Sustainable Living Course Tutors
These are our core tutors for your 11 week learning experience. Please join our newsletter to receive updates.
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.
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.
I have been an avid advocate for the Environment and Community since I did my Permaculture Design Certificate in 1995 and have built on this ever since. Whilst in NZ this is mainly practised with gardening and lifestyle block layout. This design system can and is applied worldwide to business, transport, settlement layout,… anywhere were humans interact with the natural and built environment, and after many years of travelling and interacting with other Permaculture Designers, I apply it to everything often automatically.
Christopher Alexander’s Pattern Language is another influential wisdom I draw on to design the built environment, besides the many various teachings and experiences over time.
In 1999 I did an Advanced Course in Ecovillage and Sustainable Settlement design with Robyn Alison from Earthsong and Robin Clayfield from Crystal Waters in Australia. Since then I have been part of a design panel for many settlement designs and cohousing/cofarming projects and mainly learnt what not to do - and what seems to work. Udaia’s project in Paeroa, Jill’s family farm conversion south of Auckland, Boatharbour Rd community,Cohousing attempts in New Plymouth, Atamai, cohousing/co-farming project Upper
I have also studied legal structures for ownership and the invisible structures of how humans interact with each other and what ought to be in place to make this pleasant. For this purpose I also took part in Erik Engwicht’s place-making course and workshop.
I have dealt with many different councils and have developed a lot of skills in the process, before taking papers at Massey University. Designing properties or subdivisions and writing resource consents for these, has become part of my portfolio.
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.
Natural Building/Personal Sustainability
Rita has lived in Golden Bay since 1998 of which 17 years were on a remote hill, 600 meters high, near the Abel Tasman Park.
Together with her partner, they built a strawbale house, their own waste system, had a bubbling spring for water in the native forest, growing food and milking goats and lived as an unintentional community with Anahata Yoga Retreat and 3 other families.
On that hill all kinds of earthbuilding projects happened from round load bearing strawbale to cobb and light earth. Their house was an infill straw house with wooden frames on high posts.
She is now in town and grows food more efficiently due to better climate and loves the smaller plot which makes her to come up with efficient and effective ways to use her land.
Says Rita, "I love the Sustainable Living Course and am thrilled to be part of it. A welcome from heart and soul to All of you."
Personal Sustainability/Possibility Management
New beginning March 2021, we have invited Ana Norambuena and her14 years of experience with Possiblity Management to join us and create a framework for greater personal well-being and sustainability for course students and tutors.
Chilean by birth, Ana is a world explorer now living in Takaka, Golden Bay. She is a mother of two and truly enjoys creating authentic relationships – as well as supporting others in that. She has lived in New Zealand for 3 years and loves its nature, its abundance, and its people. Ana wishes from her heart to uncover more of the vast possibilities available in this beautiful country by helping Possibility Management to land and grow in New Zealand.
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.