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Living Wood Fair in NZ

A Golden Bay couple’s “true love of wood and all its forms” has inspired an educational community event to be held in East Takaka on the weekend. Source: Stuff NZ

The Living Wood Fair is described by Golden Bay residents and co-founders Liv and Graeme Scott as an educational two-day event for all ages, celebrating “all things wood”.

It will be held at Totara Whenua and the adjacent historic Fairholm Gallery, on April 21-22. Its creators said participants would be entertained by an exciting array of workshops, exhibits, demonstrations, talks and activities.

The idea came about because of their “true love” of wood and all its forms, but they had also taken inspiration from European and American-style wood fairs.

However, the couple said they had added their own twist: a strong emphasis on environmental impact on the local area and beyond, and the forestry industry in New Zealand.

“There is a real need to inspire and enable people to take positive steps to improving our environment,” Liv Scott said.

“[The fair] is about starting a solutions-focused conversation and saying: let’s look at how each individual can change, at a grassroots level, what they’re doing. ‘I’ve got this bit of land, what can I do with it?'”

Graeme is a carpenter who’s worked with wood from an early age, but in the last 13 years specialised in log home building and traditional timber framing, alongside conventional building in the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand.

He said the fair would focus on all aspects of growing and milling your own timber; environmental sustainability, care and protection; creative arts, wood and bush crafts, and natural shelters and homes.

“The Living Wood Fair will appeal to anyone who likes wood,” he said.”Including lifestyle and forestry block owners, farmers, woodworkers and millers, self-builders and tiny home enthusiasts, forestry advocates, environmentalists, and business and industry specialists.”

The main arena would host the market and food stalls, kids’ activities, natural building area and information hub, with live musical acts throughout the day and locally-brewed beverages.

The workshop zone featured indoor and outdoor creative workshops while the Ministry of Primary Industries’ Talk Zone would hold informative talks.

The final zone would be located in the historic Fairholme Gallery displaying a tree themed with artistic creations.

It would be not only a fun day out for families, but a place to “learn new skills, to network with individuals and companies in these fields,” Graeme said.

A line-up of speakers includes a botanist, a gardening guru, specialists from the MPIs Sustainable Forest Management team and Afforestation, the Living Building Challenge and Federated Farmers.

Workshops include kids’ bush crafts, edible plants and herbalism, string making, wooden spoon carving, the ancient art of hedge laying, basic skills for earth building, handsaw restoration and sharpening, how to make a dovetail timber joint, chainsaw maintenance and much more.

Day tickets to Living Wood Fair are $15 and free for children under 16yrs. The two-hour workshops cost $25 per adult, or $35 for one adult and a child.