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Workshops & Events

Blue Borage edible gardening workshops are a good way to learn about organic gardening while socialising with like-minded gardeners. Popular topics include composting, worm farming, seed sowing, container gardening, basic biodynamics, edible flowers and microgreens.  Here's a selection of classes currently on offer. Scroll on down the list to see some past events that may spark an idea for your workplace or community. Sometimes the best starting place is a 1:1 consultation in your own ...

November 29, 2020

Notes from the 2020 Biodynamic Online Conference

I've been a member of the Biodynamic Association of North America for a few years - it started with a webinar I really wanted to attend, and the membership tiers had been freshly established so that for just US$10 I could access a huge amount of content.  The conference fee was a little more of a stretch... and I did have to ponder it for a few days. In the end I decided I just really needed to spend time with the people I admire most - and I have no regrets.  The n...

November 13, 2020

Seed sowing for spring/summer

Summer is just around the corner, and it's that magical time of year when gardening seems so, so simple. I am meetings lots of people interested in growing from seed for the first time. There are so many advantages to this method of growing - cost savings, the sheer volume you can grow with ease, and then the joy of finding unusual varieties that garden centres just don't stock. And then there's the advantage of being able to control how much you get and when, with carefully staggered planting.&...

November 3, 2020

Gardening by the Moon: How/What/Why

As a biodynamic gardener, I've been buying moon calendars for a decade now. To start with, it was out of curiosity - the description of all the planetary movements was fascinating, and I wanted to align my planting with a larger ecosystem than what was immediately visible to me.  It's a nice idea, but in real life I found it challenging. I would hold off on making compost or planting seeds, only to reach the 'perfect' time and find the weather suddenly turned bad: nobody want...

October 29, 2020

How's your memory? Let's make composting easier...

I began the year with the intention to make a large hot compost pile each and every month, and here we are in October, and I'm still going strong. The problem? My memory... I know some piles have had biodynamic compost preparations, and others haven't. Some got plenty of cow manure, but others had a minimal bucket and no more. A few had sea weed, but I don't remember which ones got special seaweed from Muriwai, and which just got seaweed from the local beach near Titirangi.  And s...

October 25, 2020

Regenerative, Biodynamics, Permaculture - what method does Blue Borage use?

Here at Blue Borage biodynamics guides all gardening and composting. Did you know biodynamics is one of the earliest methods of modern organic agriculture? It is inherently regenerative - healing the land while also growing crops, improving the quality of the soil year upon year. When it comes to permaculture and all the other great gardening methods I'm no expert... I have many close friends who are devoted to approaches like Korean Natural Farming, Food Forests, the use of biochar, s...

October 14, 2020

Mrs D's Bird Sanctuary

When I was little we used to spend Christmas with my grandparents in Timaru, and I have vague memories of their garden being full of delights - raspberries, redcurrents and roses. It probably wasn't all that big, but for a little person it felt magical - ample space to sit and enjoy the summer and hide from the rest of the family for some peace and quiet. I felt a similar sense of magical tranquility when I first saw Mrs D's garden, and the more I learned, the more I fell in love ...

October 14, 2020

The Workplace Edible Garden: What, Why & How

Note: Skip to the end for all the downloadable resources...

October 11, 2020

Small Space Gardening: containers, raised beds or courtyard setting

It's the middle of October... how would I go about starting a small garden right now?  Well, for starters, it's the middle of spring, we're limited in water use here in Auckland, and the days are getting longer. My first job is to get the soil covered with quick growing drought tolerant plants, and then start planning for the middle of summer. My preference is to start with some good strong plants, and then pop little babies in around them, gradually increasing the density week by week...

October 9, 2020

Hugelkultur (in a raised bed garden)

Hugelkultur, or hugelkultr is a fantastic tool for conserving water in your garden. It's also a super method if you are trying to transform clay soil. I've been experimenting with this method in raised beds, and so far it's working really REALLY well.  So before you fill your brand new raised beds with top quality garden mix, take a look at this process: ...

October 8, 2020

Online Courses

If you've been to one of my workshops or you're following Blue Borage on social media, then you have had a taster of the Blue Borage approach of edible gardening: simple, creative, innovative and circular. Take a look at the other topics I teach - there's a good chance they will also resonate.  If you haven't been to one of my workshops, then there are a few possible starting places... my goal is to help you gain confidence in the garden, find your own style of gardening, become fascin...

October 5, 2020

'Soil with Soul' - the Blue Borage approach to home composting

This is just one possible road map to composting success. I'd love to hear where you are on the journey, and if you are interested in taking the next steps towards even better compost. ...

September 28, 2020

Edible Gardening Basics : Five Day Online Course

Once a month you get the chance to join a five day online course - like a garden immersion. The topics are chosen to be seasonally appropriate, but all taken from the growing curriculum of holistic gardening techniques taught by Blue Borage. It feels like water wise gardening is going to be an important theme this year, so each of the topics in the course will be taught from the perspective of how to get good results with less water.  There's one more course scheduled for 2020 - you can go ...

