Te Whakaraupō Lyttelton Harbour,
Te Pataka o Te Pataka o Rakaihautū  The Banks Peninsula
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Founder | Lead Teacher

Kia ora, I'm Katie. I've been on a quest for meaningful connection with self, others and nature, which has led me on a fifteen-year journey around the world. I've taught in Uganda, England, Ireland, parts of Aotearoa New Zealand and the USA before ending back to my tūrangaewaewae, The Banks Peninsula. 


Highlights in my career over the past ten years have been designing and delivering 'hands-on, place-based' Environmental Education programmes with Christchurch City Council (CCC).  In particular, I enjoyed my lead role in providing bi-cultural perspectives with help from Māori advisors and also participating in Aoraki Bound with Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. In 2016, I received national funding to start a 'pasture to milk' programme at an organic farm. More recently, I  consulted in Alaska over the NZ winters: In 2018, I directed a Farm and Forest education programme. In 2019, I developed the curriculum at the Research and Experimental Botanical Gardens at the University of Fairbanks. 

I'm passionate about holding regular place-based immersive experiences that are holistic and inspire new levels of educating for sustainability.  When not working, I love to spend time with family and friends, tramp, forage, kayak, garden and travel off the beaten track.

Grad Dip of Teaching (Primary)  
MSc in Education for Sustainability 
Te Ara Reo Māori  (Level 2 Certificate), Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, NZ 
Te Papa Tikanga (Level 3 Certificate)  Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, NZ
Aoraki Bound, Ngāi Tahu
The Art of Nature Mentoring 
Permaculture Design Certificate

Katie Earle

Farmer, Orton Bradley Park 

Stella Bauer

Hi, I’m Stella. I originally come from Berlin, Germany but came to New Zealand in 2009.

I fell in love with farming from my New Zealand partner, Tom who passed his knowledge onto me.  Working on the farm is an utter privilege to experience nature so closely. I enjoy how the job is so varied. I do everything from looking after our financial budgets, stock management to mustering sheep & cattle, sorting wool and caring for all the animals including our working dogs. When not working, you can find me baking, playing strategic games or doing photography.  I love having a balanced work-life and welcoming others to the


 I so look forward to having you with us.

Teacher | Farmer,  Oxford

Genna Bird

Kia ora, my name is Genna Bird.
I am a Mum of two girls, Milly (aged 8) and Georgia (aged 5). I have been a Primary School teacher in New Zealand for the last 10 years, although currently farming and family take centre stage. 


I grew up on a sheep farm in Canterbury, and currently own and run a 560hectare sheep and beef farm with my husband Alistair, out in Oxford. We open our farm to trampers, horse riders and education groups where we can. Previously, we spent 7 years on the West Coast of the South Island, a place which still has my heart.


The last few years I have been plotting and dreaming of combining my passions of the outdoors, education, our younger generation and agriculture. The changing political and environmental landscape is crying out for us to be living in a way that stems from a connection with nature.I believe a connection with nature allows individuals to grow, expand, relax and develop the mind, body and spirit. 


I am looking forward to meeting the children and families who join us on this adventure.

Grad Dip in Primary Teaching

Volunteer | One Day Programme

Vanya Howell-Kress

Kia ora, my name is Vanya. 
I was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico where I grew up in the Rockies. Much of my childhood was spent playing outdoors in the forests, streams and rocky cliffs that surrounded our house. As I grew older my passions developed in the outdoors (tramping and camping especially), craftwork like leatherwork, whittling and clay work as well as music. 

I have been very lucky to work at a number of schools both internationally and in New Zealand which celebrates education in the outdoors. I have been developing my skills in working with many ages with age-appropriate skills and experiences in various outdoor settings. 

I am excited to learn more about what is happening in this regard here in Otautahi and l am grateful to Katie for the chance to get involved with Bush Farm. 


Naomi Ishihara

Kia ora, my name is Naomi and I am originally from Japan.

After studying Permaculture Design, I came to Aotearoa/ NZ 14 years ago and spent extensive time in the bush on the West Coast, South Island. I am trained in both Primary and Early Childhood teaching in New Zealand. I spent three years in Christchurch teaching an Ecological Literacy programme for Primary school children. Last year I got my training as a Forest School Leader (Level 3).


My passion lies in Education for Sustainability that can equip and empower children with a deep sense of connection to their natural environment while developing the skills of problem-solving, critical thinking, self-management, and awareness of the ecological patterns and interconnected nature of our systems. I strongly value working in partnership with tamariki and whānau, and I cannot wait to meet you all and to get to know you and your children


When not working I love to rock-climb, tramp and hang out with my family. 

Grad Dip in Primary Teaching

Grad Dip in Early Childhood Teaching

Forest School Leader (level 3) 

Plus a  whole host of exemplary members in our wider Bush Farm community who give their passion, time and dedication in bringing their skill-set to you.