News and Events

Jo Ogier Art Workshop Weekend – 11-12 May 2019

Again, we were very fortunate to have Artist Jo Ogier come down from Christchurch to tutor the Nature Journaling workshop. Day one was fine and sunny – great, after tutoring sessions, to be able to get out and do some field sketching around the bush. Close observation was one of the main themes for the day and really taking in the environment in which you are in. Lots of techniques were taught and Jo brought along her extensive selection of mediums for people to try. For day two the weather was wet and windy so not conducive for going outside. However, Jo had many subjects brought inside for people to paint and draw and the landscape could be well observed through the Nature Centre windows!

As always, it was a very concentrated, but fun, learning environment and an intense couple of days. Trying to get people to take a break from their work was difficult but the work produced by everyone was amazing to see.

Thanks Jo for your wonderfully relaxed style of teaching, everyone thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t wait for the next workshop. Next day I took Jo to her “Happy place” - the Art Supplies Southland shop 130 Dee Street. This is an amazing art shop and they will give good deals if you mention that you have done a Jo Ogier workshop, they offer great advice so be sure you go and have a look around.


Apple Pressing - 4 May 2019

Another year’s apples have been juiced and maybe turned into cider! Around 20 people came with their crop of apples and Malcolm’s cider press was again in full production between 11am and 3pm. This year we collected, froze and pressed our cider apples separately and were pleasantly surprised how sweet the juice was (considering the apples themselves are virtually inedible!). Others brought thawed apples which produce a very clear juice. Matt added yeast to some of our cider apple juice and we await the result!! Other people brought fresh apples to be chipped and then pressed and the resulting taste tests all produced very nice juice for drinking. The apple crop in Southland seemed to be more prolific than previous years though it was apparently more difficult to find roadside trees in fruit this year – maybe the result of late frosts in springtime. Thanks once again to Malcolm for bringing the Cider Press and allowing us to use it for another good event.


Native Plant ID Workshops – 29 April and 6 May 2019

Two Native Plant ID Workshops were held for SIT first year Environment Students on Monday 29 April and 6 May 2019. The Workshops are an adaptation of the two day NZPCN Course, condensed into one day. The tutors were Jesse Bythell and Chris Rance and the courses are specifically focussed on Southland native plants and environments and have a field and classroom component.

The students seemed to really enjoy the course – even though the rain made hearing (and talking) difficult at times! Some of the comments below:

“Absolutely fabulous day, thank you very much”, “This workshop was incredibly informative and I really enjoyed all the learning, I cant wait to do more!”, “Keep up the great work. It is really inspiring and its awesome to see restoration and conservation at work”. “Listening to someone who is super passionate on the subject… very interactive and hands-on”

Chris and Jesse

Apple Pressing Friday 3 May 2019

Its been a bumper season for just about everything! To make the most of your apple harvest come along to our Community Apple Pressing on Friday 3 May 2019 - $5 donation for the Cider Press

1-3pm at Southland Community Nursery. Bring your own apples and containers for juice - we will be restricting people to two containers of apples this year. If you have frozen apples (and we would recommend you do that now - you get much more juice, a clearer juice and you dont have to chip the apples, just squash them in the presss! so much less work), make sure they are defrosted thoroughly. No need to book - just turn up. Thanks in advance to Malcolm McKenzie for bringing along his cider press for us to use. The photos are some of our apples and my first blackboy peaches (but the birds got half!).