Organic Food Growing
Avid organic gardener, edible landscaper, seed saver and community garden advocate with over thirty years experience. Sol is passionate about sharing his knowledge and inspiring people of all ages to live in a more sustainable way. He is the visionholder for the Sustainable Living Course and Centre.
Sol has a BAg (Hons) specialising in Biological Husbandry. After university, he worked in horticulture for DSIR doing tree nutrient analysis. In 1994 he started Koanga Seeds with Kaye Baxter in Kaiwaka. Sol was the co-ordinator of Waimarama Community Gardens in Nelson, and the Golden Bay Community Gardens & Sustainable Living Centre run by the Te Wharerangi Trust, of which he is now the chairperson. As the production manager here, he grew $40,000 worth of veges per year for local consumption.
In 2007 Sol started ‘Growise Consultancy’ to provide education and advice ‘to help people to help themselves’ to become food self-sufficient. Sol works with suburban-scale properties, ‘lifestyle’ blocks and farms – from commercial to private household purposes.
John has been involved with the Golden Bay Sustainable Living Centre almost since its inception in 1985 and continues as a trustee of Te Wharerangi Trust and a tutor for the Sustainable Living Course.
Over that time he has been always a gardener, always has had a deep interest in nature, the earth , all plants and the relationship between earth, plants and humans. He has been and still is a teacher of multiple aspects of plant and earth care and their well-being. He has been the co-ordinator/manager of the Gardens. Also a grower of herbs and the more unusual vegetables as well as growing and marketing salad greens before such a thing was established as a mainstream food item. His main interest is in deepening an awareness of all plants and yes, life itself and sharing that awareness gained with others.
Founder, Institute of Earthcare Education
Robina has been engaged in community development, organic growing, permaculture design and tutoring on a global scale for the past 25 years.
She is the founder of the Institute of Earthcare Education Aotearoa, co-founder of Tui Land Trust & Community in Golden Bay, NZ and pioneer of the S.E.E.D (Schools Environmental Education & Development) programme in South Africa and Brazil.
She has developed a range of environmental education resources and participatory processes for collective decision-making and action – most notably ‘Grounding Vision, Empowering Culture’, a community facilitation manual, and ‘Grow It!’, a Home Garden coaching series.
Robina has taught & applied her powerful community-building methods with households, neighborhoods, schools, farms, ecovillages & bioregions, in Aotearoa/New Zealand and many countries overseas.
Sustainable Eating: Food Harvesting, Preparation & Preserving
Being a lover of nature & the environment her whole life, Kerryn Easterbrook completed a Bachelor of Parks and Recreation Management early on. Also intrigued by good food, Kerryn spent many years working in various cafes. This lead to opening her own food business with a friend, called the Fufu Saloon, it was a caravan of yumminess devoted to organic juices, smoothies & salads.
The last 14 years Kerryn has been living in Golden Bay where with her partner has developed a block of land into gardens & built an Earth cob house. They like to inspire people to think about alternative ways of building & have people to stay in their home through Air BnB.
Kerryn is passionate about locally sourced, seasonal, organic, great tasting vegetarian food & has created a catering business around these values. She currently caters for several courses. Kerryn also produces & manages her own olive oil soap business, Clean Earth Soap. Yoga has been a part of Kerryn's life for the past 25 years so she completed her 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training & offers several yoga classes in Takaka.
Aralyn Doiron is an artist and sculptor living in Golden Bay, New Zealand.
She first encountered natural building through The Village Building Convergence, a 10 day urban permaculture initiative created by City Repair in Portland, Oregon. Aralyn, with her partner John, an experienced carpenter and builder, became popular for community-based projects that are accessible to the general public.
Since 2002, the couple have facilitated the creation of sculptural benches, ovens, newspaper and letter boxes and practical earthen structures that showcase a love of natural materials with Aralyn's passion for whimsical form. Earth plasters, paints and cob floors also figure in her tool box as well as a passion for recycling shredded paper waste from offices.
John worked as a carpenter and builder for 20 years in the U.S. before moving to New Zealand in 2007. In 2001 he was introduced to cob and natural building by City Repair, a not-for-profit organisation in Portland, Oregon. John worked on several annual Village Building Convergence events for City Repair constructing cob benches, ovens, kiosks, and other structures with groups of volunteers and conference attendees. John and his partner, Aralyn, have a passion for earth building and for working together and with others in New Zealand, where they have built ovens, floors, sculptures and earth plaster walls.
Project Management & Sustainable Business/Sustainable Living Course Coordinator
Zahra Lightway M.Ed. is an international speaker and expert in education. She has delivered workshops, keynote speeches, conferences, programmes and training events for communities, organizations, children and adults all over the United States and in New Zealand. Her work in The Community Game and related talks and workshops focuses on leveraging 21st century, adaptive & project based learning for solving social problems.
Zahra co-created The Community Game, a 21/2 day community project start up event. The project planning canvas used in the course was developed as a tool for "The Game".
She also lead the Golden Bay Sustainable Living Course team to build a world class international experience.
She is currently developing her own online training teaching parents how to teach using 21st century learning principles to maximise student potential.
With a diverse background and a lot of experience in small startup operations and community projects and activism, Zahra will guide students through understanding how to start and run a sustainable business and how to start and manage most kinds of projects.