Indigenous | Maara kai

Gizzy’s gardener guru: A guide to preparing māra during Matariki

Meet Adrian Sutherland, the māra kai guru using social media to share his knowledge of maramataka Māori and Matariki.

Based in Gisborne, Sutherland runs a gardening page called One Minute Gardening documenting his māra kai.

Te Ao Māori news visited his māra kai to see what some of the best ways to prepare māra were during Matariki.

“I would say using Matariki as a time of celebration but also a time of preparation going into the warmer months because now the daylight hours are slowly starting to get a bit longer.

“So that might mean keeping the garden weeded, adding a bit of compost, a bit of fertiliser like seaweed.”

Before starting his social media page he found information videos on gardening posted online too long.

“I thought, well, if I make a Facebook page or YouTube channel, I’m going to go straight to the point. That’s when the one-minute gardening came about.”

Sutherland said māra kai is the way forward, especially for those affected by high food prices.

“I think it helps us to build a more resilient culture because food has gotten a lot more expensive. So for us, say we try to grow a bit of kai all year round, not just in the spring.

“I think growing kai is the way forward, not just for Māori but for all of us really.”

He said the secret to this work lay within the land itself.

Top tips for beginner gardeners

“Keep it simple. Don’t try to overcomplicate things. It boils down to the soil, so keep using good soil and that just means adding some compost ... But just keep it simple, just good compost.”

To access this basket of knowledge, visit his ‘One Minute Gardening’ Facebook page.

Wood ash for asparagus 🔥 . I spread wood ash from our living room fireplace around the garden. Usually around our nectarine, plum, and peach trees. And over our asparagus patch also. Sprinkling a thin coating is enough, it doesn't have to be thick. We burn a clean fire, which often includes last years pruned branches from our fruit trees and no plastic. So after the wood has kept us warm and often cooked a pot of yummy kai the ash then gets used to help us grow more kai. Doing this is a good way of utelising resources well and efficiently. 👨🏻‍🌾👩🏻‍🌾 . #maramataka #growingkaibythemoon #maramatakamaori #gardeningbythemoon #lunargardening #maarakai #nzlife #sustainablelifestyle #tikangamaara #permaculturenz #tipuora #kiwilifestyle #aotearoanz #gardeninglife #nzgarden #woodash #potash #metrofire

Posted by One Minute Gardening with Adrian Sutherland on Friday, July 5, 2024