Important notice: Earthwise Valley closed in 2010 due to the unexpected passing of one of its founders. This site is maintained as-is in tribute to the many volunteers who lent their time and energy to the Valley.

Archive for January, 2010

Large quantities of flax planted

Although not truly a flax (actually it is a lily!) the NZ Flax Harakeke is an amazing plant.  Few actions have as much environmental benefit in New Zealand as planting large areas of flax.

NZ Flax stabilises wet, erosion-prone soil and provided habitat and food for numerous species of birds, insects and reptiles.  It gives nectar to birds like tui and bellbird, and then seeds to parrots.  It is an important plant for weaving and was milled extensively in the early nineteenth century.

Many creatures live in flax.  For example “Daniela’s Prince” was found during a flax planting day!

We have been planting hundreds of flax in the lower valley and swamps, as well as along the river edge right to the sea around Tuateawa cove.

trailer load flaxrich-flax-2

Daniela meets her Prince!

Daniela is our first volunteer from Mexico and she is spending 13 weeks in the programme this Summer.  She may never go home, since she’s now met her “NZ Prince”!  haha!

This frog is in fact not a New Zealander, but actually an introduced Golden Bell Frog from Australia.  We now have a large population of these frogs breeding in the new pond created last Summer, and they do provide food for many native birds using the pond – like Kingfisher and Herons.


See full-size frog-prince photo

View more valley wildlife photos album

New gardens created

One the first projects in 2010 has been expanding and revitalising our Volunteer House gardens.  We’ve added cow poop, seaweed and ‘duck sludge’ which is gooey goodness from our new pond, fertilised by a variety birds including Pateke  – the rare brown teal that has been nesting there since Spring.

Not many gardens have the honour of being fertilised by endangered ducks – but there you have it!


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