Nau mai, haere mai!

Welcome to Kahikatea Farm! 16 acres in the beautiful Poukawa valley in Hawke’s Bay, where we are working towards living lightly, making a living from the land and sharing our learning with others.  The inspiration for all we do comes from the realm of permaculture which can be defined as

‘consciously designed landscapes which mimic the patterns and relationships found in nature, whilst yielding an abundance of food, fibre and energy for provision of local needs’ 

David Holmgren, permaculture originator

The three permaculture ethics of 

earth-care-people-care-fair-share-permaculture-ethics-kahikatea-farmare at the heart of everything we do.  Following the permaculture principles means that we look to nature for our gardening lessons, substitute plant species which are the most useful for us, and seek to locate all elements of a design in such a way that they are mutually beneficial to each other. That can help us design really resource-efficient and productive gardens, but, as well as that, the use of permaculture principles and systems thinking can even help us design homes, communities and businesses.  Once you have a permaculture system up and running, it is bountiful, beautiful and fun!

Our Aims and Vision

  • To create a healthy, integrated, harmonious farm based on the “whole farm” principle of self-sufficiency, nutrient cycling, minimal external inputs and zero waste.  To nurture the soil as the key foundation for the farm’s wellbeing.
  • To be as self-sufficient as possible in food, and resources for our physical needs (e.g. water, energy, building materials).  To also provide nutritious food for our extended family, friends and the local community.
  • To provide for our spiritual needs and those of others by creating a beautiful retreat where we can reconnect with the earth, where all our senses are stimulated, and where we can feel in awe of nature, finding our true place alongside the plants, animals, birds, insects and other creatures.
  • To use native plants wherever possible to help restore biodiversity in the ecosystem, and to help provide a ‘sense of place’.  To use exotics only where they have no adverse impact on the environment and fulfill a specific function, or preferably, several functions.
  • To constantly learn from the examples of other people, other cultures, and Mother Nature. By implementing this knowledge we aim to become an example of best practice in small scale sustainable agriculture.
  • To recycle this knowledge by providing an education resource for others, to share our experiences and to foster a mentality of sharing and openness for the benefit of all.  To teach by doing, and show others that sustainable living is both desirable and achievable.  In particular, we aim to demonstrate the importance of locally produced food for the future survival both of humans and plant varieties, which are inextricably linked, and to protect genetic plant diversity.
  • To provide ourselves with right livelihoods: the opportunity to perform work which is environmentally, spiritually and economically sustainable. Ideally to be able to provide right livelihoods for others too.
  • To support the local environment, community and economy in whatever ways we can.

Jo and Aaron Duff 2005