Tag Archives: June

Winter is for Dreams

Hello again! I’m almost back from maternity leave, my daughter is now 6 months and is enjoying some time with her nanny. So back to blogging, designing and farming!

Winter, for me, is stillness and darkness, a perfect time for dreaming. Of course some of our dreams will be about the coming of warmth and light, just like the dreams that lay hidden in the seed before germinating… All the information about what it will become and how, is already present in that teeny tiny speck. And when the conditions are right, it will send out its little root, then its little stem, and if the environment allows it will develop into the best version of what it can be.

I use this calm dark time to plan next seasons production in the garden and at the urban farm. Starting with my dream garden – like the information hidden in the seed – I then narrow this down to how many of each plant, how many seeds or plants to buy, and by when the beds need to be ready and warmed up to receive these. You can learn this method in the first session of my next workshop series, Grow More Veges #1: Plan your Edible Garden 2-3.30pm Sunday 30th July – register here!

To get as close as possible to the best version of that dreamed garden, I look closely at my notes of what worked and what didn’t last season. That special lettuce that handled the warm weather really well? The tomato variety that didn’t get psyllid? Grow them again, and maybe save some seed next season. On the other hand, the boggy area that got flooded in all those rains? Might need some double digging and maybe even drainage installed before planting out this spring.

These decisions all stem from the meeting point of my dreams of an edible oasis, and the conditions I have to deal with – like the fickle Wellington weather! Every season, I learn something new and get closer and closer, by keen observation and information gathering rather than hard work.

If you sign up to the full workshop series – 5 Sundays – you get a nice discount, and you get the opportunity to apply for the position as Gardener at the urban farm. Practice the skills you learn at the workshop alongside me and the Production Manager, and after three months with us you’ll have the confidence and skills to produce a good portion of your own food in the Wellington region – we focus on our local climate and soil so the growing strategies and techniques you learn will really work here.

I hope you have beautiful dreams this winter, and that you spend some time gathering the information you need to make them come true!

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Matariki sharing

As you may notice, this time of year, the posts don’t come as regularly. I’ve got a lot on my plate, so this week I’m going to send you on to Kath Irvine, up the coast. She runs Edible Backyard, very similar to what I’m doing – workshops, permaculture design consults and a blog – but is more focused on bigger sections and lifestyle blocks, while I’m much more urban / suburban focused and love the challenge of bringing edibles into tiny spaces.

What I really appreciate in permaculture circles is that most people understand how complementary we are in our different skills. Just like in nature, we’re finding the niche in our environment that needs us, and ideally which brings us what we need too! So I hope you’ll enjoy Kath’s blog as much as I do, and go to her workshops – they are really worthwhile, and as I said, complemetary to mine. She has also written a great calendar which works for Wellington as well, available at Commonsense Organics.

Right now is the time to take care of your fruit trees, if you’re lucky enough to have space for some. That’s why I’m sending you on to Edible Backyard’s Fruit tree to-do-list for June, and wish you a marvellous Matariki. Enjoy family, friends, the stars, and stay warm and snug inside this long weekend!

P.S. If you’re looking to buy trees, I recommend Neville Chun who sells trees he grows in Lower Hutt. Locally adapted and not a huuuuuuge nursery which means he can take good care of each and every tree. He sells here on TradeMe.