into our drinking habits so I introduced the notion of ‘sets’ believing these could be enjoyed with any special occasion.
I think what sets my business apart is a combination of the process of hot manipulation, timing and the fact that I have embraced the concept of reclamation holistically and turned it into a serious business. To create the extensive range of designs and quality of product that I offer I believe you would need to be a glassblower. We manipulate each bottle individually by hand ensuring each item is unique. The bottles are taken through a hot process that strengthens the product by nature of ‘annealing’, resulting in a vessel that can withstand hot liquid, a dishwasher and the test of time, making the product suitable for everyday use and the hospitality trade.
Now we are involved in lighting I am influenced by colour, shape and the detailed characteristics of each bottle, working hard to accentuate these whilst maintaining an essence of what they were. I enjoy the process of allowing the material to speak for itself, when the glass is hot it moves inconsistently, this keeps me on my toes and often the result is a sublime story of time and experience...
The launch of Sustainable Stubbies collided with public concern for the environmental demise of our planet. There was and still is a desire by people to surround themselves with objects that convey their awareness and contribute to an ever present conversation of sustainability.
impact on an international level. Robert, has a deep respect for design ethics; a clean aesthetic with function holding precedence, he believes in quality craftsmanship and invents modern manufacturing techniques to keep his signature globally competitive. Robert also mentors outstanding young designers in house, nurturing this rare creative culture and keeping Australia on the design map.
What creative processes are involved in the creation of your pieces, do you make everything in-house or do you out source any significant tasks? Yes, the entire operation occurs in house. I work with my community to source bottles from local cafes, restaurants and my friends who seem to have a healthy thirst. We collect, wash, cut and then prepare them for the hot process. It took most of 2012 to upgrade the facilities so that we can run larger custom built equipment catering for the blowing of the pendants.
What would be your dream creative project? At this stage I would be very excited about being given the opportunity to create a mood within a given space using our new lighting range. This could be a residence, cafĂŠ, restaurant or corporate building. The new product has huge potential and is very inspiring.
What does a typical day at work involve for you (from when you wake up to when you go to sleep?)? Fortunately everyday is different. Presently we spin stubbies two days a week and spend one day blowing pendants. The other days are a mixture of collecting, washing, cutting, sandblasting, packing and freighting the works. Amongst these constants are various pop up marketing opportunities which fruit into new exciting opportunities and a bunch of paperwork.
What are you looking forward to? I am looking forward to my work inhabiting and illuminating large spaces. This has been my dream ever since I began blowing glass, it is strange that the manufactured bottle has got me closest to this reality. It is odd having studied and accomplished fine Venetian techniques to arrive at transforming the ready made. It fits comfortably with me, my values and what I stand for. I hope we receive large scaled jobs that involve extensive installations of pendant lights.
Which other local artists, designers or creative people are you most inspired by at the moment? I have always been a great fan of Robert Foster, director of F!NK + Co. It is rare to come into orbit with a human who possesses Robertâ€™s spectrum of abilities. Robert is one of a handful of successful Australian designer/makers who has
Time to get crafty! Its easy to create pieces for you or a perfect gift from items youâ€™d normally class as junk!
What recycling goes in when youâ€™re out
LOVE NZ is proudly promoted by the Glass Packaging Forum inc.
Recycling Bin Overload? Do you use a lot of glass bottles, jars and tins that by the end of the week overflow your recycle bin? Why not create your own master pieces from them. Bottles, jars and tins come in all shapes and sizes and have their
own characteristics and unique imperfections. Here are a few ideas of what you could do to show them off.
A Colourful Collection These easy to make vases can be made from any old glassware and filled with acrylic paint then left to dry.
Storage Jars If you can get your hands on some old bit of wood, spare jars and
metal clasps try these out! These are perfect for storing almost
anything, from plant to your kitchen utensils. If the wood look isnâ€™t your thing simply paint the wood before attaching the jars on.
DIY Tinny These are so easy to make by just using twine and an old tin. Perfect to use as a desk tidy, a vase or a decoration for your table.
DIY Lighting Light is integral to life. It can stir emotion, set a mood, create
atmosphere, offer direction and guidance. Lighting can be subtle or
be a centrepiece to a room, here are some examples of lights you can
make yourself that will make a statement to a room and give it a talking point. There are so many ways to make your own lights and light shades from old household items. Shown here are just a few ways we here at Gro think are quite cool.
Mason Jars Lights These are a brilliant idea for indoor or outdoor use, shown below the steps on how to create your own mason jar hanging lights.
Jar Chandelier Perfect for that rustic looking room. Simply cut holes the size of your jar base from a length of untreated timber, drop your jars through and add
candles. It can be secured using wire or rope from the ceiling or why not try it as a fixed shelf?
Lets Talk Dirty
Say It With Seed Paper Words by Ross Tindall
here is a sincere connection that is formed between the sender and receiver of any seed paper product. The act of gardening, planting the seed paper, nurturing it, and enjoying its beautiful yield year after year, keeps your message alive and becomes its own gift. Making meaningful connections is invaluable. Growing Memories seed paper makes it easy. Growing Memories can offer a seed paper solution for any project. Great for events, occasions, stationery, direct mail, packaging, or gifts. Growing Memories have over 20 bright colours. Each colour brings a rich texture and organic quality to any use.
natural and vegetable-based pigments. Our seed paper is printed with water or soy-based inks. The production facilities are sustainable, to. Recently the factory installed a 30KW solar power system, so it is now powered by the same sun that makes our products grow! Todayâ€™s business is done differently, a larger emphasis is placed on sustainability. Consumers expect companies to give back to their communities through resource conservation and impact reduction. A full range of products can be found on our website. This ranges from cards, coasters, bookmarks, magazine inserts, business cards, seed bombs, growfetti, wine neck tags, door hangers, C.D cases, gift card cases, seed shapes, planting kits and packaging. Anything you can do with paper, seed paper can too!
Our paper really grows! Independent lab testing confirms that our seed paper has the highest germination rate in the trade. Our unique handmade process and attention to detail produces seed paper that germinates quickly and thrives in all regions year after year. Using an Earth-friendly printing process it protects the seeds without sacrificing print fidelity.
