Waihi Leader - - News - By GABRIELLA FRASER

The group was well sup­ported again this month.

Arthur Lynch was our first speaker, a well know Waihi iden­tity who is very pas­sion­ate about his topic of worm farms.

Arthur de­scribed how he be­came in­volved in worm farm­ing 12 years ago in an ef­fort to draw at­ten­tion to the ‘poi­son­ing” of the en­vi­ron­ment with the use of chem­i­cals. Prior to de­vel­op­ing and us­ing prod­ucts from worm farm­ing he suf­fered with joint pain. He is now able to move freely, with­out pain and it has im­proved his gen­eral health. He has been cam­paign­ing the coun­cil ever since.

Worm cast­ings are the rich­est nat­u­ral fer­tiliser known, he says. They stim­u­late growth plant growth, are eas­ily ab­sorbed and help main­tain the plant’s hy­dra­tion.

Arthur demon­strated con­struc­tion of a tiered worm farm and the im­por­tance of each step. It is an eas­ily man­aged sys­tem and he is happy to help others to set up their own farm.

Tiger worms need to be kept moist so that they can move freely and not fed with too much acid, so no bread, bis­cuits or meat as their bow­els can­not di­gest. The three big­gest en­e­mies of your worm farm are:

Cen­tipedes — they are death to your worm farm and must be de­stroyed straight away

Sil­ver worms — it has a head like a ham­mer­head shark, and Ear­wigs. Worm cast­ings liq­uid is made up with 1tsp of cast­ings to 1 litre of wa­ter — use this in your gar­den ev­ery three months.

Arthur is based in Waihi. Fur­ther ad­vice can be found on his web­site Stemtech Farm­ing or email on arthurlynch­worm­farm­ing.com.

Colin Bradley and Paul For­ward wowed us with their talk on Run­ning a Marathon in Antarc­tica.

Colin in­tro­duced him­self as an Ac­coun­tant for the Chiefs and Paul is the owner of Calder and Law­son, House of Travel in Hamil­ton East.

Their pre­sen­ta­tion was hu­mor­ous and en­ter­tain­ing as they each took turn about to re­count their ex­pe­ri­ences lead­ing up to and dur­ing the marathon.

Paul, who or­gan­ises run­ning tours around the world ig­nited Colin’s in­ter­est by de­scrib­ing the chal­lenge of the Seven Con­ti­nents Club in which com­peti­tors run a marathon in each con­ti­nent. To date only 700 peo­ple have achieved this. They signed up for the Antarc­tic marathon after com­plet­ing the New York marathon to­gether. At this point Paul had run three marathons and Colin one. What was usu­ally a three-year wait­ing list was sud­denly short­ened and they found them­selves booked to run in March this year. Their ad­ven­ture be­gan in Buenos Aires on 9 March. There were 200 com­peti­tors who set off on two ships each car­ry­ing 100 run­ners. They sailed on a Rus­sian Re­search ves­sel and had a mostly calm jour­ney to King Ge­orge Is­land. It was dur­ing this voy­age that they met many well pre­pared ath­letes and be­came aware of their in­ad­e­quate prepa­ra­tion for this marathon. Some ath­letes had trained in cool stores, some in Alaska and Paul and Colin only on their tread mill in 28 de­grees. Their prior in­juries also con­cerned them — Colin had in­jured his back and Paul his ham­string so both were re­duced to lim­ited train­ing. Paul dryly laughed they were glad they had not over trained. Race day con­di­tions were ter­ri­ble — mi­nus 10 de­grees, snow­ing and high winds. They wore three lay­ers of cloth­ing, top and bot­tom, two pairs of socks, buff, bala­clava and ski googles — and they had to carry any­thing they might need on the run, in­clud­ing a change of clothes.

The marathon con­sisted of six loops of seven kms.

Early on Paul in­jured his ham­string. By lap 4 they were both get­ting sore, cold and tired. The track was un­even and rocky which made it very slip­pery. Lap 5 was a bit eas­ier — the sun was shin­ing so they stopped and took pho­tos. This meant that by lap 6 they were in dan­ger of miss­ing the cut-off time of six and half hours.

Then 300 m from the fin­ish line Paul’s ham­string went com­pletely and Colin of­fered to carry him across the line, but Paul re­fused.

After some re­cov­ery time they fi­nally jogged across the fin­ish line to­gether — an in­cred­i­ble ex­pe­ri­ence to share with a good mate.

Us­ing vivid word pic­tures, some of their high­lights were breath­tak­ing beau­ti­ful scenery, see­ing in­quis­i­tive hump­back whales up close, fe­ro­cious leop­ard seals and sun­set light­ing up the ice, and how quiet it was with only the sound of ice on the kayaks and the ice crack­ing. Colin de­scribed how he was left with an un­der­stand­ing of how pre­cious Antarc­tica is and how it must be pro­tected for the gen­er­a­tions to come. It is the cold­est, windi­est con­ti­nent on earth, twice the size of the United States with an av­er­age ice thick­ness of 1.6m deep. Un­touched, in­hos­pitable, pure and chal­leng­ing.

FO­CUS Part­ing thought: Peo­ple are pris­on­ers of their phones. That’s why they are called cell phones.

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