A sense of place

Archeus has moved to Hawke’s Bay – and we’re loving it! This move is a reflection of how things come full circle. Archeus founder, Georgina, grew up on a farm in Hawke’s Bay at Raukawa (which also provided the inspiration for the Archeus Raukawa Tree Conservation Project). When she returned to NZ from years of living in Europe she knew she wanted to create Archeus and started out on this journey while living in back in the Bay before moving to Wellington for two and a half years.

Now Georgina, her partner Al, and Archeus HQ are settling into their 5.5 acre property nestled in the Poraiti hills near Napier. The journey comes full circle. The property is testament to the previous owners who have created stunning gardens and planted a glorious range of trees in the paddocks. They have created a wonderful foundation to build both a home and Archeus on.

Work has started on drawing up the plans for Archeus HQ, which will be located on site in a (soon-to-be) converted barn on the property. We will show updates along the way.

The gardens will take more time as we are currently taking time to study how Nature works in this glorious place: we are discovering its own particular rhythms of sun and shade, wet and dry so that we can locate our growing beds in just the right place for optimum conditions. We have also started our composting pile in order to create even richer rich soils for Archeus plants.

Archeus would not be complete without a menagerie and this is already off to a good start. When we arrived we discovered Mathilda the muscovy duck sitting on eggs, which have now hatched into six adorable ducklings.

   

Friends gave us their two muscovy ducks; Greta and Anka, who have settled in well and are enjoying the attentions of Lorenzo the drake. They are real characters and follow Georgina around the paddocks like dogs, wagging their tails and talking to her all the time. There are two ponds on the property which are home to a family of wild mallard ducks as well.

The other day we stopped in at our friends, Mariska and Erwin Blokker, in Clive to buy some of their gorgeous lillies and peonies and came away with three lambs as well. Said lambs are now happily grazing in the Archeus paddock.

 

The other part of the menagerie story are two donkeys, Jill who is 20 and Rita who is 16. They arrived after a long journey by truck and are delightful. Sadly though they appear to have suffered from laminitis over the years and arrived very lame. The vet has checked them over and now Georgina is coaxing their digestive tract back into health with herbal and homeopathic treatments. Laminitis is an incredibly painful foot condition that is triggered by a proliferation of ‘bad bacteria’ in the gut arising from eating spring pasture. Herbs such as Devils Claw are used as a natural alternative to painkilling drugs such as ‘Bute’, while other herbs and probiotics (yes donkeys benefit from them as well as humans do!) can really helpful get things working better. Accompanying this treatment will be careful hoof care to get them into a state that will help take the pressure off their feet.

There is no cure for laminitis, but in most cases with time and patience it can be managed. Rita and Jill seem to be responding well so far as they are starting to walk better and there is less heat (a sign of inflammation or injury) in their hooves. It is going to be a long road to recovery though and will require the teamwork of a good barefoot hoof trimmer, the vet and Georgina to get Rita and Jill’s laminitis under control.

The connection we have with the landscape, with Nature, plants, animals, the weather, the soil… all of these things are so important to how we also approach, and connect with, the healing qualities of the products we make at Archeus.

Coming back to Hawke’s Bay creates a sense of place as well as a sense of purpose. When Georgina returned from Europe in 2011 and was living back on the farm she grew up on at Raukawa, she painted a big canvas, and within the painting she wrote ‘It is the simple act of having my hands in the soil again at last, that gives these dreams wings and the courage so that they can fly’.

Hawke's Bay is that soil. Archeus is that dream.


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