All can be customised and branded. Companies that have used this product include Toyota, Cocoa Cola, Brancott Wine, Meridian, Jacobs Creek, Breast Cancer awareness, The Hilton Worldwide, Opus, Phillips and many more companiesâ€™ worldwide. Growing Memories all-natural seed paper makes its most meaningful impact when planted. The garden it grows can be enjoyed year after year, adding a little more beauty to our world. We think youâ€™ll love seed paper as much as we do!
The seed paper manufacture is at the forefront of environmental consciousness. Today, people use our seed paper to communicate their own green initiatives. The most Earth-friendly tangible marketing medium available, our seed paper is made from 100% recycled paper and dyed with all
Anna Garforth Anna Garforth is a London based artist taking the art world by storm using her diverse skills to uniquely capture the aesthetics of nature and transform the world around us. Never one to be defined by an individual medium. Garforth takes a multifarious approach to her art practice creating an eclectic body of work utilizing a diverse array of skills such as
illustration, design and craft. She has worked and exhibited internationally working with big brands, creative agencies and independent clients in locations such as Hong Kong, the UK and Holland. Words by Sandra Wilson
magine an art form that uses living, respiring material; an art form that creates mini eco-systems in often complex and beautiful patterns. It changes the face of urban landscapes and redefines the term “urban jungle.” It breathes life anew.
further explore the possibility using it in her art. Realizing the mixture may have taken several weeks to prepare and could produce unpredictable results, Anna went for the quick fix, big effect. Attaching the moss to the wall using completely biodegradable ingredients, the moss will hopefully colonize and grow.
Mossenger is the brainchild of Anna Garforth. Inspired by guerilla gardening collectives, who aim to enrich dilapidated public spaces, and Andy Goldsworthy, a British artist who creates site-specific art installations from materials and tools found on site, Anna is currently working on an on-going moss street art project.
Anna explains: “This is the first in an on-going project and I have much experimentation to do in terms of how and where I place it. The piece is the first sentence of a verse. The second sentence of the verse will be made and displayed somewhere else around London in a couple of weeks time, and so on until the whole verse has been transcribed.”
Anna knew people had been growing moss for years so when she came across a recipe on the internet she decided to
DIY Moss Grafitti Moss graffiti is not difficult to accomplish. It does need careful planning like any artistic endeavour. Time is also needed to make the moss paint mixture and ensure that the moss takes root and grows properly. The refreshing appeal and ecological soundness of the graffiti piece produced is well worth the trouble though. Words by Josh Spring
efore getting into our guide on how to make moss graffiti, letâ€™s talk about the impact of paint in the graffiti world. Obviously paint is not the most environmentally friendly medium for artistic expression. A significant number of these products contain substances that may be harmful to the environment such as lead, cadmium, formaldehyde, CFCs in paint spray, and many other similarly toxic substances. An alternative to using paint is to use moss instead. This medium is not only ecologically sound but also grows with time.
site should be made of material that is porous enough to allow the moss to take root. A tentative plan on how it will look should then be etched on the chosen wall using chalk. This will ensure that what is put up is not haphazard or amateurish but something that will add an artistic ambience to the area. Gathering The Materials Once a tentative plan has been chalked out, it is now time to collect the materials needed to churn out the moss paintâ€?. The most important ingredient is moss. About a handful or at least two clumps of it would be enough but having more would not be bad. Moss is not really hard to find. It is common in most places that receive some amount of sunlight such as the wall of fence.
Choosing The Right Spot Areas that are exposed to the sun throughout the day are not conducive for moss growth. Moss needs some amount of sunlight in order to survive. However because moss is technically a plant, the area also needs to be moist enough to allow the moss access to sufficient water to grow. A wall inside the house may also be used as long as it satisfies these criteria. If the spot does not receive light from the sun, one or more light bulbs may be used to simulate sunlight.
*Two cups of buttermilk is also needed (Yogurt may be used as a substitute). *1 half a teaspoon of sugar *2 cups of water (beer may be substituted), *Blender *Paintbrush *Container for the finished product *Corn syrup may also be needed in certain cases to increase the consistency
Planning The Graffiti Piece Good artwork takes careful preparation. A site for the graffiti should first be selected. The
becomes too thick, this can easily be remedied by adding water. Once the moss paint mixture has the desired consistency, transfer it into another container with a lid. Seal it for the time being until a sufficient amount of this paintâ€? mixture is produced. If the mixture is to be used later, store it in the refrigerator.
Preparing The Moss For Processing Wash the moss carefully. Make sure that bits of soil found on its roots are completely removed, or at least as much of it as possible. The clumps of moss are then broken apart even further into smaller pieces. This will make it more manageable and easier for the blender to work on.
Applying The Moss Paint A paintbrush is the most common means of applying the moss mixture to the wall. Spraying it onto the wall is another method. The moss however, often does not take hold as quickly as when a paintbrush is used. The moss being used as paintâ€? is a living thing. The harsher method of spraying it on the wall will not help it take root effectively. Using a paintbrush is a gentler way to apply the mixture. Stencils may also be used to create a precise image or graffiti.
Mixing It All Together Place the washed, broken up moss in the blender. Add the two cups of buttermilk, the two cups of water, and the half teaspoon of sugar. Blend this mixture until it is completely smooth. Now, use the paintbrush to test the consistency of the blended mixture. If it drips like paint with too much moisture, add corn syrup then blend the mixture again. Repeat this step until a sufficiently viscous consistency is achieved. If the mixture
These could be cut into any shape desired from waste cardboard lying around the house. Another method is to cover the whole surface with moss paintâ€?, allow it to take root and grow, then trim or remove portions of it to produce the graffiti piece. A dull knife or even a piece of hard wood may be used to accomplish this. Some people use high pressure water hoses but this requires more expertise and a steadier hand.
On days when it is not to be misted with water, apply an additional coat of moss paintâ€? mixture. The best time to put up a moss graffiti are the spring and fall seasons. There is sufficient moisture in the air so misting or applying a new coat of moss paintâ€? may be done once a week. Monitor the moss graffiti on a regular basis to ensure it stays moist. This will encourage its growth. Removing Moss Graffiti When one becomes bored of the mural or tag, scraping off the moss will not do. Small particles of it may still remain to reproduce. The most efficient way to completely remove moss is to spray it with lime juice. This will kill the moss and effectively remove it from the medium. The graffiti can also be modified this way. Use a stencil so only the areas where moss is to be removed is exposed.
