Food is my life. It has always been a driver for me, it is integral to our existence, so let us create the space to enjoy it to its full potential.
Food is a holistic thing for me… it’s not only taste, but how was it grown, who nurtured it, did it bring value to their life, does it come from a sustainable model? Is it even nourishing? What is the true cost of it, when you incorporate factors such as transport, waste, inefficiency, health of the plants, health of the workers, health of the surrounding environment, soil degradation...
I was given a wonderful opportunity in 2016, which allowed me to quit my corporate career and start the journey of becoming a farmer, through my love of food. I spent the next three years in the Bay of Plenty on 16ha teaching myself aspects of biodynamics, organics, regenerative agriculture, and self sufficiency. I taught myself, as the world I currently live in, sees many of these systems or ways of farming, on the outer. I was primarily market gardening, but also established an orchard, raised cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, bees, pasture free range chickens and over subsequent years helped take this farm through the organic certification process. I want to help you learn, and bring all these wonderful concepts into the mainstream, for us to all live more authentically, and connected to ourselves and nature.
On the journey to learn even more, particularly in a more commercial setting, I spent the next two years on a 51 ha biodynamic farm in Marlborough, New Zealand, which included 22.5ha of vineyard. This is where I truly fell in love with biodynamics and the potential for what it can bring to our lives, but also deeply further engrained the necessity of biodiversity and fostering authenticity to the connectedness of ourselves and nature.
“Look deep into nature; then you will understand everything”
A form of agriculture very similar to organic farming, but is a deeper holistic, ecological and ethical approach, not just to farming but also gardening, food and nutrition. Drawn on a series of lectures in 1924 given by Rudolf Steiner, it includes various esoteric concepts and treats the farm as its own living organism, looking to be self-supporting in nature without the use of off-farm inputs. Often remarked, ‘Food tastes as it should’ when grown biodynamically.
In response to what we now call ‘conventional agriculture’ in the 20th century, organics is a system of farming practices that only use natural substances, therefore avoiding the use of man made fertilizers, pesticides, growth regulators, and genetically modified organisms. Previously known as ‘agriculture’.
A rehabilitation approach to farming, focusing on topsoil regeneration, increasing biodiversity, improving water cycles, supporting biosequestration, and increasing resilience to climate change. Based on philosophies in combination such as permaculture, agroforestry, no-till, and holistic management to build a resilient future.
Also known as homesteading, or lifestyle blocks, and possible in a rural and urban setting. A food production system that works with nature to make the most of what you have. Also encompasses processing your own foods such as preserving, ferments, and often small scale using low external inputs.
Community Supported Agriculture
Also known as ‘CSAs’, this form of agriculture is subscription based and a direct relationship between farmer and the consumer. It is a shared commitment to building an agriculture system that is more local and equitable, allowing the farmer to focus on good practices whilst still maintaining productive and profitable farms.
Our bodies hold memories and understanding from our ancestors, which I came to know first hand when I left a corporate career and became a farmer. Having no prior experience of the rhythms of agricultural life as I grew up in the ‘city’, there were parts of me that already knew and understood what I was embarking on.
Planting by the moon
As old as agriculture itself, from the days where our ancestors were deeply in touch with the cycles of the moon, planting by the moon has had a resurgence in recent years. Different tasks are completed on different days, such as sowing, transplanting, harvesting, pruning. In biodynamic agriculture, further constellations are included to determine the best period. If you would like to learn more, please check out the Planting by the Moon Masterclass here.
Nature is our greatest teacher, if only we give the space to listen.
Experienced in a variety of fields and understanding, Monique is available for consultation via zoom, and also on location within New Zealand.
Lifestyle blocks, to farms, to backyard gardens, to personal diet, no project too big or small to start working in harmony with nature and her wisdom. Timeliness is key, so contact me below, and let me help you hear what your land and your environment is speaking to you today.