Author Archive

Slowdown Post #10: Sweet chestnuts

09/08/2020

Jess

Sweet chestnuts are part of the bounty at Mountain Spirit during lockdown. North America saw a blight that eliminated the sweet chestnut tree from the whole continent, although through the American Chestnut Foundation, a blight resistant tree is growing. A friend of mine, John Herrington, was the executive director for a them, and I learned a little through his efforts in the early stages some years ago. Congratulations go to the foundation for doing a great job in the states. I look forward to learning more about their success in bringing the tree back.
So we feel extra grateful for these little roasters on the wood stove during the cold evenings.

Sweet chestnuts don’t keep very long, and we’re still experimenting on ways to preserve them over the winter months. Ground up into a flour, it’s great for baking, and of course, roasted on a stovetop or wood stove, they’re the best. IMAGE: Courtesy of Jessica, who helped us while woofing during lockdown.
@purenewzealand #newzealand #wanaka #lovewanaka #mountainspirit

Lockdown/Slowdown Post #9: Drying Berries!

06/08/2020

20200402_095111 v2

Rosehips and Hawthorne berries dry in the autumn sun. Pick before a frost and dry the rosehips berries, then use a food processor to break them up to make a tea very high in vitamin C. You have to watch out when picking rosehips as they have little stickers on them that can stick you! Use gloves and pick as many as you can. When making the tea, just steep and filter after grinding, then add a bit of honey.
#purenewzealand #newzealand #wanaka #lovewanak #mountainspirit

Lockdown/Slowdown Post #8: Micro Hydro Install

05/08/2020

 Drilling holes into a perfectly good micro-hydro intake box! Conner, our helper and wonderful person during lockdown helps me add anchor points which will help hold the micro hydro intake to the stream bed. It will take two pours of concrete to hold the intake in place, not to mention some bolts and chains anchored from big rocks in the stream bed, going under the cement. Only a 100 yr flood event will take this out.. if that we hope!

20200330_125226 copy

Lockdown/Slowdown Post #7: Micro Hydro

05/08/2020

The Powerspout micro-hydro in action last spring during its initial trial run, when we had a running stream. During Lockdown, it was Conner’s and my job to build a more permanent footing and structure for this gizmo, and to secure the intake. More on that later…stay tuned. We’ll show you images and text of this hydro system, called the Powerspout, how we set it up, how the company configured the system to our water flow and drop, (called head) and how it works now that we’ve got water flowing in our stream. It’s the perfect dovetail to our solar. Tons of sun in the summer and tons of water in the stream in the winters.

 

20191031_173002 copy

Lockdown/Slowdown Post #6: Prussiking up a Climbing Rope

02/08/2020

20200409_143358 copy

 Conner @mobutta_mobetta tries his hand at the next addition to our obstacle course, which we added every day to the course, the crevasse self-rescue. All that’s needed is a length of climbing rope, a climbing harness, a locking carabiner, a waist and double-foot prussik, and don’t forget a small retrieval line that serves to pull down the girth-hitched rope when its ready to be dismantled. Want more info..get in touch. I used to teach this to our clients on the flanks of Mt.Baker for Alpine Ascents I’l, before venturing out onto the glacier with them. It’s good fun and tests rope skills, and can be a good workout depending on how fast you try and get up the rope. Pitting two people against each other is also fun and ups the ante.

Lockdown/Slowdown Post #5: Micro Hydro Trench Begins

30/07/2020
20200320_181631 copy

A very long trench through glacial moraine deposits! Arggh. But for a good cause! Our Micro hydro electrical feed to the house.

One of our first projects during lockdown: We were able to pick up an excavator before the restrictions took place, Here is a very long electrical trench from the new micro-hydro unit to the house which now needed to be filled in. With the help of the excavator and our “Woofrs” (Willing Workers on Organic Farms), Jess and Conner, from the states. the backfill went well. Since this picture was taken, we’ve had the hydro system running for 4 weeks now, and it sure is rewarding! It’s the perfect dovetail to our solar panels which crank in the summer months. Since there’s a lack of sun during our winter months, the secure feeling that we’re generating electricity from the stream is a wonderful feeling. It cost a bit to get it running, but as they say, “It can be complicated living simply” Ah, not really, but there is some planning involved. It’s more than just flipping a switch and paying an electrical bill.  I don’t miss the latter though! More on the hydro system in later posts.

Rush Hour, Mountain Spirit Style

28/07/2020

A mob of sheep from Lake Hawea Station are herded by Jeep and dog past our gate and across the small ford where they pause for a drink. More than once we’ve been late because of these traffic jams, which are a welcome reminder to slow down, smell the flowers, and…the sheep.

Bumper to Bumper traffic outside our gate today

Sunrise Magic at Mountain Spirit, NZ

27/07/2020

For a brief moment, sunrise rays touch Cardrona Mountain above Wanaka, then vanish. As seen through some of our tipi poles this morning. Early bird catches the shot, or it’s gone.

Lockdown/Slowdown Post #4

27/07/2020

20200328_135518

Using a rope ladder as part of the daily obstacle course. We added a new element every day.

It was clear early on,  that lockdown with a child at home from school, was going to require creativity.  We were going to have to come up with some activities. We decided to create an obstacle course by adding a new element every day. We started by taking some old climbing rope and making a rope ladder with alternate foot loops. Make sure you make the loops big enough so they’re easy to slip into, and not too far apart. It was surprising how much rope we used! #purenewzealand #lakewanakanz #wanaka #mountainspirit #kidsactivities #obstaclecourse #challengecourse

Lockdown/Slowdown #3

24/05/2020

Lots, and lots of apples. We have 111 fruit and nut trees, most of which are apple. Conner and Jess helped us with this year’s harvest.

98602945_1634116800091036_217495739415134208_o

We then made apple sauce, butter, apple cider vinegar and maybe we’ll get at some apple crumble before we’re all done. Later you’ll see our trial and errors at making an apple press and the final results! Yum.#purenewzealand #lakewanakanz #wanaka #lovewanak
#mountainspirt #applecider #mountainspirit