Once the graffiti is completed, store the excess in the refrigerator. This will ensure that a ready supply is at hand for use on days when an additional coat of moss needs to be added. Helping The Moss Take Root And Thrive The first couple of weeks are critical. The moss graffiti should be misted using a water spray once every other day to keep it moist.
The Basics Of Bees: On the surface, Joy and Corey are just an unassuming couple, living in a downtown Los Angeles apartment. But get them talking, and youâ€™ll
discover that theyâ€™re actually covert urban beekeepers. How (and why and for gosh sakes where) do they do it? I interview them after the jump. An interview with Joy and Corey Smith
How did you get started with beekeeping? How did you know what to do? Where did you get the materials/bees?
What’s the best part? And what’s the worst part of bee keeping? Joy: For me, the best part is the simple fact of it. We keep bees. Well, that’s really a misnomer — we host bees. I love that we’re even a small part of fortifying the bee population and there’s the honey. The worst part is when something goes wrong in the hive. You can’t help but feel responsible. Nature’s going to do, but still.
Joy: Corey has a friend who was interested in beekeeping, and as Corey says, it was a safe fantasy since it seemed unlikely we could keep bees in the city. I got into the elevator one day with the owner of our building, and on a whim asked him what he thought of keeping bees on the roof. To my surprise, he said he’d think about it. About a week later, Corey was in the elevator with the owner and he said “There’s a swarm of bees 15 feet from the front door. If you can catch them, they’re yours.” So we scrambled, called our friend who had all the materials, did a lot of things wrong, and managed to capture the swarm. No stings, all good. Luckily, that particular swarm was very kind to us. Corey: It’s like the bees found us! People freak out when they see a swarm (they’re often the size of a basketball) but there’s truly no need. When bees are swarming, they are as docile as they’ll ever be. They have no larvae or honey stores to protect and they’re just looking for a new permanent home. If you’re lucky it’ll be the one you set up for them — it’s like you’re offering them a fully unfurnished apartment and you’ve already loaded the Uhaul!
Corey: The best part? Well yeah, the honey is just incredible. But as someone with a curious nature, I love seeing what these amazing creatures have been up to since I last checked them. I often have trouble sleeping the night before — it’s like Christmas eve. The worst part? Completely agree with Joy on how personally you take it when things “go south”. I had a couple of hives take off because of a wax moth infestation. It’s devastating. Of course, I count myself lucky that as a hobby urban beekeeper we’ve had no losses to CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder). This last year was the worst ever for commercial beekeepers and it’s a huge, looming problem. Bees are very fragile organisms and are viewed as the canary in the coal-mine. Meanwhile, from all I’ve heard and read, the major agriculture businesses refuse to take any responsibility. It’s terrible.
How much time/work does it take?
Corey: About 40 hours/year is what I’ve heard estimated, and that’s just the first year. As you progress, you realize that there’s just no need to check the girls every week. Bees have been bees a lot longer than we’ve been humans. As local guru Kirk Anderson says “let the bees be bees!” Nowadays, I check them every month or so and only when I have a good reason. Every time you “crack” the hive (they seal the hive with propolis and it makes a cracking sound when you open it) the bees have to spend energy resealing the hive and recovering from your intrusion.
Joy: I highly encourage anyone who’s interested to take the plunge. Depending on where you live there will be certain things to watch out for (neighbours, etc..) but it’s a relatively low start-up cost, and the rewards are immeasurable. Corey: If you have 15 square feet you can do this. It’s funny, but “Beekeeping for Dummies” was the only book I looked at before starting, and it’s about all you need. Of course like anything, it can be as complicated and as expensive as you allow it to be, but again, the bees know what they’re doing.
Spring Gardening At last springâ€™s arrived, and
gardeners are rejoicing. So here are some top tips for spring activities in the garden to get your garden looking fantastic this spring.
Words by Yates NZ
The new range of Yates Dynamic Lifter PLUS organic based plant foods are uniquely formulated from a chicken manure base, PLUS some additional fertilisers for specific plant types. Ideal for pots and garden beds, it is compacted into an easy-to-use pellet, which rejuvenates the soil and slowly releases itâ€™s nutrients to feed your plants.
Yates, bringing gardens to life since 1883.
10 Quick Spring Tips 1.
1. Prune spring bloomers immediately after their show is over then, after every pruning job, feed the plants
. Once the soil is warm, sow summer veggies such as beans, sweet corn, pumpkins, zucchinis (courgettes), cucumbers and melons. Plant potatoes in warm areas â€“ kumara.
Feed the lawn to encourage new growth. Lush Lawn Master is a premium slow release lawn food with added wetting agents that will help carry the nutrients down to the roots.
Remove weeds from the lawn with weed killer (always read the label carefully). Then follow up with a feed. After the weeds have died, thicken the lawn by oversowing with lawn seed.
Surrender will remove moss from lawns, roofs and pathways. It also takes care of lichen, liverworts and algae in damp areas.
Watch for weeds springing up as the weather warms. On paths and driveways, apply DAS to keep the surface weed free for up to twelve months. Use Roundup to control weeds in garden beds (avoiding contact with wanted plants).
Geraniums (pelargoniums) give months of summer colour but watch for fungal leaf spots.
Divide clump-forming plants and spread to new parts of the garden. Crowded orchids, to, can be split up, then fed with Yates Orchid Food.
Roses are at their best in spring. Enjoy the flowers, but donâ€™t forget to begin protecting new leaves with a systemic fungicide.
10. Start a new herb patch. This is the season to plant basil and dill.
Rejuvenate Your Senses Taking care of the planet is important and doing your bit where possible but caring for yourself is also very important. We often get so caught up
in day to day life, rushing around we forget to stop and do something for ourselves. Here are a few ideas to help you relax and take a break from busy life.
