Summer 2015

Posted by Laurel at 8:54 pm, on February 4, 2015

Fast forward to February 2015. We now have a full complement of nine households involved, with three living at Delhi Village. The new build house is finished and has had its housewarming. One other house is near to ready to occupy and two others are expected to arrive on the back of trucks before winter.

Some of the orchard trees are doing very well, despite a month of hot dry weather.

We have put a new roof on the woolshed and moved a new large tank up the hill as an emergency water supply.

What we have not been able to do is get the back boundary deer proof and the beautiful wild creatures are playing merry hell with any unprotected fruit trees.


Three water tanks

Posted by Laurel at 7:01 pm, on March 16, 2014

In early March the newest houses all got 23,000 litre concrete water tanks. They are BIG. A digger came and dug very deep holes for them – through topsoil, about 1.5m of really hard clay and the down into a softer, sandy, P1040304ochre-coloured material. The tanks had to be concreted in, in case they get water underneath them and are pushed back up toward the surface. The extra soil from the holes was added to the cattle race.

Three new houses on the way

Posted by Laurel at 6:48 pm, on

Just before Christmas one house rumbled up the driveway in two pieces. About a month later another one came. Now both are on piles and their owners are working on them.
Meanwhile Richard and Laurel’s house is nearly ready for a roof.


Looking for another household

Posted by Laurel at 8:32 pm, on November 28, 2013

Sadly, Gari and Heather have decided Delhi Village is not for them, and they want to sell their section.
It’s the one down by the road, and a little apart from the others.

Meanwhile Richard and Laurel’s house is slowly taking shape, another house will be moved on next door to them before Christmas and a third over by the woolshed is also expected shortly.

With summer has come rampant growth, and everything is looking luscious.

Building work pictures – Laurel and Richard’s house (and garage)

Posted by Richard at 10:20 pm, on September 16, 2013

IMG_0703IMG_0536IMG_0510 IMG_0496 IMG_0712

Soil health plan

Posted by Laurel at 9:46 pm, on

Horizons Regional Council provides these for free. We asked for one and had three visits from the knowledgeable Malcolm Todd, who dug holes all over the place and explained what he found in them.
He has turned the result into a plan, complete with soil horizon pictures
and maps.
He said poor drainage is the biggest soil problem, and suggested a
mixture of swales and deep ripping as a partial cure.
That, and his other suggestions, will be invaluable.

Houses and trees

Posted by Laurel at 9:03 pm, on August 28, 2013

Spring has come early, and building plans are forming or under way.
Hadi has applied for consent to move two buildings up the driveway, place them on piles, connect them up and turn them into a house.
Bruce has spotted a house he likes the look of for removal, and is puzzling about how to arrange it on his section. 66I Delhi Ave – his section – is
currently covered in piles of wood for Richard and Laurel’s house. It has a
garage built so far, and the front portion of its concrete slab floor. The
builders are now researching exactly how to build the rammed earth wall that runs through the house.
Luckily for them it has been a warm and dryish winter, so that the soil they will need for the wall is not too wet.
The sections of Hadi and Miranda and John are now fenced off from sheep, along with a corner of Myles and Melissa’s section, which has been planted up.
Manuka, kanuka and a few natives have been planted on the hillside, and
there are eucalypts still to come. Unfortunately wild fallow deer are pretty hard on any palatable trees up there.
Most people have planted a least two walnut trees on the Finger Ridge, and they need massive guards around them to protect from sheep and deer browse.
Some riparian planting by the stream on Pukeko Flat has also started.

A mighty leap ahead

Posted by Laurel at 10:47 pm, on August 4, 2013

It’s a year later and so much has happened.
Suffice to say there have been many hours of talk, trees planted, fences shifted and two houses are on the way.
It’s winter now but right on the cusp of spring.
On our minds are where to put trees and where to keep open space, how to prevent sheep and deer from eating said trees, what to do about a bore that’s possibly leaking and what we want to do with the woolshed as a community space.
Walnuts and avocados are a focus at present, plus fruit trees. John and Miranda are gardening away at the big house, and June has just left there for a house of her very own nearby in Lewis Ave.
There is so much to decide and to do, and all of us have a lot of other things going on in our lives.
I will try to be more regular in my reports.

