Natural living

Want to learn more or see things up close and personal? Come visit, relax, learn and enjoy. We offer a number of different options for people looking to visit, stay, learn and work.

Day trip

Day trip

Come to Blockhill for the day! Bring a picnic and your gumboots. Explore our young food forest, meet the Kune Kune pigs, free-range chooks, and Muscovy ducks. A great place to enjoy the country with the birds and bees.
Suitable for groups of 1 - 8 people.

Adults $10 - Children $5 - (Children under 5 yrs - free)


Work experience

Work experience

If you'd like to come and stay with us and help out with our day-to-day activities, we offer an exchange option. You give us 4-5 hours of your time and efforts per day, and in exchange you get 3 wholesome meals, snacks between meals, comfortable accommodation as well as a wealth of practical experience.

We are official WWOOF hosts and have been sharing our home and lifestyle with travellers since early 2012.

Natural living - seeking a better way to inhabit the earth

Water for everyone

Water for everyone

  water  swale  contour  Water is the essence of life and as such we need to be thinking about how to make best use of what we have. The most important work we do is to implement solutions for capturing, storing, diverting and infiltrating rainwater and runoff. This helps build soil, nourish crops, prevent erosion, minimise drought and reduce or eliminate irrigation needs.
Learn about the art of land shaping for natural rainfall catchment, a practical guide to water harvesting and management.
Make the most of the water available, direct surplus water away from wet areas towards dry areas.
Use swales and terraces to halt the flow of water and nutrient off the land and allow it infiltrate and hydrate the soil.
Aug 21, 2014
Food & crops

Food & crops

We all need and enjoy food, even our food needs food. From establishing a backyard garden to a large food forest we can help guide you towards achieving some degree of food security.
Growing vegetables, fruit and nuts is a low cost, high yield activity that can be carried out at almost any scale and with careful consideration takes very little effort.
Locally grown, chemical free food is a key component to health and vitality.
Jerusalem Artichoke

Jerusalem Artichoke

Latin name  Helianthus tuberosusFamily  Asteraceae or CompositaeHeight (m)  2.4Diameter  .60Forest layer  rhizosphereSeeds / nuts / tubers  YesEdible  YesPerennial  YesPropigation method  TubersWind tolerance  GoodSoil type  MostFlowers  Yellow
Melisa

Melisa

I grew up in the country surrounded by trees and I've always hoped to return to a rural lifestyle one day. After living in Wellington and then Christchurch, I am happy to be living in the country again and I am enjoying the peace that comes from being surrounded by nature. The Beech Trees are my favourite tree that surrounds Blockhill. And the native birds are a lovely accompaniment to the natural setting. I feel like I have returned to my roots and finally found a place that feels like home again. I've been learning many new skills such as jam making, bread baking, and food preservation as we work towards our goal of self-sufficiency.
Fertigate with ducks

Fertigate with ducks

A simple and effective way to fertigate (fertilise while irrigating) fruit trees or other productive plantings using an old bath tub. Like all good permaculture solutions, this stacks functions by providing the ducks with a source of water to enjoy while collecting their nutrient, discharging it via gravity. It could also provide some thermal mass to help nearby plants during cold times...  ducks  water  nutrient 
Maximillian Sunflower

Maximillian Sunflower

Common name  Maximillian Sunflower / DaisyLatin name  Helianthus maximilianiiHeight (m)  2.4Forest layer  herbaceousSeeds / nuts / tubers  YesPerennial  YesPropigation method  Sow pot / trayShade / Sun  Full sunSoil type  MostFlowers  Yellow
I am Cat

I am Cat

'I am CAT' is narrated by a shamelessly proud feline who is happy to be unique from other animals. The story touches on concepts of self esteem and uses humour to reveal some of the ways in which Cat prefers being himself above all else. With it's simple rhyming text and soft colourful illustrations, the story will appeal to preschool and primary school aged children, as well as young readers.

Paperback
32 pages
Colour illustrations
Spine: perfect sewnbound
Width: 280mm
Height: 210mm

Price includes standard postage within New Zealand.
Click the 'view photos' button to see sample images of the story.

$22.00
Weather or Not

Weather or Not

Weather or Not is a little book about changeable weather, changing your mind, and changing your clothes! This story covers terms and concepts of New Zealand weather. It will appeal to preschool and primary school aged children, and is perfect for young readers with its simple rhyming text.

Paperback
32 pages
Colour illustrations
Spine: saddle-stitch
Width: 190mm
Height: 148mm

Order online and get free postage within New Zealand.

Click the pdf link below to see the first few pages.