Works on all lines. NEW Age Proof Line Smoothing Day Cream helps smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This silky-smooth formulation includes botanical hydroxyproline to stimulate and protect collagen and elastin fibres. Plant derived hyaluronic acid plumps while avocado, olive and evening primrose oils nourish and hydrate. Life is full of twists and turns. Live it well, no matter how complicated your journey.
8 Do-It-Yourself Home Facials Facials are a great way to keep your skin glowing, but they can be pricey. We asked Louisa Macan-Graves, author of Hollywood Beauty Secrets:
Remedies to the Rescue, and Elda Argenti, owner of the Plantogen skin care line, for their favourite make-at-home face masks crafted from common household ingredients. Words by Annemarie Conte
For all skin types to tone: This toning eye treatment helps to de-puff, relax, refresh and energize your skin. It’s much more cooling than the traditional cucumber slices. After cleansing your skin, brew a cup of chamomile or green tea (any fruit tea) and allow it to cool. Then soak two clean, round makeup sponges in the tea and squeeze out any excess liquid. Place one sponge on each of your eyes for around 15 minutes. Do this daily. You need to use an alcohol free toner on your skin to cleanse and tighten pores.
For all skin types to exfoliate: Combine 1 tea spoon honey and 1 tea spoon olive oil. Separately, prepare a packet of plain oatmeal, using less water than called for so it forms a thick paste. Next, add the honey and olive oil mixture to the cooked oatmeal. Apply as a scrub, gently rubbing it in small circles over your skin, avoiding the eye area. Rinse off with warm water and pat dry. This mask can be done twice weekly.
For all skin types to brighten: Cut a slice of ripe papaya and remove the seeds and pulp. Rub the inside of the papaya peel on your cleansed face, focusing on lines around the mouth and eyes, crow’s feet, thinning temples, neck and hands. Let it dry for 15 to 20 minutes, then rinse with tepid water. This mask can be done twice a week. The enzymes in papaya exfoliate, repair sun damage, diminish age spots and smooth skin. Your skin will look brighter, with a more polished finish.
For all skin types to cleanse: For this facial, combine 1 table spoon plain Greek yogurt with 2 tea spoon olive oil and 1/2 tea spoon lemon oil. The mixture should be a little bit runny but not easily poured out. Massage it over skin, then immediately wipe it off with a washcloth soaked in tepid water. This can be done daily. You want to use good-quality oil and you’ll be surprised at how clean your skin will feel. You don’t need a harsher product, even for skin with acne. Be careful around the eye area the mixture tends to be sticky.
For Oil- and Blemish-Prone Skin to Lift & Tighten: Combine 2 table spoon plain yogurt with 1 the juice of one lemon and apply to your cleansed face and neck. Let it dry for 20 to 30 minutes. Youâ€™ll feel the mask tighten on your face and neck, which creates a lifting and firming effect. Leave it on longer (up to one hour) for even more face-lifting effects. Once done, rinse with tepid water followed by a cool rinse. This mask can be done two to three times a week or whenever you need a face lift. This instant face-lifting mask helps fade age-spots, acne scars and even helps keep blemishes and acne in check. It also gets rid of uneven-looking skin tone.
For Dry Skin to soothe: Combine 2 table spoon honey with 1 table spoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. Apply to your clean face and leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse with tepid water followed by a cool rinse. This can be done three times a week. This mask heals, moisturizes and balances the pH of the skin. Honey is a humectant and natural antibiotic that heals and moisturizes. Apple cider vinegar helps balance the pH of skin and soothes damaged skin.
For Dry Skin to brighten: Combine 2 table spoon sour cream with 2 table spoon honey and 1 table spoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. Apply to your cleansed face and leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse with tepid water followed by a cool rinse. This mask can be done twice a week. This mask heals, exfoliates, brightens and moisturizes skin. It refines pores, fades acne marks and prevents blemishes from coming up.
For dry skin to moisturise: Oatmeal and fennel are recommended to help moisturise dry skin. Grind 1 table spoon oatmeal in a blender and set aside. Add 1 table spoon fennel seeds to 1/2 cup boiling water to make a tea. Allow the seeds to steep for 10 minutes; strain the seeds and discard. Let it cool down to room temperature and then combine 1 table spoon of the fennel tea with 1 table spoon ground oatmeal and 1 table spoon honey. Apply the mixture to your clean face and leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse with tepid water followed by a cool rinse.
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The gift of learning to meditate is the greatest gift you can give yourself in this lifetime. Sogyal Rinpoche
6 Life-Improving Benefits Of Yoga Words by Nicola Majocchi
You’ve heard the perks of regularly hitting the mat, yet 70 percent of you still aren’t prone to pose, a Self.com poll reveals. Take a closer look at how health and happiness go up with every Downward Dog. A sunnier outlook. There really is something to the “happy yogi.” Doing one hour of asanas—a sequence of standing, sitting and balancing posesó helped avid posers raise their levels of the brain chemical GABA (low levels are linked with depression) by 27 percent compared with a group who read quietly, a study from Boston University School of Medicine and McLean Hospital reports.
Confidence. Yoga could be your ticket to body love, research from the University of California in Berkeley finds. Women who practiced regularly rated their body satisfaction 20 percent higher than did those who took aerobics, even though both groups were at a healthy weight. The secret may be that yoga asks you to tune in to how your body feels and what it can do—not how it looks.
Aches erased! Put nagging lower-back pain behind you. Sufferers who did two 90-minute yoga classes a week for about six months eased soreness by 56 percent, a study in Spine shows. Those given treatments like pain meds and physical therapy lessened the hurt by only 16 percent. Posing improves posture and strengthens back muscles to keep aches at bay, researchers say.
Top-to-toe toning. Smart yogis know dumbbells aren’t the only way to sculpt. “Yoga is strength training,” says Loren Bassett, an instructor at Pure Yoga in New York City and creator of Bassett’s Bootcamp, a vigorous, athletic-style yoga class. “You’re using your body weight to move from posture to posture, and in certain poses, you’re lifting every pound of it.” For surefire firming, focus on muscle-building asanas, like Crow, Crescent, Warrior III and plank.
