Aotearoa Retreat Centre Project
News and Updates
New arrivals on the farm - meet the new steers!
We welcomed some new arrivals last week from nearby Bainham. We found out that some of them had actually been born on the farm! But what is a steer anyway?? Watch these videos as Steve explains.
Cow Mastitis therapy with Marie-Laure
When the vet visited, this mama cow was not given a good prognosis. She has had great care - antibiotics and anti-inflammatories, homeopathics, herbal ointment, Qi therapy and scenar therapy administered by Marie-Laure. This was the first time she had worked with a cow! Amazing work from the farm team. She is doing pretty well now.
A fine example of selfless giving from this mama cow!
The unexpected pregnancies on the farm over the last couple of months have kept Steve and Jackie busy!
The calves have been frisking away, enjoy a good back scratch and some new farm hands have had some training in moving cattle...
And just for the sake of it ... a beautiful picture of cows and view!
An inspiring story about local native plant grower, Meret Weiss and how she worked with local children to grow their own seedlings and plant a riparian strip on the farm.
A year and a half ago, Meret Weiss, founder of native tree nursery OkGrow , invited children from Collingwood Area School, where her own three children are pupils, to plant some seeds. Just a few weeks ago, those same children came to plant a riparian strip along the Onekaka river, which flows through part of the farm, with the 18 month old seedlings - a mixture of native grasses, flaxes, shrubs and trees. The children grabbed spades and got stuck in with digging holes (the ground was pretty rocky so this was sometimes a big challenge!) and then they labelled their trees so they can come back and find them in future. With a few willing parents, we managed to plant 130 seedlings before we had morning tea and then finished with a few games of ‘name the native tree tag’ on the paddocks.
The Onekaka river is special for many reasons. It is home to some of the highest densities and diversities of local fish in New Zealand and the health of the estuary it flows into depends on the health of it’s waters. One of the ways in which we can protect waterways on farms is through riparian planting.
We are so thrilled to have Meret as a neighbour - she has been a great support and source of knowledge on local soils and what grows well where. With her learning from her many years as a passionate grower, and a background in horticulture and nursery production, she holds a wealth of local knowledge and experience. It’s also quite contagious to feel her passion and joy when she talks of seeing water ways transformed following wetland planting, and witnessing the return to health of ecosystems. By growing the plants which will help restore our streams and waterways, Meret makes an amazing contribution for us today and for future generations.
She also holds an awareness and respect for local māori tikanga around plants. You can probably see why we see her as a treasure, and we really value her involvement in the farm project.
Huge thanks goes out to Meret, the teachers and pupils at Collingwood Area school, and the parents who came along that day.
On Sunday 2nd October the Ren Xue farm hosted it's first Global Awakening Day gathering - to send out our heart felt intentions for awakening to the world.
The farmhouse provided warmth and shelter from the cold wind for a beautiful practice. It really feels like a Ren Xue family home now!
We warmed the mauri stone gifted to us at the farm blessing in June and spoke our intentions into it. We closed with a waiata (song) to honour the mihi from Jackie. The waiata (Te Aroha) shown in the video below speaks of peace, faith and love for all so it was a natural and joyful part of our practice.
After some shared kai (food) the sun came out and some of us went up to the high point for a practice while others went to deal with the milking! A wonderful time and a beautiful Qifield.
Huge gratitude to everyone for being a part of this wonderful day.