Taking life as it comes
As our nation goes into slow–down mode, there are two ways to look at it – stress about it, or embrace it as an opportunity to go slow. It’s also that time of year in New Zealand when our bodies and nature start to slow down. The first mornings (particularly here in Wanaka) where the cold starts to creep into the dawn, the mist doesn’t burn off until mid-morning and our body begins to crave sleep-ins and hot teas with family and friends – preferably in front of a roaring fire and with a slice of cake (this one was the Cake Society Xmas cake leftover from December, preserved with a good slosh of whiskey and enjoyed with Alex in a little cottage in St. Bathans before jumping on our bikes).
It’s also a time of plenty. The harvest is just beginning and we’ve just received some beautiful herbs for our teas from Valmai and Andrea in Little River, Canterbury. Phytofarm is a heavenly spot where it feels like time has not just slowed down, but stopped. My greatest pleasure is opening the boxes filled with bags of different herbs and blending them into our teas. It smells overwhelmingly of goodness and warm summer days. After finally receiving our bottles, we are now fully stocked in our Wanaka Tea House and ready for all of your tea needs!
I’ve been reading some of our books on rewilding and have decided to implement the principles into our back garden. One is to let things go to seed. This little fella above was happily buzzing around my fennel with his other pollinator friends. Once they’ve had their full and these gorgeous bursts of yellow go to seed, I’m looking forward to using them as seed stock for next year and drying the rest for teas and winter stews. I’ve also loved giving away surplus produce. Given the horrendous price of food at the moment, it can help out in more ways than one.
Going from fast to slow fashion
We’re really excited to announce the arrival of slow fashion into the store with NZ brand Re+Create joining our range. It’s put our mind into fashion mode. Every March, Wānaka Wastebusters ask us to join the Six Item Challenge. It’s as simple as it sounds – participants choose just six items from their wardrobe to wear for the whole month of March as a stand against fast fashion. If you’re not sure what this is, click on the link! We participated in the first edition in 2020 and again last year. My key takeaways were how liberating it is to not have to think about what to wear in the morning, with clothing choices restricted to only six items. The other is how to truly love and care for your clothes. This year, Wanaka Wastebusters decided to get people to think about slow fashion in another way and sent out a questionnaire to ask what slow fashion means to you. For me, it means buying less, buying better and making it last. My 2022 challenge is to replace only what I need to, and either buy vintage or make as many of my own clothes (using our gorgeous sewing patterns) as possible so that they fit properly. As I know the time they took to make, I look after them for the rest of their natural lives! (Oh yeah, and only natural fibres). My favourite item in my wardrobe at the moment is a little 1950s vintage 100% wool top with pearl buttons (see above) I picked up in Dunedin. Perfect for this time of year. What about you? What’s your slow fashion challenge? Arohanui, Monique & Alex.