- Commenced: 01/03/2005
- Submitted: 26/08/2012
- Last updated: 26/08/2012
- Location: 389 Korito Road, RD1, New Plymouth, New Zealand
- Phone: +64 (0) 6 7522181
- Website: www.korito.co.nz
- Climate zone: Warm Temperate
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Community projects are projects that help develop sustainable community interaction and increase localised resiliency.
Project TypeRural, Demonstration, Educational
The almost bare block of 10 acres has been developed along permaculture lines to create a learning environment for people wanting to know more about self sufficiency. There are opportunities for people to observe and help with growing their own food, seed saving, recycling, renewable energy, energy efficient building, using local materials, or help and advice with making the move towards setting up their own property. Regular courses are run from the property in all aspects of gardening, self sufficiency, permaculture and biodynamics. There is accommodation available for ‘eco’ stays, where people can come and live a low-impact lifestyle with renewable energy, composting toilets and eat with the seasons.
Korito Education is nestled at the foot of Taranaki – a stunning 2500 metre mountain that dominates the surrounding landscape. The property is 420 m above sea level, and is on the edge of the national park. It has a cooler climate than New Plymouth which is the nearest town - 20 mins away on the coast. Rainfall is about 3-4m per year.
Dee teaches organic horticulture as well as practical gardening workshops from the property, gives tours to interested groups, uses the property to show working examples of permaculture, and teaches permaculture and biodynamics. She also runs workshops for local community groups, gives talks and demos to other groups and local companies on everything from sowing seeds to making a solar cooker. Dave currently works off-property as a sound engineer, but project manages and builds the main structures on the property.
The whole property has been designed as a learning experience for people so that they can go away with ideas that they can adapt to their own properties no matter how large or small.
Food is grown all year outside and in a large plastic house for the family, friends, neighbours, woofers, interns, course attendants and any excess sold at the gate. Food is dry stored, frozen and preserved in many different ways to extend the seasons and reduce food bills. The property is fully certified organic with Organic Farm New Zealand.
A bach (small house) was built initially to live in, since then a ‘pod’ has been built overlooking the lake for woofers, guests and interns to stay, and a new house has recently been completed which has been built from locally felled and milled macrocarpa (pine) timber to a passive solar design. The building has a wool mix insulation, as well as underfloor heating, solar hot water, wetback, and earth plaster walls (inside). The space inside the building has been designed to provide a living environment on one side, and a large octaagonal teaching room on the other with an additional room above, which will increase the number of workshops that can be run on the property. As many of the materials as practicable are either second-hand or purchased as leftovers from other people’s projects to keep the cost down and waste minimal. All of the buildings and infrastructure on the property have been individually costed to give people an idea of the outlay involved in undertaking the work of setting up a project such as this.
The property is off-the-grid and the renewable energy system consists of a water turbine and solar panels charging a battery system, as well as solar hot water. There are examples of a range of compost toilets and greywater systems on the property – either handmade or ‘off-the-rack’, so that people can observe a range of systems and learn about what they can live with and what they can afford.
A lake, and ditches were dug to harvest the runoff water on the property, and this water is pumped, with the excess power from the renewable energy system, up to a large water tank which then gravity feeds the gardens. Rainwater is collected for drinking water, and there are a number of smaller rainwater collection tanks throughout the property for sinks and watering systems.
The plantings on the property are ongoing - 3,500 trees have been planted so far – native, timber, coppice, nitrogen fixing and fruit and nut. Natives are constantly being raised via seeds and cuttings to continue to plant at least 400 trees a year and to sell the excess. Biodynamics plays a large role on the property, and preparation 500 is made and used regularly, as is 501, and the biodynamic compost preparations in liquid teas and composts. There are two large worm farms for recycling toilet waste.
THE CHOOK DOME/TRACTOR
We use this for moving around the mandala gardens. The chooks do the weeding and fertilizing and then we move them on and plant after them
There are ducks on the lake and through the orchard, chooks in the chook dome which is moved around the mandala gardens for weeding and improving fertility. There are cows for milk and meat, and a small flock of wiltshire sheep for meat and selling on.
Wwoofers/volunteers/interns are always welcome, particularly those with an interest in organics, permaculture and biodynamics, and are expected to work 6 hours a day for 5 days with weekends off. In return, there is good food and accommodation, plenty of access to DVDs, books and resources, and volunteers get to attend any evening classes, workshops and courses for free during their stay. Only 1 or 2 people taken at any one time. Stays can last anytime from 1 week to 3 months dependent upon the time of year and what work is available.