Having your own eggs and honey on tap in the backyard sounds idyllic, but getting started is often the tricky part.
Keeping your own chickens and bees in an urban setting is a reality for a growing number of Aucklanders, and Birkdale-based Kaipatiki Project Environment Centre is helping those who want to go back to nature by organising some special classes this March as part of the Ecofest North eco-festival.
Award-winning honey producer Melissa Gunn will be leading a three-part series of classes, Bee-Keeping For Beginners, on Saturdays 1, 8 and 15 March (1-3pm) at Kaipatiki Project’s centre (17 Lauderdale Road, Birkdale).
Melissa will cover all the legal requirements, hive-ware and how to handle bees in her course which is just $45 per person for all three lessons, one of which takes place at a working hive.
Birkenhead chicken-raising guru Heather Lowrie from Backyard Chooks will share her skills and knowledge on Tuesday 25 March (7-9pm) in her class Keeping Backyard Chooks, also run from the Kaipatiki Project centre, costing $25 per person.
Heather will bring her own experience of raising backyard chooks to the class, as well as recommendations on breeds, the secrets behind chicken behaviour, and all the fine-print people need to know to comply with council regulations.
The Ecofest North festival will run from 15 March to 13 April across the North Shore and Matakana, with the aim of bringing fresh ideas and inspiration for the home, backyard and community –www.ecofest.org.nz. Ecofest is co-ordinated by Kaipatiki Project Environment Centre and supported by Auckland Council.