One last yes

Posted by Laurel at 8:45 pm, on June 28, 2012

On Sunday we got word from an out-of-town family that they want to have the last section the village has to offer. It was quite a moment, hearing that final “yes”. We had a meeting later that day with members of the three other new households. It wasn’t the full complement because two families were not there. Still, it felt like the beginning of a new phase. We are feeling very lucky.
Next comes some orientation for the new people and some planning ahead of winter planting.

Latest view from the hill

Posted by Richard at 10:41 pm, on May 10, 2012

Now, who wants to live there?

Posted by Laurel at 10:34 pm, on

Cat and Ron spruced up the woolshed and held an open day on April 29th. Quite a few people came including people under 5. One Wellington couple with two children seemed very interested. Meanwhile interest has been growing in other quarters. We now find ourselves in the undreamed of position of possibly having more people than sections to offer!

There is another working bee on May 20th. More tidying, fencing and timber stacking.

Last stages of the development work

Posted by Richard at 10:04 pm, on

Development virtually done

Posted by Laurel at 9:17 pm, on

The roads are all in and sealed and electricity connected to existing buildings. The fallen macrocarpa and elms are milled, with some good timber needing stacking. Grass has been sown on disturbed ground. Services to all the sections are laid. It’s a blank canvas ready for embroidery. It looks like a real subdivision.

Weatherbomb gets elms

Posted by Richard at 5:18 pm, on March 12, 2012









Moveable pool

Posted by Richard at 8:27 am, on

Up comes the pool. Well, we got it this far but then had to cut it into sections to move it. It will eventually be located on the edge of the common area to the north of lots 7 and 8. Thanks to Geoff for his help










Services go in

Posted by Richard at 8:23 am, on

Services go in: power, grey water pipes, bore water for gardens and a duct for ultrafast fibre. Some greywater trenches are deep!












A summer of rain and mud

Posted by Richard at 7:52 am, on

Here are some pics to go with Laurel’s post















Ditches, dirt and a swimming pool

Posted by Laurel at 8:52 pm, on January 11, 2012

Quite a few of us were up at the village-to-be this afternoon, and what a lot of changes! There was a trench across Elm Ridge, a start to the greywater area and all that remains of the concrete of the woolshed and implement shed is two piles of concrete rubble.
We discussed whether we want a swimming pool on site, and if so where it should go. The existing pool is to be moved, and if it moves without being broken we may put it somewhere else.
It’s way more open with those two buildings gone. The crescent of house sites is laid bare ready for building, and looks very inviting. The woolshed gets a whole new crop of possibilities now that it is closer to the ground.
Meanwhile there is also muck and confusion, and broken pipes.
It’s an exciting stage all right.

Woolshed walkabout

Posted by Richard at 9:34 pm, on December 22, 2011

Trucks, digger and one errant ram

Posted by Richard at 9:35 am, on December 20, 2011
Things are happening on all fronts. Our main contractors, Loaders Wanganui, started work on 12 December and are rapidly transforming the place. We’re scrambling to keep ahead of them with tree, yard and fence removal etc. Meanwhile Jack the ram continues to see every survey peg as a personal challenge. And if you get too close his casual lean gets stronger and stronger….

Prepping the new site for the woolshed and in goes the culvert extension.

Full Steam Ahead

Posted by Laurel at 9:27 am, on November 22, 2011

November 16 should go down as a significant date in Delhi Village history. On that evening 11 adults met at Cat and Ron’s place in Glasgow St and voted unanimously to go ahead with the development at 66 Delhi Ave.
It entails most of us putting in some more money – some of which will probably be recouped as the remaining four or five sections are taken up.
The go ahead means massive disruption up the hill this summer, with roads going in, pipes laid, more trees felled and permeable earth added to the grey water treatment area. But!!!! the aim is to repair all and make the place grow, shine and flourish later on.

October 2 Open Day

Posted by Laurel at 8:40 am, on October 3, 2011

Wow. We had about 30 people come to our open day, from babes in arms to grandmas and everyone in between. I must say that we cooked them a wonderful lunch, though not quite enough of it.
It was windy and cloudy, but we all went for a tour of the top sections. Then we had another cuppa and dissolved again into chatting groups.
A couple of the visitors were curious neighbours, others wanted to see what we were planning and we are also hoping some will want to join us.

