Aotearoa’s au naturel gardening calendar has been unveiled for a green Christmas. Photo / Imke Kauta
The Soil & Health Association of New Zealand has launched its first calendar. The Nude Gardening 2024 Calendar features people gardening au naturel in Aotearoa, in a tribute to organic growing practices. An enthusiastic, yet professional, Kem Ormond investigates.
Struggling to find the right Christmas present for your gardening friend or for any of your friends? Well, I may just have found the ideal present for them!
This Christmas, the Soil & Health Association of New Zealand presents its first calendar.
The group advocates for organic and regenerative production that works with nature.
This involves avoiding synthetic fertilisers and pesticides and collaborating with members and partner organisations to support the development of organic, regenerative, growing.
Established in 1941, Soil & Health NZ is the largest membership organisation supporting organic food and farming in New Zealand, and also one of the oldest of its kind in the world.
The association is the owner of organic certifier BioGro and the publisher of OrganicNZ magazine.
The guiding principle for Soil & Health NZ is oranga nuku, oranga kai, oranga tāngata – healthy soil, healthy food, healthy people.
Now this is not just your run-of-the-mill calendar and if you think it is going to be full of photos of flowers, vegetables, and rich-looking soil, well it is, but it also has the added feature of people gardening au naturel in Aotearoa, in a tribute to organic growing practices.
This colourful and imaginative calendar celebrates organic gardening, regenerating the land, and includes a bit of good-natured cheekiness!
“Gardening without clothes symbolises shedding the layers between us and nature,” says Jenny Lux, an organic market gardener from Rotorua and co-chair of Soil & Health NZ.
“It’s a statement of authenticity and joyful, connected living.
“Every picture tells a story of cultivating not just plants but our total wellbeing.”
All proceeds from the 2024 calendar sales will go towards supporting the work of the Soil & Health Association, which is dedicated to promoting organic and regenerative practices, advocating for living soils, nutritious food, healthy people, and a thriving environment.
By purchasing the calendar, supporters not only acquire a unique conversation starter for their wall or garden shed, as well as the perfect Christmas present, but they also contribute to a greener future.
“Being part of this calendar, which celebrates the connection between ourselves and the earth, has been an empowering experience,” Rebecka Keeling, owner of Slow Blooms pick-your-own flower farm in Matakana, said.
“At Slow Blooms, we grow according to permaculture ethics – which is about working with nature and not against it.
“Stripping away our clothes for the photo shoot felt like a metaphor for simplifying our lives and embracing the beauty of an organic, regenerative world.”
Claire Flynn is the designer for OrganicNZ magazine and the driving force behind the calendar.
She has freely given her time, as have all the volunteers who have assisted in getting this project finished in time for Christmas and ready for 2024.
“We wanted to plant the seed of sustainability in a way that’s both entertaining and thought-provoking,” Flynn said.
“We are passionate about promoting a healthy and regenerative way of living, nurturing our soil for generations to come.”
The main photographer Imke Kauta, based in Bay of Plenty, specialises in capturing people in their most natural state, empowering them to love their bodies.
She volunteered her skills for the project.
“It was an honour to be trusted with capturing these impressive gardens and the natural beauty of the human body,” she said.
The calendar is available for purchase on the OrganicNZ website.
There are two calendar options – one for the stylish, slightly more modest gardener, and another one for those who don’t mind a bit more cheek.
Get in quick so you don’t miss out on the most talked-about Christmas gift that will make your gardener friends blush with delight.