THIS ITEM IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT

  book  weather  children  melisa  illustration  $18.00Weather or not - sample p...
Butterfly weed

Butterfly weed

A species of milkweed native to eastern North America. It is a perennial plant growing to 0.3–1 metre tall, with clustered orange or yellow flowers from early summer to early autumn.Common name  Pleurisy Root, Butterfly milkweed, Rolfs' milkweed, Indian PaintbrushLatin name  Asclepias tuberosaFamily  AsclepiadaceaeHeight (m)  0.31Diameter  .50Forest layer  herbaceousPerennial  YesPropigation method  Sow pot / trayShade / Sun  Full sun - part shadeFlowers  OrangeTags    butterfly 
Water for everyone

Water for everyone

Water is the essence of life and as such we need to be thinking about how to make best use of what we have. The most important work we do is to implement solutions for capturing, storing, diverting and infiltrating rainwater and runoff. This helps build soil, nourish crops, prevent erosion, minimise drought and reduce or eliminate irrigation needs.
Learn about the art of land shaping for natural rainfall catchment, a practical guide to water harvesting and management.
Make the most of the water available, direct surplus water away from wet areas towards dry areas.
Use swales and terraces to halt the flow of water and nutrient off the land and allow it infiltrate and hydrate the soil.
Aug 21, 2014  water  swale  contour 
Babaco

Babaco

Grown under plastic. Produces large, yellow fruit pentagonal in cross-section.Common name  Babaco, Mountain Papaya, Champagne FruitLatin name  Carica x heilborniiVariety  PentagonaHeight (m)  2Forest layer  low-treeEdible  YesFruit / berries  YesFrost sensitive  YesPerennial  YesPropigation method  Cutting
The King is Dead!

The King is Dead!

This morning the king (rooster) was noted absent from breakfast around 8:30. The discovery a mass of scattered feathers at the far end of the track at 11 made his disappearance more sinister. Was it a plot by the 3 young brothers, to unseat their father as head of the tribe. Or was it some kind of wild animal?
Warning: disturbing images
Jun 04, 2010  Rooster  Death  Stoat  Ferret  Pests 
Scything like it's 1809

Scything like it's 1809

Trying out some rustic scythe techniques in the orchard. No noise, no smell, just good old fashion manual labour.
The scythe is best known as the weapon of choice of the grim reaper, basically a long, curved metal blade on a wooden pole with handles. Traditionally used for mowing grass and harvesting cereal crops, the scythe has a long history in agrarian (and revolutionary) societies.
Dec 25, 2009  Scything  grass  mowing 
Quooks!

Quooks!

Today the baby quails have hatched and the big clucky chook has become a mother! There are six babies altogether. There were 7 this morning, but that's a sad and rather funny story.....basically the little quail was sitting up in the nest box and was chirping away. It then got excited and jumped giddily out of the nest box, bounced off the ramp, landed on the floor and was promptly picked up in the beak of hungry chook who thought it was a scrap of food. We tried to rescue it, but it was too tiny to survive such a trama. But at least it got to have a near flight experience in it's short little life.Dec 05, 2009  chooks  chickens  quail 
Muscovy ducklings

Muscovy ducklings

Tags    ducks  Young ducklings enjoy exploring the swales with their motherDate  Feb 07, 2015
Rota takes a bath in a swale

Rota takes a bath in a swale

Tags    pig  swale  We have a number of swales out where the pigs live but this one is their current favourite. Nothing better for the pig than a mud bath on a hot sunny day. It seems that the action of the pigs hooves (feet) and their rolling in the mud actually help seal the swale so it holds water better.Date  Oct 31, 2013
Summer produce

Summer produce

Tags    Capsicum  Vegetable  Fresh chilli and capsicum from the plastic houseDate  Apr 08, 2015
Inverted spiral

Inverted spiral

Tags    earthworks  spiral  construction  water  Combining the popular parmaculture herb spiral concept and the desire to squeeze the maximum amount of edge into a given space, this excavated spiral will serve as an in ground water catchment feature and plant based sun trap with additional aspects such as shaped earth seating and potential fire 'pit'Date  May 24, 2015

Just like you, we need a little cash to cover the many things we can't provide for ourselves

Resilient home and lifestyle consultancy

Resilient home and lifestyle consultancy

Get the most out of your home, lifestyle and land by increasing productivity, aesthetics and value.

Use natural design and thinking to develop highly functional living environments that are diverse, beautiful, resilient and nourishing. With careful goal oriented planning and proven techniques we can optimise your land use and suggest improvements that maximise utility, productivity and satisfaction. Come and explore our working example for inspiration and to discuss your project.
  • land assessment and evaluations prior to purchase
  • drought proofing strategies and rainwater catchment for your own oasis
  • food forest advice, design and plants to create an edible, healthy landscape
  • planting advice for wind control and stock feed
  • mapping of assets and infrastructure
Contact Olmec to arrange your consultation.

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