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



Looking forward to taking a mosaic class with sweetheart on the 17th. 😊🌺 Learning how to create mosaics, will be an important skill to learn for our future. Daniel and I plan upon having a few mosaic details implemented in our house, after the COB has been completed. πŸ¦‹ … Dining room table, the kitchen and bathroom – for example could have mosaic details.

When we have completed the class, I will come back to this blog post and update it with photos. ❀

Stay tuned!
Update: 2/17/18′

Had a really fun time taking the taster class with darling this morning-afternoon. ❀ πŸ™‚ I shall be taking two more classes, at the same location in Arlington, MA – which are for advanced artists. I have found, I am currently more in the abstract style of Mosaics. Which, I am not surprised with myself. haha πŸ˜› πŸ™‚ Tomorrow morning, I shall be placing the mortarΒ into the spaces of the glass and tile.

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±

Classes begin!

I am quite excited to be taking another online class for our future: “Learn how to recognize and prevent disease in butterflies.”

Here’s the brief description from the class:
FOUR weeks of online disease education and receive your β€œAdvanced Disease Prevention Certification” seal and certificate upon successful completion of the Course and Final Exam. Classes begin on February 5th.Β 

Daniel and I plan upon having butterfly weigh stations around the property, a butterfly sanctuary and a living room sized yurt-shaped greenhouse. The greenhouse shall help rear-up native New Zealand butterfly species, which shall be released back into the wild when reached adulthood.Β Β This is the first class of others I shall be taking in further education, regarding care of butterflies and wildlife/plant-hood conservation.Β β€Β πŸ˜ŠπŸ¦‹

If you would like to also take the class, you still have time to make the deadline before Feb. 5th.Β πŸ›πŸƒ

Link to class:Β

2018 is around the bend <3

The big-move is at the end of next year! πŸ˜€

So many projects have been going on, life changes for the better to etc – since the last time I wrote a blog post. πŸ˜€ I said I was going to be posting a few images of swells, etc. I got caught up in the beautiful tides of life. πŸ˜› πŸ˜€

Today I went to a volunteer interview at the New England Aquarium, to see if I could volunteer for six months. πŸ™‚ Hopefully, I can get into working with the Blue Penguins! (a native species of New Zealand) The goals are to learn as much as I can about the animals and lovely assortment of species the N.E.A. has.Β  Future plans are to one day create an organization connected with the Butterfly Forests Homestead in conservation (for both land and water wildlife/ ecosystems).

An animation I used to passionately work on back in 2011 for a total of eleven years, has been re-sparked – while I was spending time this summer at a work exchange. So, whilst working on the Butterfly Forests Homestead, the thoughts of having another business will be on the property. πŸ™‚ MagikBoom Studios! is my animation studio, and will be in a shared studio yurt with Daniel. So much research, planning, and learning is going on! πŸ˜€

When Daniel gets his second web development job (full-time career) we plan (or if he cannot make it with me, I will go myself) to take a permaculture class(es) so then I/we can get a certification in permaculture design. Taking a class in cob floors,Β  how to build a reciprocal roof and wall/shelving finishes – are other classes we plan to take in 2018. πŸ™‚ Hopefully, Daniel shall be able to take some classes with me next year. πŸ™‚

Designing swales

Shortly I shall be designing a continuation of water storage and implementing swales to the mix. When we make touchdown to our property next year, the first thing we will be ‘installing’ is a well. πŸ™‚ Soon you shall see a few drawings in this blog post. πŸ˜€ ❀

See you soon! ❀ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜‰

Visual update on the Oyster mushrooms: 10/13/2017
(Started the spawns nine days ago)

Visual update on the Oyster mushrooms: 11/16/2017


Canning .. :)

Canning is not a difficult project to do. πŸ™‚ All one needs is mason jars (boil the glass, lids and rings separated in a pot of water: seven minutes), pears (just ripe, sliced into sections, cooked in boiling simple syrup: five minutes), a pot of boiling water (sugar, lemon juice [for a preservative]:Β  cooking the pears in), ladle, jar funnel, paper towels (for wiping the tops of the mason jars, metal rings and covers. They need to be dry and clean – for the seal to ‘pop!’) and jar grabber (I forget the proper name of the tool – but it’s perfect for getting the jars out of the boiling water so not to boil yourself too). πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜› πŸ™‚

The simple syrup ratio of lemon juice, is roughly one table spoon per quart of water. Half a table spoon is fine. I used a cup in a half of sugar for two gallons.. you can easily look up online for what others say.. I just guessed. πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚ A large pot of simple syrup will house six to eight quarts of canned pears.

