Tanning a sheep hide – with guest Jennie Upton

For my show this week, I’ve stuck out my thumb and hitch-hiked a short way to the Kilmog, on the motorway just north of Dunedin City. I’m here to catch up with Jennie Upton who along with her partner have a lifestyle block. Jennie loves everything to do with sustainable living and especially with waste minimisation. She enjoys a challenge and her latest venture is learning how to tan a sheeps hide. Most of us have a vague idea how it’s done. As a kid, I remember preserving the skin of a ferret I found as roadkill – but I’ve done nothing like it since. Tanning is one of those traditional skills that many people would have known how to do. Tanning is a skill that has been largely lost in a short time. Relearning traditional skills enhances our resilience and often traditional skills are much lower in ecological footprint.

So what are the basics on tanning a hide? What did Jennie learn and how did she get on?

This show was recorded on the 2nd February 2019.

Listen to this programme on TANNING HERE

TANNING was first aired on the 7th February 2019 through Otago Access Radio 105.4 FM and was supported by Sustainable Dunedin City with the assistance of New Zealand on Air. Eco Living in Action’s host Dr Maureen Howard is a Sustainable Practice Educator and Communicator at Treedom NZ

Jennie Upton, with wool she will tease for spinning.

Still practicing. One of the two sheep hides that is a tad crinkly. Jennie is keen to hear from others with skills in this area.

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Stitch Kitchen – with guest Fiona Jenkin

Although fashion isn’t really my thing, I have aspirations to dress in a way that reflects who I am, even if most of the time the reality is that I just grab what’s closest in my clothes chest! Perhaps this is a good thing because when it come to sustainabilty the fashion industry has a very poor reputation. According to Eileen Fisher, an industry leader in the area, the fashion industry is the second largest polluting industry in the world after oil! I couldn’t find supporting statistics to back this up, however there is no doubting the very significant impacts that the global manufacture of clothing is having on the environment and on people’s health.

The good news is that there is also a Fashion Revolution taking place globally and Dunedin is part of that with the Dunedin Sustainable Fashion Hub based in Vogel St. In this hub you’ll find Stitch Kitchen, a trust doing all manner of interesting things to help people make better use of their clothing and fabrics: from running classes in sewing, to swapping fabrics, to helping people to reduce their reliance on plastics by making upcycled cloth alternatives.

In the studio today with me to talk about the sustainable fashion initiatives at Stitch Kitchen is Fiona Jenkin. Fiona has been a student, machinist, designer, retailer, business owner, image consultant and tutor.

Along with zero waste textile practitioner Fi Clements, Fiona is one of the founders of Stitch Kitchen, originally called Just Atelier Trust.

By Maureen Howard, Sustainable Practice Educator and Communicator at Treedom NZ

First aired on Otago Access Radio  on 16th August 2018.

Supported by Taste Nature

LISTEN HERE

 

The Eco Pantry – with guest Hagar Ozri

Often whether or not we have a healthy and eco friendly meal, comes down to what we have on hand in our cupboards at the time. I’m talking about our staples – things like potatoes and bread – the foods that we eat most days.

What should be some of the key ingredients? What staples can we make? How can we make it all more sustainable? And how can all of this help us to afford organic food?

Hagar Ozri is a cook living in Dunedin who specialises in healthy organic vegetarian and vegan food. She loves to cook and to teach how to cook better for ourselves and for our planet.

One of Hagar’s solutions for living well on the earth is creating an eco pantry where we can have the staples we need on hand at home. Food staples that are eco friendly as well as healthy and economical!

On this show I’ll be talking to Hagar about the food we consume every day and how we can stock up our Eco Pantry. And get your pen ready for Hagar will share a tasty recipe or two with us too!

First aired on Otago Access Radio  on 15th October 2018. This programme was supported by Taste Nature. Eco Living in Action’s host Maureen Howard is a Sustainable Practice Educator and Communicator at Treedom NZ

Listen to the show HERE

Hagar Ozri, The Organic Cook

Wild Crafted Medicinal Herbs of Central Otago – with Steve Parker

Wild herbs, like wild food are full of potent ingredients. They also have a small ecological footprint relative to their synthetic medicinal counterparts that come from the laboratory to be sold sealed in foil and plastic.

My guest Steve Parker is a herbalist, and co-founder of Wild Dispensary, opened in June of 2017. Wild Dispensary is a herbal remedy and tonic company. Steve collects the herbs by hand, wild from central Otago. Herbal remedies are then hand made in small batches.

Join me as I chat with Steve about some of the medicinal herbs of Central Otago such as horehound, why Central Otago is a great place for wild herbs, and what Steve would like to see happen to better protect wild growing medicinal herbs.

Please consult with your doctor before using medicinal herbs.

To listen to this programme about WILD CRAFTED HERBS please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=976b72c5-a68b-446a-97bf-6471b0db1cb3. If the link is not working – please let me know and I’ll fix it. We also endeavour to re-air our older popular shows on request).

