Founder | Lead Teacher & Mentor

Katie Earle

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 from South Auckland to inner-city London, to the wilds of East Africa, before returning back to my tūrangaewaewae, The Banks Peninsula. 


Highlights in my career over the past fifteen 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.  In 2020, I was to return to the University of Alaska for the six months of winter but COVID put a stop to that! 

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

Farmer | Mentor,  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.

Lead Teacher| Mentor,    Purau

Gunther Hammer


My name is Gunther Gordon Hammer and I live in Purau on a small farm block. I have been a teacher for over twenty years, primary and secondary trained and retired from full time teaching 4 years ago.


In the last few years, I have worked as a tour operator and guide for cycle and nature tours. My passion is working with children and I have been engaged with outdoor education and instruction for children and adults (MSC and NZAC) since 1990.

I am looking forward to working with the Bush Farm School and can see much potential and enjoyment for the school in the future.


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.   

Valmai Becker

Herbalist, naturopath, gardener, teacher, learner and caretaker of 30 acres of forest and gardens. 

{@ Phytofarm}

John Lawry

Crafter, carver, firemaker, hands on experiential outdoor facilitator with over 25 years experience.

{@ Artisian Pathways}

Laura Beck

Farmer, gardener, all rounder in organics and natural farming. 

{@ Laura's Dairy}

Te Whakaraupō Lyttelton Harbour,
Te Pataka o Rakaihautū  The Banks Peninsula,
Aotearoa New Zealand
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