Better Zzz. Insomniacs fell asleep 15 minutes faster and slept an hour longer each night after two months of doing a 45-minute series of yoga poses daily before bed. Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital speculate that regular practice helped people relax, making it easier to switch off. No trouble hitting the hay? Doing three weekly sessions at any time of the day may still help you doze more deeply, according to study authors. Sounder nights, brighter days!
A sense of calm. Namaste the stress away! Women who had gone to the mat at least once a week for two years or more released 41 percent less of a tension-triggered cytokine (a type of protein) that can make you feel tired and moody compared with yoga newbies, as found in a Psychosomatic Medicine study.
As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness. Henry David Thoreau
The Joy Of Living Simply Words by Penny Robertshawe
ife can be fast paced and chaotic. In the pursuit of a successful career, getting the right qualifications, keeping up a social life and just generally working towards your goals, you can end up feeling depleted and overwhelmed. Simplicity brings you back to what is truly important to you by slashing through the clang and clutter that fog your thinking and weigh you down.
it becomes more flowing; it doesn’t cling to anything any more; it doesn’t even wish to cling to anything. If you tried to cling to anything you’d be holding your breath.” If you find following your breath a challenge, take heart. “Sometimes sitting with the breath is not so easy,” says Ajahn Khemaravo, Buddhist monk at the Wat Buddha Dhamma Forest Monastery.
Falling into simplicity Cutting out the things that make life more complex begins with discovering what it is that you truly value. This process involves increasing your awareness. Susan Murphy Roshi, teacher at Zen Open Circle, says “Simplicity is actually quite difficult because it’s much easier to fall into complicatedness than it is to fall into simplicity. You have to let simplicity find you. You have to make yourself available.” One way of letting simplicity find you is to quieten your mind. A regular meditation practice helps with this process.
“The mind doesn’t switch off because it’s not conditioned to doing nothing. It’s always kind of prodded along to do things, to plan things out, to comment, to have inward conversations, and that gets pretty tiring. That’s why people get a bit grumpy and depressed — they’re overworking their minds. During meditation you let it slow down, rest a little bit. And the slowing down comes through letting things be and accepting things the way they are.” Eastern philosophies aren’t the only ones to recognise the benefits of sitting in silence. In 17th century Britain, as a reaction to the increasing complexities of the high church, some Christians sought a return to the simplicities of early Christianity. It was in this context that the Quaker movement emerged as a group that sought a direct inner experience of the spirit through silent worship. During silent worship, Quakers develop their own beliefs through personal experience, which they can share with the group if they choose to.
“When you allow your mind to grow less busy and more still, a little bit more space appears between thoughts,” says Murphy. “The main way to get clear in your mind is to sit with your spine upright and follow your breath. Just breathe in with awareness of breathing in; breathe out with awareness of breathing out. “When you pay your breath your full mind, your mind becomes more like the breath:
5 Natural Room Scents Add fragrance to your home using simmering waters infused with spices,
herbs and fruit. These jars of goodness are prefect to sit in your home and look stunning or a perfect wrap up gift. Words by Monica Matheny General procedure: Combine the ingredients in a 2 cup (pint) jar or container, or in a pan on the stove top. Cover them with water and heat.
Make ahead and... Store in the fridge. Uncooked jars of scented waters will keep in the fridge for 1 to 2 weeks, so you can make these ahead to have on hand. I recommend adding all of the ingredients, including the water, to the jars before refrigerating them. I’ve tried refrigerating the fruit/spice/herb combos in jars without the water, but they don’t last as long that way.
Scent 1: Oranges, cinnamon & cloves This is my favourite, both for it’s wonderful aroma and for it’s staying power. This scent carries into multiple rooms better, and can be reheated to scent your rooms for several days. Scent 2: Lemon, rosemary & vanilla. A similar scented water is often simmering in some stores. It has a lovely freshness to it. Scent 3: Lime, thyme, mint & vanilla extract. This combination has such a fresh, pleasant scent. I initially made it without the mint extract, but have found that it really kicks up the aroma. Scent 4: Orange, ginger, and almond extract. This is a sweet, delicious scent. Scent 5: Pine or cedar twigs, bay leaves, and nutmeg. If you have whole nutmeg, use a microplane to grate off the outer surface, this will release the scent. Add the whole nutmeg piece along with the gratings.
Freeze them. Freezing both with and without the water added work fine. I haven’t tested them in the freezer longer than 2 weeks, but I’m confident that they can be frozen for a month or longer. Make sure you use freezer safe jars. How to heat the scented mixtures. There are a few options of how to do this all of which work well, all involve adding the ingredients into one pot and applying heat. These include stove top, uncovered slow cooker, candle warmer and fondue pot methods.
Use Your Coconut Words by Linda Lew
nsurprisingly, most people think of coconut as a nut when it is in fact a fruit, or more specifically, a drupe. Simply put, drupes are fruits that have outer flesh surrounding a single, hardened shell or pit and include mangos, olives, peaches and nectarines. Grown in many tropical regions, the coconut palm can live for up to 100 years and yields around 50 coconuts a year. And although coconut takes a starring role in many of our favourite cakes and curries, the tree itself is one of manâ€™s most valuable plants.
including herpes, bacterial and fungal infections and even Alzheimerâ€™s disease, and that it can assist with weight loss. This is attributed to its amazing nutrition profile, rich in lauric acid, which has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. Besides having therapeutic benefits, coconut oil is also used in shampoos, massage oils, moisturisers and skin care creams to provide rich nourishment directly to the skin and hair. Life-giving water The clear liquid inside young coconuts, known as coconut water, is biologically pure and sterile, and rich in amino acids, proteins, vitamins and minerals. The water is said to have a similar chemical analysis to our own intercellular fluid and was given to soldiers intravenously as an emergency blood replacement during World War II. Coconut water is full of electrolytes, making it a refreshing, healthy drink.
The tree of life. If you were stranded on a deserted island, and you could have one thing, what would it be? It may be fun to think about, but if it ever should happen, just hope that your island is well populated with coconut palms. Not only is the flesh and juice of the coconut highly nutritious, the tree itself has many materials that can be used for shelter and tools. The husk fibres of the coconut shell are commonly used to make ropes, mats, brushes and sacks, while the hard shell itself can be crafted into bowls, buttons, musical instruments and trinkets. The tough leaves of the palm are ideal for weaving, while the trunk wood is becoming increasingly popular as an ecologically friendly alternative to endangered hardwoods.
