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Joanna Pearsall
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Central North Island, New Zealand
Climate Zone:
Warm Temperate
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Awhi Farm

Posted by Joanna Pearsall over 12 years ago

Creating a Centre for sustainable practice, regeneration, research and learning.

We are in Turangi. At the south end of lake Taupo, New Zealand.

Sheltered under the foothills of Pihanga and the other big North Island mountains, we have a 10 acre (4 Ha) site that we lease, just on the edge of the Turangi town boundary.

The land was taken under the public works act in the 60s when the Tongariro Power Station project began. It was sold back to the owners about 5 years ago. It has been unused for about 25 years, so was covered in 3 m high wonderful soil building weeds: blackberry, gorse, broom, cotoneaster and more. The soil in the central North Island (where we are) is mostly just pumice. It is fantastically free draining, so trees grow well, but it is not very nutritional.

We have cut "outdoor rooms" and created gardens in them. We have planted about 100 fruit trees and lots of berry plants. We also have held a number of appropriate building workshops. Now we have temporary roundhouses (with reciprocating roofs), and earthbag house in progress, a cordwood building nearly finished and a timbrel dome sample structure.

We built an earth oven and a compost toilet (both in daily use since March 2010), now we have a compost heated shower, an outdoor kitchen and an earthoven on a trailer for use at events.

We took our first Awhi Farm PDC in Nov/Dec 2010.

Awhi, a Maori word, means to embrace or care for. Awhi Farm is the main project of Awhi Turangi Charitable Trust, which was set up as a bi-cultural trust to work in Turangi, but to be open for interested people from everywhere to come and learn about permaculture/sustainable/regenerative and to help us realise these aims. It is a registered charity, so donors can recieve tax incentives for donations.

We are as yet quite a small team, but we have had lots of help from young people of this town that we have been able to employ though a governement youth employment scheme (community max). Thanks to them we have made the porgress we have so far.

Update: March 2015

We have had hundreds of wwoofers, lots of students and many visitors come and look/stay at Awhi Farm.

We tendered for 30 huts from the local prison and set up a volunteer village, a market place (and runa wekkly market in the summer) and use several others for tool storage.

We have built a house of recycled timber.

We are finishing a small house with a catenary dome, made from pressed bricks (that were also made on site).

We have solar showers and more compost toilets.

Our gardens are now quite well developed, the fruit trees bearing fruit and the berries berrying. We also have shiitake mushrooms, chooks and have reaised several pigs.

We taught two level 5 Certificate Courses in Sustainable Practice with Otago Polytech.

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My Badges
Consultant Pdc teacher
My Permaculture Qualifications
Type: Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course
Teacher: Robyn Francis
Location: Tikitiki, New Zealand
Date: May 1992
2 PDC Graduates (list)
0 PRI PDC Graduates (list)
1 Other Course Graduates (list)
have acknowledged being taught by Joanna Pearsall
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Climate Zones
Joanna Pearsall has permaculture experience in:
Cool Temperate
Warm Temperate

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