top of page

Winter Solstice Newsletter 2024

The rain drops fall to the Earth to bless life with more life

The fire of my hearth is warmed by the flames of my purpose 

Blown far like the seed that rest deep in the soil awaiting the light to return

The waters of my emotion and blood pump deep within my body which yearns for change

And, I grow with the daily passing of routine & nourishment that lights my soul in a steady flow of Love.

Friday 21st June 2024, 8:50 am

Yesterday was the longest night of the year, the midpoint of winter, now the sun is born out of the darkness that veils the natural world, into the expansion of light. Winter is a time for introspection and reflection. Many nature-based traditions encourage us to embrace this time of darkness, and to acknowledge its role in growth, healing, and renewal.


The rising of Matariki signals te Mātahi o te Tau, the Māori New Year. A time to remember those who have passed away; to celebrate the present; and to look to the future. Tohunga kōkōrangi, astronomy experts, would watch for the rise of Matariki just before dawn, and carefully study the appearance of each star. These observations were used to predict aspects of the coming year, such as the weather and the likelihood of a good harvest.


This is a great time for us to look at the past years experiences, to think about the challenges and joys and the wisdom to bring in change that will grow along with the sun as its days get longer.


We can use this time to make compost. Not only in the physical world of our garden, also with our feelings and experiences, we have the chance to do some emotional composting, of letting go of things not needed in our lives anyone.


What can we process and let go of? What is ready to be transformed? What habits are keeping you in a place of non-joy? Throw them into the compost pile and see what nourishment it gives you... What understanding from this gives life to new seeds? What goals and dreams do you wish to bring into life? What seeds do you want to sow and grow?

What do you wish to see sprout in Spring? Experience in Summer?

To nourish you in Autumn? 


Many wellbeing practices advocate spending time in quiet contemplation, whether this is through meditation, journaling about the changing seasons, or simply being mindfully present in nature.

This introspective space allows for inner renewal, fostering a deeper understanding of ourselves and our place within the natural world. 


In Japan people are prescribed forest bathing time - Shinrin-yoku, a therapeutic technique to help lower their blood pressure & stress levels, alleviate depression & anxiety, increase immune & autonomic function, improve cardiovascular systems & sleep, and boost mood, creativity, energy,and concentration.


Scientists report that trees give off phytoncides and terpenes molecules which can have amazing health benefits for humans who spend long periods of time deep within forests. The bioactive compounds have multiple properties, including tumour preventive effects, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and sedative effects.

Nature-connectedness is much more than just being in nature or exposed to nature, it is about actively engaging (and connecting) with the natural world .… (it) has been shown to be associated with greater feelings of autonomy, personal growth, and purpose in life. Nature-connectedness can also be beneficial to the wider natural environment, as it can lead to more pro-environmental attitudes and subsequent positive behaviours.


Canterbury Permaculture Institute has been planting some new seeds of adventures. Early this year CPI moved to the Climate Action Campus, on Avonside Drive, to make a base for expanding the education opportunities, community connections and results for change.


‘Permaculture and climate action are deeply linked in many ways, as permaculture offers a wide range of principles and practices that directly address the challenges of climate change and supports positive climate action. Permaculture alone cannot solve climate change. It's one piece of a broader puzzle, but it is a powerful framework for individuals and communities to actively participate in climate action by building more sustainable and resilient systems for the future.’ … read on


This Climate Action Campus main focus is Food Security, Clean Water & Energy Security, and working collaboratively with local communities and schools to educate & make changes to secure a more resilient future. Many projects are on the go here, different types of gardens looked after by varying schools, mural paintings adorning most buildings on the campus, community gatherings and plans for a solar farm. There are a lot of opportunities for collaboration with the growing number of organisations, community groups and schools that are connected here. 


One area that CPI is starting to get involved in at the Campus is a Syntropic Agroforestry system led by Sandi the resident Horticulturist & Educator. and Zane from Edible Street, among others. PermaDynamics in Northland have been hugely successful in establishing this system into NZ. They are working in a subtropical climate, in Christchurch we will be working with a temperate planting plan. They have a great video explaining these aspects.


