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Ready, Set, Spring: Five Day Online Course

Dates: Friday 9th to Tuesday 13th October 2020.  Location: 10am each day on zoom, with a private Facebook group for additional Q&A October topics (spring gardening):  Seed sowing for spring: what to plant right now. DIY soil mixes: Seed raising mix & Potting mix. Avoid those nasty plastic bags.Container gardening. Grow in small spaces, grow extra, grow food in pots to give to friends.In ground worm farming. Learn to make a self-fertilising planter or add one to...

September 18, 2020

Would you like some help planning your edible garden?

Sometimes there is just too much information to sift through and it really helps to make swift progress by getting expert advice on what you could do with your space. This is when the Blue Borage kitchen garden coaching services are of most use.  Over the last few years this has evolved from a one-off meeting into a three month coaching package with a range of optional products and services.  Will it continue to evolve? Probably! Here's how the service is currently set up - you ca...

September 18, 2020

Seed sowing for spring

Can you believe it's here - spring 2020. The time has come to REALLY get moving in the garden. 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. ...

September 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 ...

September 3, 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

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...

August 24, 2020

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 ...

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

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...

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 1-23 of 23 | Page
 

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