Open Day and going ahead

Posted by Laurel at 9:20 pm, on September 25, 2011

Today us villagers held a working bee to prepare the place for our open day next Sunday, 1pm to 4pm. We planted trees in the orchard, grubbed some weeds and Kate and Adam did some garden tidying. We decided to cater for 50 for the barbecue lunch next weekend – don’t know if that many people will come…
Meanwhile Richard has commissioned our engineer and architect to prepare detailed plans so that we can put the roading/tranching/grey water earthwork out to tender.
He’s hoping to be able to ask for tenders by November.
So it could be all go for the site development work this summer.

Forward motion

Posted by Laurel at 7:57 pm, on August 9, 2011

It’s nearly spring and we are making a push to do the development this summer. We are hoping that once things start to happen on the land new members will be attracted and will buy sections. Proposals have been flying back and forth. It’s all rather exciting.

Bad sheep

Posted by Laurel at 7:50 pm, on July 31, 2011

Some time in the week after the meeting Jack the ram attacked Miranda as she crossed the paddock to feed the chickens. He is a danger and is to be removed.

Spring is coming

Posted by Laurel at 7:48 pm, on

At our last meeting on July 24 we started talking seriously about doing the development work this summer. That means roads, pipes, wires and grey water treatment area. Richard has put forward a proposal for everyone to consider in the next week. We need to get a few things started soon if this is all to happen.

Orchard/timber working bee

Posted by Laurel at 10:32 am, on June 18, 2011

I wasn’t there for the June 12 working bee, but I’m told that most of the macrocarpa timber is now stacked and covered, and that people were puzzling and planting in the piece of land fenced off to become the first bit of the orchard.
The orchard committee, meeting twice at the Rutland cafe, has decided the shared orchard will spread across the north facing lower slopes of Elm Ridge. Only one section of it is sheep proof so far.
People can now start planting their own trees in their own agreed rows, grading them to make sure they won’t obscure the view from the ridge top. An early task is to get the donated Monty’s Surprise apple trees in, planted across the bottom of the orchard as they are likely to be pretty tall.

Working Bee Video

Posted by Jools at 2:28 pm, on June 6, 2011

Here is the video of a working bee that was carried out some time ago. A few members of the group got together to prepare some macrocarpa trees for milling. The video also provides a nice look at the lowest level of the land in summer.

Open Day May 1

Posted by Laurel at 8:50 pm, on May 2, 2011

Lots of people came to our open day. It was cloudy and fine and we wandered around all the sections, which were marked by pegs and mowing, and then had a big long cup of tea and talk. There were two two year olds and a babe in arms – the o so jolly Callexicos – hope i spelt that right. And Dmitri from Melbourne/New Plymouth and Fred from Hunterville and Myles and Melissa and Deb and Marie and Ross from good old Wangas.

“I’m back” says Jack

Posted by Richard at 10:53 am, on April 24, 2011

The feisty ram, christened “Jack” by Levi, caused mayhem as we finished marking out the sites. As well as butting Arthur and Richard up the backsides (ouch!), he knocked over pegs, pawed the plans and chewed a tape measure in half. We finally gave in and shut him in the yards after which he grumpily surveyed proceedings from the top of the woolshed ramp.

Jack plans his next move

Chipping and milling and measuring

Posted by Laurel at 10:29 pm, on April 22, 2011

Last weekend four of us hired the chipping machine again and its gnashing teeth chewed through another three piles of macrocarpa branches and made three trailerfulls of bark mulch. Hmm. We are starting to think this is a slow expensive process for the result and may burn or leave the rest of the piles.

Ross has used a Mahoe mill to cut the macrocarpa into timber and we are stacking it on Elm Ridge. There was about as much good timber as Richard expected. It’s very orange and fragrant.

Also on the M front, Ian, Bruce, Richard and Laurel have been pegging out the sections. There have been some surprises there – both in size and shape. Interesting. We want them clearly defined for the open afternoon on May 1.

Macrocarpa logs transformed into beautiful cypress timber

Posted by Richard at 10:45 pm, on April 10, 2011

Ross has been milling the macrocarpas.

As expected the quality is variable but there are plenty of wonderful fragrant cypress boards appearing.

Open Afternoon

Posted by Laurel at 8:05 pm, on April 4, 2011

At our meeting on 27 April we decided to push the membership thing along by having an open afternoon at Delhi Village for anyone interested. It’s on May 1, a Sunday, and starts at 2pm. We envisage a talky session first, followed by afternoon tea and wandering around. We hope to have the sections pegged out by then, which will give people a better idea what we are talking about.