Education and community networking have been our biggest focus to date. Now that we have a great base at the Climate Action Campus we are now working on expanding the educational courses we offer. Currently we are halfway through our 5th PDC certificate, with registration for the 2025 course open for early bird ticket and payment plans options.


We also have a few other courses coming up...

On 21st & 22nd of July 2024 is Introduction to Non-Violent-Communication.

NVC is a practical toolkit that provides you with a set of concrete skills that you can use to connect with yourself and communicate more effectively with others, it helps people peacefully and effectively resolve conflicts in personal, organisational, and political settings.

After 5 years of hosting a 2 hour taster session to NVC held within the PDC course.... we're excited to offer this opportunity to come together and experience the full NVC Introductory training.


This will be a weekend of. discovery, learning & connection in a fun, safe and supported space. It will cover all aspects of the NVC communication process with plenty of opportunities to put it into practice.


Open to all whether you’ve attended the 2 hour introduction or not. We need a minimum of 8 participants to make this happen so please feel free to invite a friend, workmate or family member.

Look forward to connecting soon,

Meagan Rutherford

Grow-Your-Own Food

A 6-day mini course held over 3 wkd's within the PDC. It covers Soil & Water, the foundation of healthy nutritious food. Growing Soil & Food the how to, tips & techniques and starters to take away. And, Integrated Growing Systems, showing the different growing styles and ways you can combine your planting systems. Click below to view full list of topics covered and who is teaching them.

Intro to Permaculture

1-day course covering the philosophy, ethics, principles of permaculture, plus many affiliated concepts used within its design systems, shown through an interactive card game.

2025 Permaculture Design Certificate 

This course is held on 1 weekend a month between March to December. which allows time to experience and absorb the course content through the changing seasons in your own pace. 

Each module holds a mix of presentation, activities, discussion and resources held on a large number of topics held under this titles.

 M1: Philosophy & Design Process

 M2: Designing for Regeneration

 M3: Natural & Built Environment

 M4: Invisible Structures

 M5: Cultural Strengthening

 M6: Soil & Water

 M7: Growing Soil & Food

 M8: Integrated Growing Systems

 M9: Design Project Wkd

 M10: Presentation & Celebrations

Recent Sparks of Interest

First is a song by MaMuse, their voices are beautiful and joyful. And when days are short, cold and wet as they have can still experience Glorious day.

Education With Hands, Hearts and Heads: Satish Kumar at TEDxWhitechapel

Ecology and economy come from the same Greek word: oikos, meaning home. Ecology is the study of our home and economy is its management. In this mind-opening talk, internationally renowned spiritual thinker and educator Satish Kumar draws attention to the pervasive lack of a genuine understanding of nature in our education systems, which is contributing to the gross mismanagement of our planet. Kumar makes a compelling case for a more holistic approach to education, connecting our hands, hearts as well as heads.

This podcast by The Emerald, and a few others hosted poetically by Joshua Schrei, has given me a lot to think about and in a way that fills me with joy, hope and energy for the change I am seeking. It has also returned me to the deep innate connection I feel with nature and the desire to explore more ways to find new truths in the way we collectively show up in the world.


If you enjoy this one I also recommend, Inanimate Objects Aren't Inanimate (or Objects).


The Emerald explores the human experience through a vibrant lens of myth, story, and imagination

.... that draws from a well of poetry, lore, and mythos to change conventional narratives on politics & public discourse, mediations & mindfulness, art, science, literature and more.

The Emerald advocates for an imaginative vision of human life and human discourse as it questions deep underlying assumptions about societal progress. 

Living Design Process and the Tetrad of Regenerative Development with Pamela Mang

In this dialogue Pamela helps Dan Palmer grok the tetrad of regenerative development that Regenesis works from in relation to my own work on Living Design Process.

14 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page