Miracle oil One of the things that make coconut oil unique is that itâ€™s made up of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) which are also found in human breast milk. Almost every other edible fat and oil is made up of long chain triglycerides. The MCTs from coconut oil are easily digested and absorbed and are very nourishing. For this reason, they are often used in hospital and baby formulas. Research shows that a diet rich in MCTs can result in an increase in energy, a rise in metabolism, an increase in calories burned, a decrease in food consumption, lower body fat mass and reduced body weight!
Amazing health benefits Coconut not only adds variety and flavour to foods, it is also loaded with vitamins and minerals and is high in fibre. Coconut oil, one of the healthiest fats available, is of particular value thanks to its unique healing properties. Studies have shown that coconut oil can be useful in treating a number of conditions,
Grass, mud and straw. Its why our hams taste so good.
Farmed the Freedom way, no exceptions. www.freedomfarms.co.nz Find us in all good supermarkets and specialty food stores.
Happy pigs Gregor Fyfe is an animal welfare advocate, keep environmentalist and passionate about ethical business and consumption. He and brother
Cameron have set up an ethical consumer brand, Freedom Farms, to farm happy pigs the natural way.
Words by Christine Nikiel it’s all natural clean, green, farming but we’re actually moving away from that.
Background When Gregor Fyfe couldn’t find out the origin of the pork he ate, he spotted a gap in the market: a free-range pork-sourcing company that could prove its product came from happy, healthy pigs. So he and younger brother Cameron set up Freedom Farms, which sources pork from seven pig farms, and asked the SPCA to write a code of welfare from its porkers, and to monitor their health and wellbeing. Fyfe’s background in sales and marketing make him especially brand savvy: in the 1980s he bought sportswear brand Puma and fast food operator Kebab Kid to New Zealand. And the brothers Fyfe helped make environmentally friendly products retailer EcoStore a household name.
Is yours a philosophy being applied to other businesses? Yes, it’s not just in food. We believe there’s a growing worldwide consumer consciousness of raising the bar, wanting companies to say, ‘we’re not an anonymous corporate; we’re real people with real values and we’re prepared to say what the standards are’. What sparked the idea? My family sits around the table and thinks about where their food comes from. We were able to buy free-range chickens and eggs, but we couldn’t find any pork that could be traced back to where it had come from, and how it was raised. And the more reading you do the more you want to find out.
Are you trying to start a revolution? We are actually. The brand is ‘Freedom Farms, naturally farmed food’ and we believe there is an increasing number of consumers looking for naturally farmed products. A lot of farms these days are more like intensive production units than farms, and with that you get questions about the impact of intensive farming — questions about animal welfare, the excessive use of growth hormones and antibiotics. That sort of thing isn’t often communicated to the public, and in New Zealand, because we come from a clean, green, natural environment, we just assume
What convinced you that it would work? International trends. Free-range eggs are our best parallel and they’re in every supermarket now. In Europe you can buy free-range and organic produce in all categories. Also, in New Zealand nearly 45% of pork is imported so farmers here have to compete with the world commodity price of pork, as well as the huge economies of scale the international market has. We said to farmers, ‘if it’s produced this way, we can pay you a premium and you don’t
have to compete with intensively farmed pork from a country that has untraceable systems’.
on a factory on day one. What is your business model? We out source from farms in the South Island — we don’t own them. We have a supply partner who manages the farm production and owns an abattoir so we can trace the meat from the farm to the cutting room to the bacon factory.
What were the challenges involved in setting up the business? Supply lines. To be truly successful you have to convince all consumers this is an issue they should be addressing. Supermarket groups were supportive of the concept and brand, but we had to convince them that we’d have ongoing supply. They needed to be sure we weren’t fly-by-nighter. Also, there was an assumption that all piggies were raised in open fields, like all our sheep and beef. When they read facts about how production of pork is now, they did understand there could be a niche market. Another challenge was getting consumers to recognise that we offer products that are better than the other products in the supermarkets and that by spending a little more they could make a difference. There’s a huge awareness of the plight of the laying hens and a very low awareness of the huge number of pigs farmed in the world in similar conditions.
Have you been successful? I think it’s a success that we’ve had such support from supermarkets. They’ve given us shelf space that far exceeds our brand share. Our market share is absolutely tiny; we’re in roughly 50% of supermarkets now. But Countdown will tell you that 50% of its egg sales now are free-range. Who’s your local competition? All other bacon and ham suppliers. An Australian company just started bringing in free-range bacon and ham. But the key point difference is the SPCA certification. The SPCA monitors the animal welfare issues, and we have an independent vet consultant who monitors control of tricky chemicals, growth hormones and antibiotics.
Why did it take two years to source enough farms? All farmers were open to the idea, but it was a whole new brand for them. How would I put this? I think farmers are quite defensive about the way they’ve always done things. Traditionally the pork industry had not been very public, because it’s become an intensive industry, and we wanted to open things up. Most of the drivers for producing meat [come down to]price. If all farmers have ever been told is ‘make it cheaper’ then animal welfare can be compromised.
What are the costs for farmers in traceability certifications? It’s relatively small but the key to all this is having enough consumers say it’s important and so the market niche is significantly large for enough farmers to say it’s worth them paying the extra. Are you organic? No. I believe you’ve got to be verified by the third party. We’d have to import grain and we think that’s fundamentally wrong. Some of the farmers grow the grain on their own properties and that’s got to be better than importing it. Of course, we encourage our farmers to grow their grain as organically as possible, and we monitor exactly what goes into the feed.