Make sure to boil your jars, lids and metal rings for at least seven minutes. This will sterilize the mason jars, so no bacteria is present. The syrup you use to boil the pears in will also be the liquid you pour into the full mason jars of pears. You want to make sure the pear syrup is boiling before placing in peeled and halved pears. Cook the pears for a total of five minutes. When pouring the simple syrup into the pear jars; fill them to the top. As long as the pears are completely submerged in the scalding simple syrup – they will be safe from bacteria forming. Label and date your mason jars and place in a cool, dry, non-lit place. Allow the canned pears to cool to room temperature before placing them in a refrigerator.. Also, if you wait for at least a month before eating- the pears will be super-extra yummy! πŸ™‚

* It is very important to get all of the bubbles out of your mason jars. Having a long spoon, butter knife, or chop-stick works great for getting the bubbles to the surface before sealing. If air bubbles are trapped in the canned goods, this can give the potential of bacteria forming, making the canned goods toxic (people could get sick).

Thoughts of koi ponds.. <3

This afternoon Daniel and I attended one of his Bach-B-Q socials. The host of the party had a lovely established garden, which was very much permaculture like. πŸ™‚ He had a large patio with hardy kiwi and three-type seedless grape arbor. Behind it, laid a beautiful koi pond with waterfall. I asked the host of the party if it had an air pump, and he acknowledged it indeed does. πŸ™‚

When Daniel and I create the Butterfly Forests Homestead, we are going to have a three pond system for filtering grey water; with adjacent waterfalls to connect the three. Edible aquatic plants shall be on the third pond, along with koi fish to help with fertilizer. πŸ™‚

Creating Traditional Raised Beds

On the last day working as an intern at Cricket’s Cove, I learned the super-easy way to create raised beds in a pre-weeded garden plot. The day before, a fellow intern and I weeded the four raised beds on the farm. It only took a bit of muscle and a prior day of flooding each bed with water to soften the soil around the roots. πŸ™‚

We only used a few tools – wheeled hoe, basic hoe and a few shovels. It took roughly a total of twenty minutes to complete. πŸ™‚ ❀

Last week, I helped harvest bamboo for the first time and worked with a few other interns to construct a bamboo fence. We have troubles with deer in the area, so this will help deter them from walking in at night. πŸ™‚ Thank goodness, we do not have to worry about deer entering our future homestead in New Zealand. πŸ˜€ haha The hunting areas where deer flock (as far as I know) do not roam around Mangonui. ❀

The future plan is to use bamboo for various projects around the Butterfly Forests Homestead. There shall be a possible idea of creating a ground barrier that will be deigned for bamboo to grow, without the plant taking over.. we shall see what route we take in order to have a supply of bamboo. . πŸ™‚ πŸ˜‰

*Of course, one can also plant a two tier effect hedge of plants deer do not like to eat around the property. . Or nasty bushes and plants that will cause them to pause or stop. I do not think that shall be an issue in all-honesty .. or something we will have to consider later on. πŸ™‚

Fall ‘preparal’

Starting today, a fellow intern and I shall be planting seeds for the fall harvest. Vegetables such as romaine, butter-crunch, etc (head lettuces). I am not one who is used to growing seasons all year long. In the sum of it all, this is great training for me. πŸ™‚

Below photographs, are a few trays of what we started. πŸ™‚

I come originally from New England where all four seasons appear in extremes. The snows are in tidal waves of blizzards in groups of three. Since climate change has reared it’s ugly head -in the past seven years snow has become more gradually less and less harsh in Vermont. . . Concerning, yes. But- this is why I am glad this internship has odd flows of droughts, to mild climates. I need to continue my grasp in being able to adapt to ever-change: the routines first world pampered humans assume every year/day is a bubble-fantasy .. Mother Nature is unpredictable at times, yet does indeed have a rhythm .. but if the balance is ‘jarred‘ by us in overtime-negligence; nature then has to re center it.. and this re-balancing is certainly not always so pleasant, to our desired comfort.

*steps off soapbox* -Continues on with the seeding post. πŸ˜›

So, what we shall be doing in regards to making sure we have an ongoing crop of produce – is to space out the plantings. The seeds will be placed in four packs with a gap of a week in-between each sewing. πŸ™‚ The produce we grow at our farm shall be helping feed delighted customers – anxiously waiting. They have been asking: “Do you have any lettuce ready yet?” for the past month I have been working here. πŸ™‚