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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

Gardening by the Moon: Why bother?

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...

May 15, 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

Green Waste Composting in a School Setting

Schools are typically spaces with a lot of green waste: grass clippings, tree prunings, weeds, and mulch. Imagine using all this constructively to create that necessary resource - compost for the edible gardens? That's exactly what Blue Borage does, along with education on companion plants, the benefits of seaweed, cow manure and Biodynamic compost preparations. Read on to see an example of this process in a mainstream primary/intermediate school in West Auckland. This system work...

November 19, 2019

The Workplace Edible Garden: What, Why & How

Have you heard about the Blue Borage 'workplace edible gardens' and wondered they are?  Here's an explanation of how I work with workplaces of all sizes. I particularly love being in an environment that already endorses a healthy lifestyle: healers, advocates of mindfulness, people on a path of improving our relationship to the earth, workplaces dedicated to sustainability, and teams who enjoy fresh air, exercise and good food. ...

November 16, 2019

CPP (Cow Pat Pit)

Have you heard the term 'CPP' used and wondered what it means? Or perhaps you've heard people use the full term 'Cow Pat Pit', and it's no clearer? Sometimes Biodynamics seems more mysterious than it needs to, and the names for things like CPP become a code name. Put simply, it's cow manure which is mixed with a little crushed egg shell, some volcanic rock dust, kneaded for an hour, and gets the six Biodynamic compost preparations added to it: yarrow, chamomile, stinging nettle, oak ba...

October 19, 2019

Biodynamic Compost Preparations

Many people first encounter Biodynamic methods by stirring cow manure preparation in a bucket of water - this is called Preparation 500. There are two other preparations that get stirred in water - 501 (made from Silica), and CPP, or Cow Pat Pit. But there are another seven preparations.... Six of these are used specifically for enhancing compost, and are made from Yarrow, German Chamomile, Stinging Nettle, Oak Bark, Dandelion and Valerian. I'm still learning how to make these, and would lo...

June 8, 2019

Why make your own seed raising mix?

I began my business by questioning if I really needed to invest in commercial seed-raising mix. I bought some of the overpriced little bags and examined them closely - what was in them? Could I replicate it? I then used Dr Google to look up a few recipes. I found lots of different variations, and began experimenting. What did I learn? There are so many ways to grow plants from seed - effectively, and spending far less money. This topic has now become one of the key skill...

June 1, 2019 Posts 1-12 of 12 | Page
 

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