September 27, 2020

Beneficial Weeds & Companion Plants

I love weeding my garden - not because it ends up a bit tidier with space to plant more seeds, but because of the buckets of fresh green weeds I collect for the compost. This green material is the one thing I always seem to run out of as I build hot compost piles, so bit by bit I've started growing lots of these 'extra' plants.  Would you like a handy list of the useful weeds, herbs and flowers that you can grow just for your compost?  Here's a PDF file you can print out and tick off a...

September 22, 2020

Gardening Inspiration

Surround yourself with beauty and wonder - easier said than done.  Every now and then I come across an amazing article, video, book or movie, and this blog post is an attempt to collect some of these together in one spot. ...

September 3, 2020

Where should my food scraps go?

Did you know what you do with your food scraps has the potential to help or hinder our food system?  I've been an avid home composter for so many years, that every now and then I forget some people aren't. And I must confess, I make a terrible lunch guest, as I'm liable to sort through the rubbish of caterers and encourage them to send compostable cups to a composting facility, and take the food scraps home with me. Yip. It's embarrassing. I can't watch food scraps go to landfill ...

August 24, 2020

Back in lockdown in Auckland... where to start with your gardening?

After a three day pause to normality we are now in two weeks of Level 3 restrictions. And it may be even longer, right? Whatever happens at the end of August, right now there are kids at home, people working from home, and so many people suddenly out of work needing to save money - possibly by growing their own food.  Something we all have in common is the need for fresh air and exercise, right?  Confession: I'm a total homebody, and I love getting my exercise in the garden. In my...

August 13, 2020

Why Blue Borage? Some of Katrina's Background

I was mesmerised by biodynamics, and found myself creating edible gardens for friends - over and over again. Someone said to me I should start a business doing what I love, and after a good deal of thought, it just seemed like a good thing to try. The name Blue Borage came about because I wanted to blend food, soil and bee-friendly gardening, to present a picture of calm & tranquility, with the floral delicacy of these beautiful edible blooms. What I didn't realise at the time was that...

July 18, 2020

A little less plastic: a few practical tips

Each year we get the message to reduce our plastic use - how does it make you feel?  I talk to a lot of home gardeners, and there's an overwhelming sense of "Yes, but HOW?"  Here are a few tips of what I've tried over the last few years: it never seems like huge progress, but every little bit helps, right?  My position on plastic is summed up in this motto given to the very first Waldorf teachers by Rudolf Steiner in 1919, and I think it's a motto that could be applied i...

July 12, 2020

Foodies who love gardening: Gina Thomas

Here's a second wintery soup recipe from Gina Thomas, the boss at Rampant Coffee, which is that cute little cafe in New Lynn, in the distinctive brick building by the Community Centre.  Is Gina really the boss? It changes month to month, so you'll have to pop into the cafe to see whether it's 'The Big Guy' or 'The Mrs' who is currently in charge. ...

May 27, 2020

Winter Wellness: Plant a Soup Garden

For the gardener each season has highlights, and winter is no different. In Auckland the winter is so mild that we can fortunately grow a lot of vegetables, and don't have to spend the autumn pickling and preserving. One year of Siberian winter was enough for me, that's for sure! Here are some steps written for the beginner gardener, which include how to build a low cost, no dig garden bed (it's May 2020, and many businesses are trading under restrictions regarding contactless service - it makes...

April 28, 2020

VIP treatment for all seedlings: the Blue Borage method

I often call myself a lazy gardener... but really that's just an excuse to break the rules as I look for more efficient ways to use my time and energy. One area of gardening I avoid cutting corners is in growing seedlings. These babies get the very best care and attention, from seed to soil. I currently have many more plants than I need for my own home garden, and while there are always community spaces begging for these, I do have a few surplus available to sell.  Read on to see just how ...

April 24, 2020

Foodscaping: the perfect gardening activity for lockdown

It’s Easter 2020, New Zealand is in lockdown, and so many people are looking at using their gardens to grow more food this year. Problem? The garden centres are shut, as are Mitre 10, Bunnings and all the normal places we go to get our gardening supplies.  Solution? There are still online seed suppliers operating, I think Awapuni nurseries are sending seedlings, and I’ve seen the local landscape supply store delivering truckloads of soil to home gardens. All is not lost…  My...

April 11, 2020

Five tips to save money when starting your winter edible garden

Before you start weeding or planting, take a really good look at what’s there. If it's a neglected garden bed that once had edibles in it then you may find little baby plants already self-seeding for winter. I’ve got loads popping up, and if I were to dump a load of soil over them, start weeding vigorously or digging everything over to create a blank slate then I’d lose valuable plants.    ...

March 19, 2020

What should I be planting right now?

"Strange times" seems to be the theme at the moment, right? With Covid 19 and Corona virus advice coming from all directions, I'm getting a few requests from people eager to start growing more of their own food at home. This is perhaps one of the few blessings in this crisis, and I think it's also an opportunity to build gardening communities. Please ask your neighbours if you can plant up a few crops for them, and swap (or sell) your surplus. This could be a way for many urb...

March 17, 2020 Posts 1-25 of 29 | Page next
 

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