44 days ago

How affordable is travel within NZ?

Lorna Thornber Reporter from Stuff Travel

Hi everyone, I'm Lorna, a Stuff travel reporter. We're doing a story on how affordable travel within NZ is. For those of you who have travelled within the country post-lockdown, we'd like to hear whether you've been able to find suitable flights, accommodation and activities within your budget. Do you think accommodation providers and tourism operators are doing enough to entice New Zealanders to explore their backyard? Please let us know in the comments below, your message may be used in our story.

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6 hours ago

Are granny flats a good retirement option?

Mikaela Wilkes Reporter from Homed

Hi everyone, I'm Mikaela, a Stuff Homed reporter. We're doing a story on what granny flats are like as a housing option in retirement. For those of you that are either living in a granny flat, or are the family who built/bought a granny flat to add to your property for an elder family member, we'd like to hear about why a granny flat was right for you. What was the process of getting one and learning to live together like? If you're happy to share your story and be featured in the article, please email mikaela.wilkes@stuff.co.nz or let us know in the comments below, your message may be used in our story.

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6 hours ago

u like

Dave from Maraenui

sweet pizza

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6 hours ago

How to grow your own Linen

Robert Anderson from Curtain Clean Napier

Linen has been used for thousands of years for clothes, bedding and furnishings. It is loved for its soft and cool feel. It is a very strong and durable material which will last much longer than other alternatives, like cotton. Growing your own linen may see overwhelming, but it helps to break it down into manageable steps.

Plant 1 kg. fibre flax seed in a 6m x 6m plot - One plot will give you enough fibre to make a shirt from line (long linen fibres) and tow to weave a couple of towels. Your actual yield will depend on growing conditions, how well you weed the plot and how perfect your retting and hackling techniques are.
Broadcast the seed thickly, over well tilled ground and then walk on it to firm the seed in.

Weed it well about 4 weeks after planting - Your flax will take about 2 weeks to germinate in a cool, wet spring. When it reaches just over 5cm in height you should walk into the plot and weed it well. You can step on the plants without damaging them when they are between 5cm and 30cm tall.

Admire the blue flax flowers as the linen grows - Once the bed has been weeded well, you can just admire it as it grows. About 60 days from planting the flowers start to open. It is very beautiful watching the blue flowers swaying in the breeze. Each flower is open for only one day. Each stock produces several flowers and each flower turns into a seed boll with 6 to 8 seeds.

100 days after planting, harvest the flax - The stocks of flax will be 2/3rds yellow and 1/3rd still green when it is ready to harvest. The flowering will be finished and each slender flax plant will have 4 to 6 seed bolls. You harvest the flax by hand, by pulling each plant out by the roots. Toss the weeds and place the stems of flax in order. Tie into bundles (shooks) about 30cm across, using strong twine.

Shook the flax and wait -Take the shooks of flax and put them, standing upright, under cover to finish maturing the seed and drying the fibre. The whole stock will turn brown as it dries. This takes a month in dry weather, a bit longer in wet weather.

Ripple the flax - Open each bundle of flax, take the flax by the root end and draw the seed end through wide toothed combs or a board with nails acting as teeth. This removes the seed heads. You can begin the retting process now or retie the bundles and wait till Spring.
The seed is edible and has a good oil content. You can crush the seed bolls and separate the seeds from the chaff by winnowing. Save about 1 kg. of seed to replant the field next year. If you don’t want to clean the seed by winnowing, you can feed it to your back yard chickens. They will take care of the seed bolls for you.

See our website for the full tutorial with pictures: www.curtainclean.co.nz...