NZ-D.O.C. Online Training Courses

Yesterday afternoon, I was checking online to see how the Predator Free New Zealand 2050 program is moving along. While looking further into it, I found there are online free courses one can take; to better understand how I can help (we plan upon purchasing plots of old cattle land, that is far too hilly for a local to place a home on).

Once purchasing the ‘no-one-wants-it’/’it’s-been-on-the-market-for years’ plots, we will be slowly transforming the land back to native bush. Each plot shall become pockets of wildlife sanctuaries. I was thinking of having each wildlife sanctuary, have a trail through it – which leads to a small platform for viewing visitors. . Possibly, a volunteer/intern could watch over the land (park ranger in training).

Also we shall be creating a foundation (name of wildlife foundation TBA) for donation proceeds which help protect our wildlife sanctuaries, etc. Part of the funds, (have not crunched percentages, numbers yet) will be coming from sales made in the Flutterby CSA/Store on the Butterfly Forests Homestead.
Whilst taking my five week online course in Disease prevention of Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) from the Association for Butterflies; I shall be also be studying in conservation of NZ wildlife. ❀ πŸ™‚ *Such a bounty of knowledge at my fingertips (and classes in person) this year! πŸ˜€ Not only am I strengthening my intellect, but also my body. πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚

Since late October of last year, I have been going to the gym and taking membership classes (cycling, yoga, Pilates, Zumba and kickboxing). πŸ˜€ It is very-important to be in tip-top shape for the Butterfly Forests Homestead. There will be long days of physically lifting earth to build our home, helping lift large (re-salvaged hopefully) timber for the supporting beams, to just overall daily working hard on the farm. πŸ™‚

I do not want to find myself burn-out by the end of the first week of building our home. I would feel absolutely silly sitting/standing on the side-lines,Β  while twenty or so COB/natural earth builders are working tirelessly/more fit than me on a dream I’ve been planning for years.. Plus, I would just feel bad with not doing my part. πŸ™‚

Link to New Zealand’s Department of Conservation online free courses, can be found here:Β


Permaculture Certification

Looking forward in attending a future permaculture course in Western Mass, this coming April with Daniel love. The Permaculture Design Course, is from ❀

By gaining the necessary understanding upon designing in permaculture, will work perfectly with the Butterfly Forests Homestead. By having a certificate in this field shall also not only impress myself (loving-care to environment/wildlife and our own health), but customers as well who participate in the Flutterby CSA and purchasing products we grow from the property at the Flutterby Store.

I do plan to become 100% Organic Certified by the time we begin eating the food we grow from off the land, and to our happy visitors. Becoming Biodynamic Certified, would be lovely as well, but we are not sure if that is possible where we live. I will continue to do ongoing research to see if Biodynamic Certification is possible. πŸ™‚Β 

Also, we shall be taking a workshop from Build Naturally with Sigi Koko: Clay Finish Plaster Workshop, in Myersville, MD (right around the day Daniel and I first met in person).Β πŸƒπŸŒ»πŸ˜ŠπŸ±


Before entering as an intern at Cricket’s Cove, I did not know the term “biodynamic.”
.. What is biodynamic gardening? (google keeps trying to say it’s not a real word, in spell check; πŸ˜› Just like the word herbalism). I asked Marianne on my first day working here. Well, it is certainly a much older term then the latest catch-craze-word you see all over grocery items and ways to garden in this current time.

Right now I am studying and participating in learning about biodynamic gardening at the farm. By no-means am I an expert in this way of gardening. Even so, since learning about this approach of growing plants with your homestead, and the more I understand it – I have a strong feeling, I shall have both certified organic by New Zealand and biodynamic certified in the nearby future. πŸ™‚

It saddens me that Cricket’s Cove is the only one is the state of Virginia which is certified biodynamic. Not many farms in the United States are certified biodynamic.

If you wish to learn what biodynamic is in comparison to organic farming, you can watch this very easy youtube video created by the Biodynamic Association. They did a magnificent job explaining it at the Biodynamic Education Centre, Australia; with the gardeners at Garden Organic, UK:

Luna Moths are on their way! :D

Last evening, after returning from a hard day at work (Allandale Farm: Nursery and Greenhouse staff employee) -I felt it was time to purchase a set of three Luna Moths for the month of April. Luna Moths, as far as I have learned of them recently; tend to emerge from their cocoons in the month of April. They have the lifespan of a mere one week and have an average wingspan of three in a half to four inches. So, if I happen to receive not all males or females: my studies in Luna Moth care, will not just be the adult stage part. πŸ™‚ Β πŸ˜›

I should be getting these three lovelies on March 29th. In the meanwhile, I shall be looking for a rather large (globe shaped hopefully) terrarium, small chicken wire (to protect them from our kitties in the house/to not escape) and natural habitat plants for their transition of adoption. πŸ™‚

Once everything is set up and they arrive: I shall be documenting their progress and of anything I happen to learn with this hands-on lesson of mine. I will of course, take photos of these beautiful moths in cocoon stage and their later progress, and upload their photographs here. πŸ™‚ Maybe, I’ll even post a link from youtube to a short video (we’ll see). πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€
Update: March 29th, 2017

Hooray! The three babies are here. πŸ˜€ ~ ❀ The Luna Moths should emerge from their cocoons within three weeks. If not, I place them in the refrigerator for at least two weeks at 45 degrees Fahrenheit (the Luna Moths are probably in diapause; hibernation if they do not come out of their cocoons roughly in three weeks from now). Then I will allow another two weeks at room temperature for their emergence. πŸ™‚Β  I also shall be misting them daily to keep the cocoons moist. I placed a small glass water bowl in the terrarium nearby the cocoons to help keep the air moist.

Hopefully, they will make their debut in the next three weeks. πŸ˜€