How profitable a business is it? All our investment is in advertising, promotion and people. If we stopped promoting we’d make money straight away. When you start a brand with unknown potential it’s sensible to build from the resources you have and grow them rather than spend several million dollars
Bacon, Egg & Mushroom Tart (AKA man pie) 6 large free range eggs 4-5 table spoon cream 1/3 cup of Feta cheese, coarsely crumbled 1/2 cup of thinly sliced mushrooms 1 red capsicum, cut in cubes 1 pinch of hot red pepper flakes 1 pinch of thyme salt & pepper
For the pastry 3 cups sifted white flour 175g butter, chilled and cut in tiny cubes 2 table spoon of cold water 1 egg yolk pinch of salt For the pastry filling 2 tea spoon olive oil 1/2 packet of Freedom Farms streaky bacon,
In the bowl of a mixer beat the flour with the salt and the butter for 30 seconds. While the machine is on, gradually add in the cold water. Add egg yolk and continue until the dough is clumping up. Shape the dough into a ball, wrap with cling film and leave in the fridge while you prep the other ingredients. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Prep your pie tins by brushing the sides and base with butter. Depending on what you’ve got in the kitchen you can use wee individual pie tins, a big pie tin, or if you don’t have a pie tin with the wavy edges, you could do this with a round spring-form pan. Warm the oil in a non-stick frying pan and sauté the bacon on medium-high heat until it is crispy. Transfer with a slotted spoon on a paper towel to soak up excess drippy fat. Throw the mushrooms and the chopped capsicum in the pan (with rendered bacon fat) and sauté until they’re soft, stirring with a wooden spoon. Lightly season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the thyme and the pepper flakes. Take off the heat. Transfer the dough into the tin(s) and carefully stretch with your hands so to cover the bottom and the sides - I like it a bit more rustic looking but you can be fancy and roll it out on a floured bench if you like. Break the eggs on the pastry and scatter among them the bacon and the mushroom filling. Sprinkle with the Feta cheese and pour over the cream. Put the tin in the middle shelf of the oven. Bake for about 30-40 minutes and serve while the tart is still hot.
Going Raw Words by Linda Lew
ver noticed how much better your body feels after eating a crisp, crunchy salad as opposed to a heavy, cooked meal? You no doubt feel lighter, more energised, less sluggish and less weighed down. Well, there’s a good reason why. Some foods subjected to high temperature, lose their health giving enzymes as well as some essential vitamins and minerals. Their natural protein make-up gets altered and the fats are oxidized. The food becomes harder to digest and is less nutritious. An increasing amount of research and science is proving that there is much to be gained from eating plants, seeds and nuts in their natural, uncooked state. This is where the raw food diet has broken free from the realms of the ‘fad diet’ or ‘hippy extremism’ and burst into the mainstream as a popular and healthy diet option.
raw food diet would not include cashews in their diet in any form. It is generally agreed, however, that if someone eats 75 per cent or more of their foods as raw, they would be considered a raw foodist. But it is unrealistic and even unhealthy to totally switch your diet from cooked to raw immediately. The good news is, even if you don’t follow a strict regimen, or go the whole hog, you will still reap the benefits. By simply increasing the amount of pure, unprocessed, natural and raw ingredients into your diet, you will begin to feel better and start to enjoy greater health. So each day, ask yourself what ‘raw’ food you are going to have for that day.
So what does the raw food diet involve? Food processed below 40 - 47 degrees Celsius is used by some, including those on a strict raw food diet, as the definition of raw food. This means that gently heating meals between 40 47 degrees Celsius is accepted, so you can still enjoy a comforting bowl of warm soup when the cold weather comes around. It’s above this temperature that enzymes begin to die off and lose their benefits.
Even just a handful of nuts and seeds a day is a great way to boost your raw food content, and offers numerous body benefits including essential vitamin C, magnesium, boosting the immune system, improving anaemia and benefiting the skin. Try adding some crunchy, protein-packed nuts to a delicious salad, create your own trail mix to enjoy on weekend walks or scatter some through your morning porridge or yoghurt for delicious texture and flavour. Enjoyed together with your favourite nuts, dried fruit is also a quick and easy raw food option, as well as a great source of fibre.
Others use a looser definition, which would include foods we all think of as raw – like cashews, for instance. We see cashews in stores labelled as raw, but processing cashews from the plant includes heating their shell to around 70 degrees Celsius to loosen it for removal. These are the cashews that appear in stores as raw cashews. Those on a strict
Sprouting is also a wonderful way to incorporate living foods – and concentrated nutrients – into your diet. When sprouted, vast amounts of life force are released – starches are converted to simple sugars, fats into soluble fatty acids and proteins into simple amino acids. Remember when sprouting that not 100 % of your seeds will sprout.
Simple Chia Pie If you use blueberries, add a squeeze or two of lime. Lime enhances the blueberry flavour, and also makes pink marks in the blueberry filling. If you use raspberries, skip the salt. Experiment with the nuts used in the base. Try pistachios, you will be amazed of how gorgeous they are together with the dates.
For the base • 1 cup of Dates • 1 cup of Nuts (macadamias, pecans etc) • 1/4 teaspoon real Vanilla (the black seeds from a pod) • A pinch of Himalayan salt
For the filling • 1 cup Berries of your choice • 3 teaspoons of light Agave nectar or honey • 2 tablespoons of Chia seeds • 1/4 teaspoon real Vanilla • half a banana
Pit and soak the Dates for 5 minutes. Grind the nuts into a flour in your blender or food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until you have a dough. Press down the dough on a plate or pie form measuring about 8 inches (20 cm) across.
Add all of the ingredients to your blender. Pour the filling over the base and add some berries on top. Put in the fridge to chill a couple of hours or overnight.
Chocolate Mousse With Banana Cream For the Chocolate Mousse 2 pears/avocados 1/3 cup chocolate powder 1 cup maple syrup or liquid sweetener 1 tablespoon vanilla extract pinch of salt 1/2 cup water
For the Banana Cream 1 banana 1 cup coconut water Meat from 2 Young Thai coconuts 1/3 cup maple syrup or liquid sweetener pinch salt Blend until creamy, then place in the freezer for 1 hour. To assemble this dessert, simply layer it with alternating flavours until your glass or bowl is filled. Then top it with any fruits you like. I used blueberries, persimmons, and raspberries.
Blend all the above ingredients until creamy and place in the freezer in a medium bowl.
Now the pack is as tasty as the ice cream.
Visit us www.oob.co.nz or call us at 0800 BERRIES
A Nice Dream Shannon and Rob Auton are enjoying a change in their lifestyles while gaining international recognition for OOB, their organic ice cream and blueberry brand.