Also since then, the orchard committee has met and talked about doing some planting in the preliminary orchard area. One priority for this coming winter will be to move the Monty’s Surprise trees heeled in by the cowshed.

Inquiries continue and trees grow

Posted by Richard at 8:24 am, on March 21, 2011

Two lots of people visited on Saturday. It was a balmy late-summer day and nice to see plenty of grass and contented animals. Lots of questions about the plans, layout and schooling (one couple have a 2 year old). Interest in the project continues. And the new trees grow – although it is a bit hard to see in the pic there is a fine Silver Wattle shooting upwards surrounded by Tree Lucerne. The wattle is a short-term shelter tree that will be harvested for firewood in 5-10 years.

Revving up for next summer

Posted by Laurel at 7:35 pm, on March 6, 2011

With this website kindly initiated by Lester Litchfield up and generating new interest, it’s time to make a push for new members/finance to start development next summer.

There have already been several enquiries, but of course there’s a necessary time lag before those people and we feel sure we are all a good fit.

We need to progress this as fast as we can, before anyone else loses patience and backs away.

Yet More Flax and Some People

Posted by Laurel at 9:33 pm, on February 16, 2011

I was at Delhi this morning and planted some more flax just below the macrocarpa stumps along the top of our new shelter belt. Smaller flax, not the giants by Ash’s. I was in a hurry and managed to a- chop the pipe to the water trough nearly in half and b – bump into John’s trailer with my car, damaging a headlight and breaking a bit off the trailer. Felt a real idiot so was glad to have a cuppa with J and M and calm down. John fixed the pipe.

Appears this website is working somewhat. We’ve had two new enquiries lately, both from local people, both promising. It’s very encouraging, especially as we want to get the road, pipes, power and grey water in next summer.


Posted by Laurel at 3:31 pm, on January 21, 2011

Richard has followed Lester’s lead and done some research about the affordability of moving an existing house onto one of the sections. He asked some neighbours, who have done just that.
Using their figures it would cost about $100,000 to buy a two bedroom house and have it moved onto piles with water tank, plumbing, roofing, exterior finishing and interior joinery done. A four bedroom house with the same would cost $230,000.

These figures don’t include greywater, power or phone because these will be included with each section. They also don’t include project management and interior painting because most of us are likely to do it ourselves.

He brought those figures to our meeting on Sunday night.

Planting flax

Posted by Laurel at 3:29 pm, on

Laurel had a thrill last week when her son Arthur and John helped plant about a dozen enormous flax plants in the fenced off strip of land adjoining our neighbour, Ash.

The flax needed a home, as it was falling off a bank and into the road in it’s previous home. It has a long pedigree – coming from the Whanganui riverbank just below the Upokongaro store. It’s a very tall and vigorous Phormium tenax, so we kept it well away from Ash’s fenceline.

New Year’s Eve

Posted by Laurel at 3:28 pm, on

John and Miranda, our resident hostly people, put on an amazing party on New Year’s Eve. There was a bonfire, quite a few children, and young people camped in tents. There was heaps of food – Miranda is an ace caterer – and lanterns glowing in the dark.

Trees and things

Posted by Laurel at 8:53 am, on

Late in the spring we planted a whole lot of trees on a steep bank, to replace the enormous macrocarpas felled for house timber and to prevent them shading house sites.

They were in loose rows, with cabbage trees and titokis at the top, then totaras, then a mixture of banksias and firewood acacias at the bottom. There were also a lot of tree lucerne scattered right across the bank.

The summer has been very dry. Some of the trees are doing beautifully, and others are suffering from lack of water, especially the totaras. We may have to replace them.

Rhode island red chickens!

Posted by John at 8:43 am, on

Rhode-Island Red ChickensJohn and Miranda have recently acquired some Rhode-Island red chickens.

These are big, hardy birds that are to battery hens what a leopard is to a house cat.

They are part of a group of animals that have become less and less common under factory farming, often called heritage breeds.

Our ancestors developed a wide variety of livestock animals. Often these breeds are the results of hundreds of generations of selection. They provide valuable genetic diversity, preventing what’s know as inbreeding depression, one of the problems with homogeneous battery hen populations. Though slower growing, they are usually more hardy and desease resistant, and toerat a wider variety of conditions.

This is what has made rhode island reds such a popular choice for small back yard flocks.

Ours are still too young to lay, but we’re looking forward to the day we can pick up our own breakfast from the coop!