For more information –

This show was originally broadcast on the 15th March 2018 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM.  This show was sponsored by Taste Nature – Dunedin’s organic shop

Steve Parker, Co-Owner of Wild Dispensary

 

Make your own country wines – with Heiko Vermeulen

This show was recorded at the end of August – the tail end of summer in Northern Ireland. Blackberries were ripening nicely and growing in a tangle of great profusion. After eating them fresh, or making blackberry and apple pies, the next thing to be done with such a profusion of blackberries is to make your own fruit wine.

I haven’t done a show on making fruit wine before and I feel very fortunate to have stumbled up Heiko Vermeulen who lives not too far down the road from where I am living at the moment. Heiko was born in the Netherlands, grew up in Germany and he’s now very happily living with his wife Susan on a 1 acre farmlet in a lovely rural part of the Ards Peninsula in Northern Ireland. One of Heiko’s many talents is that is he is an experienced wine maker. And what is even more interesting to me is that Heiko makes his wine influenced by his background in foraging and in permaculture.

In this show, recorded on the 24th August, I talked with Heiko Vermeulen about Making our own Fruit Wine.

To listen to this programme aboutMaking Your Own Fruit Wine please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=5b9cc74e-52c6-4720-ada0-4743822f4065

To listen to other Eco Living in Action radio shows on the Otago Access Radio Website go to http://oar.org.nz/event/eco-living-in-action-2/

For more information –

This show was originally broadcast on the 8th September 2016 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

Herko Vermeulen with the grapes he is growing for wine-making.

Herko Vermeulen with the grapes he is growing for wine-making.

Grape varieties that are fungal resistant and able to grow in temperate climates - being grown near Portaferry in Co Down Northern Ireland

Grape varieties that are fungal resistant and able to grow in temperate climates – being grown near Portaferry in Co Down Northern Ireland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First tasting of the fresh wine. Tastes good at this stage!

Dyeing Textiles Naturally – with Faye Jacobs

Most of the garments we buy are made with dyes that are synthetically produced. Depending on where they are manufactured, excess dye may end up in waterways to poison fish and invertebrates. In contrast, natural dyes made from the plants around us are non-toxic to the environment, and can be obtained for free. Most of us have a little knowledge about natural dyes – such as using onion skins for yellow or beetroot for pink. But what other natural dye options do we have, how can we use them, and how can we help our naturally dyed garments keep their colour.

Coming to Peterborough in Ontario Canada during the month of May 2016, I heard about the weavers guild here and I wondered if someone here might know about natural dyes to use on textiles made from animals and plants such as wool, silk and cotton. Well I came to to the right place! Faye Jacobs is a Textile artist and textile sculpturer. As part of her vocation she teaches a range of workshops on using natural dyes. Faye uses dyes for natural textiles but also for other materials like paper.

Faye is a very active lady who has always had an interest in textiles. She was on the national Canadian Ski team from 1959-62. Even here, she knitted sweaters for members of her team.

On the 2nd June, I spoke with Faye Jacobs about using natural dyes on textiles.

To listen to this programme about Dyeing Textiles Naturally please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=36660711-332a-471f-a051-84234fb867b8

For more information about

This show was originally broadcast on the 7th July 2016 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

Faye Jacobs, uses natural dyes give new life to an old silk scarf

Faye Jacobs, uses natural dyes give new life to an old silk scarf

Patterns are obtained by pinching the fabric with elastic bands

Patterns are obtained by pinching the fabric with elastic bands

Beautiful earthy hues obtained from onion skins

Beautiful earthy hues obtained from onion skins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the colours obtained with natural dyes on wool

Some other colours obtained with natural dyes on wool

 

Flowers can be used to great effect as natural dyes.

Flowers can be used to great effect as natural dyes.

 

Don’t buy it – make it! – with Annika Korsten

In the supermarket you will find all sorts of processed products. Many of them we love, or have grown accustomed to having in our lives. But they often come with packaging we don’t want, additives we would rather not put in our bodies, and imported ingredients from who knows where! In addition they are also usually more expensive relative to their unprocessed counterparts. One option is to just do without them – I have done this myself with cottage cheese for example. However for Annika Korsten, sustainable living does not mean doing without. For her, its about being smart, creative and making the product you want – from local, homegrown or foraged ingredients.

In this programme, I chat with Annika about making some of the more unusal processed food products that we can find in the supermarket. Annika also shares a few of her favourites.

To listen to this programme about Don’t Buy it – Make it! please click on http://new.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=da5d93fc-bd4f-460b-ad38-b70c778fd9e2

For more information –

  • about the work Annika does with the Malcam Trust – go to http://www.farmhand.org.nz
  • Some of Annika’s favourite books and websites include –
    • ‘Preserves’ by Pam Corbin
    • ‘Salt Sugar Smoke: How to preserve fruit, vegetables, meat, and fish’ by Diana Henry
    • ‘Around the world in 80 plants’ by Stephen Barstow

This programme was originally broadcast on  the  24th September 2015 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM and is supported by Sustainable Dunedin City. The radio show Eco Living in Action is hosted by Maureen Howard, a Sustainability Educator and Facilitator.