Words by Robert Auton
hen Robert and Shannon Auton started OOB 11 years ago, they were a banker and an HR consultant aiming for the almost mythical work life balance. After researching possible growth markets, they decided on organic blueberries. Loaded with powerful antioxidant properties, this superfood became the basis of their sustainable, organic, independent business. “We wanted OOB to become known for being the real deal,” says Robert OOB’s managing director. “Creating our own market, being original, with quality products made the right way.”
Robert, “the taste is exceptional.” OOB berries and ice cream are currently stocked by approximately 350 specialty gourmet stores and supermarkets in New Zealand. OOB recently signed a turnover doubling deal with the Woolworths chain in Australia and launched a comprehensive rebrand that won a major design award. “Our new packaging reflects our values of down to earth honesty and delicious, certified organic goodness,” says Robert. “At the same time, ice cream is a fun, indulgent treat, so we needed to convey a sense of playfulness and enjoyment.”
Today, their scenic Matakana orchard is the hub of an international organic blueberry and ice cream brand and also their home, where they live with their 15 year old triplets, Rob’s beloved dogs, and Shannon’s horses.
Robert and Shannon are having just as much fun coming up with their new product ideas. They released a limited edition White Christmas ice cream in time for the festive season and are currently exploring some tasty new flavours for summer.
The couple grow their own blueberries and strawberries (in addition to working with growers in both New Zealand and Chile) and craft all their ice cream on site with the help of legendary ice cream guru Murray Taylor. Every product is organic and adds
For more details on OOB’s full range, as well as recipe ideas and stockist details, go to oob.co.nz or visit facebook.com/ooborganic.
Fruits Of Abundance Words by Linda Lew
rying or preserving fruit, even in the absence of refrigeration, and significantly lengthens its shelf life. When fresh fruit is unavailable, impractical or out of season, dried fruit is the best alternative – rich in vitamins. dietary minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, copper, manganese), and phytonutrients. Amazingly, sun-drying not only intensifies the fruit’s flavour, it also concentrates its nutritional contents. Deep-coloured fruit have been shown to offer the best antioxidant benefits, so be sure to choose from the full spectrum of reds, blues, purples and yellows.
in the Bible and other ancient writings. Sun dried figs offer a convenient way of enjoying this delicate fruit year-round. Dried figs are high in fibre and an excellent source of flavonoid and polyphenols. They are moist and succulent with a sweet, nut-like flavour and golden skin. Apricots. Apricots first grew as a wild fruit in China thousands of years ago. The nutrients this powerful fruit contains have been recognised since ancient times as providing many beneficial effects on general health and well-being. Apricots are ranked among the world’s healthiest foods, with their rich levels of betacarotene and lycopene. Not only are apricots bursting with goodness, they are also low in calories.
Blueberries. The delicious blueberry is one of the few fruits native to North America. With their rich purple colour, they are phytonutrient superstars. Organically grown blueberries have been shown to have particularly high concentrations of anthocyanin antioxidants, the colourful antioxidant pigments that give many foods their shades of blue, purple and red. They also contain the unique phenol-like antioxidants pterostilbene and resveratrol. Blueberries’ whole-body antioxidant support makes them stand out as an antioxidant super food.
Mangoes. Called the ‘king of fruits’, mango is a nutritionally rich, fleshy, stone fruit grown in tropical climates. The mango holds a special place in Hindu culture and is often seen to be held by Lord Ganesha as a symbol of attainment .This sweet orange fruit has many health-promoting qualities – it is a great source of the antioxidant vitamins A, E, C, beta-carotene and selenium.
Cranberries. This native North American fruit is a great source of antioxidant phenols, which are believed to play a major role in helping to support the body to fight disease-causing elements. Cranberries have a high level of vitamin C and were often kept on board ships in the early 19th century to ward off scurvy. Figs. Figs are believed to be one of the first plants ever cultivated by man, with mentions
Raisins & Sultanas. Often overlooked in favour of other ‘superfoods’, raisins and sultanas are an excellent source of polyphenol phytonutrients, including resveratrol and oleanolic acid, as well as selenium. These soft, sweet and juicy dried grapes are packed with naturally occurring fruit sugars, which are easily digested for quick energy.
Mango Yogurt Parfait You can alter this recipe to include any fruit you wish, simply substitute out the mango or layer a few different favours up the glasses. Why not try using strawberries or blueberries, puree them up and follow the instructions listed below. For the Parfait • Large ripe mangos, • 3 cups low fat vanilla yogurt
For the topping • Granola • Mixed nuts of your choice
Prepare the mangoes by peeling, pitting and cubing them. Puree1 mango and spoon equal amounts into 6 clear plastic cups. Top each with 1/4 cup yogurt. Spoon cubed mango over the top, saving a few pieces for garnish. Top with remaining 1/4 cup yogurt and reserved mango. (Recipe may be made ahead to this point. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.)
Sprinkle each parfait with a granola and nut mix just prior to serving to add crunch to the parfait, eat within 30 minutes of adding topping to ensure it doesn’t go soft.
Blueberry Cheesecakes For the Crust • 2 cups crushed digestives • 230g butter, melted • 3 table spoon white sugar
To make the cheesecake, beat cream cheese until smooth and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and salt while beating, scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and heavy cream and mix well. Let the cheesecake batter rest for around 10 minutes to remove most of the air bubbles that were formed during the mixing process. Scoop cheesecake batter into prepared crusts and bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until firm but the centres of the cheesecakes still a bit jiggly. Remove from the oven and allow to cool then refrigerate. Serve topped with chilled blueberries on top.
Combine until evenly blended the digestives, sugar, and melted butter in a bowl. Press around half a tablespoon of crumbs onto the bottoms of the muffin cups. For the topping • 230g cream cheese, room temperature • 1 cup white sugar • 2 large eggs • 1 cup heavy cream • 2 teaspoon vanilla • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt • 1 can of blueberry pie filling or chillled blueberries.
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Published on Dec 28, 2013
Gro is a magazine created to promote and make sustainable living fashionable. It is filled with inspirational stories and ideas on how you c...