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Transitioning Surfdale Orchard to a Food Forest

We moved 18 Cu M of mulch around the 5 year old trees in the Surfdale community orchard yesterday.

This is a step in replacing the grasses (such as Kikiuyu) with ground cover plants of our choosing (some edible) - to be followed by other (mostly perennial) food plants in the families of root crops, herbs, shrubs and bushes and flowers for the pollinators and our pleasure.

This will result in a multi layered forest garden requiring minimal maintenance, and producing free food for the public who frequent it.

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Food Forest in a box

Andy's FF in a window sill

Have you ever wondered how many plants you might need for a food forest? Well take a look at this, and you’ll get a good feeling for the numbers.

Andy Cambeis is spending some time on Waiheke and we got together on the weekend to go over the wording of his “Manual for creating a Food Forest on Public Land“. We did this because of a couple of bright young women – a publisher and a graphic designer – who are working to turn this into an app for iPhone and iPad, and which I hope we’ll get a preview of at the Food Forest Hui at the end of September.

While I was there Andy kindly allowed me to shoot this video which shows the volume of plants he is raising in a window sill in the house where he’s staying. While he has a few more canopy trees than would be included in a 700SqM ‘pod’, and there are no climbers represented, this is the essence of the plants needed for a temperate food forest pod.

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Sustainable Bays monthly meeting

Meeting Monday 19th August 7pm Browns Bay school.

Location / Venue: 
Browns Bay school
Pamela Gill's picture

Glen Eden Transition Town meeting

Glen Eden Transition Town meeting - Monday 2nd September 7pm, Glen Eden Primary School, 3 Glenview Road, Glen Eden

Food Forest Hui – September 26-28

Ten of the best permaculture designers from around the country, are converging on Auckland from September 26th-28th to offer New Zealand’s first three day Food Forest Hui and Training.

If you hold a permaculture design certificate (or have extensive experience in this area) and are interested in learning more about how to design and implement food forest systems, and to help create short courses to share with others, then don’t miss this event.

Register your interest now and we’ll be in touch.

Why forests of food

The logic of moving from the practice of turning soil to grow annual crops is becoming compelling in the face of more extreme weather events. While moving slowly around the country over the last few weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of engaging in dialogue on this subject with over 200 people at public meetings and in small groups. It’s clear that there is a tremendous increase in the number of people wanting to know more about how to put these food forest ideas into practice.

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Permaculture Design Course at Tui Community - Feb 2014

12 Feb - 2 March 2014

Permaculture Design Course at Tui Community in Golden Bay

with Robina McCurdy and Gary Williams

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Location / Venue: 
Tui Community, Wainui, Golden Bay

Mt Victoria August meeting - viewing North Island half of the Emma Heke film "Our Green Roadie".

Having seen the South Island half earlier we will view the North Island half of the Emma Heke film Our Green Roadie. Emma and Connor Heke travelled NZ for 6 months in a tiny van, on a shoe-string budget to film for Our Green Roadie. The full documentary is a compilation of stories and snapshots shared by 50 NZers with eco-conscious and economically viable businesses and lifestyles. All welcome. » Read more

Location / Venue: 
New Crossways, Roxburgh St, Mt Victoria, Wellington

Northland Solar Energy Conference

Location / Venue: 
Kaiwaka, Kaiwaka War Memorial Hall

Communicating Compassionately - an NVC Foundation Workshop with Deb & Wayne - AUCKLAND

We all have a universal need to connect with ourselves and with others. This workshop offers a way of communicating that leads us to give from the heart. We offer a guide in reframing how we express ourselves and hear others. Instead of using habitual, automatic reactions, our words become conscious responses based firmly on an awareness of what we are perceiving, feeling and wanting.

Discover a way to: » Read more

Location / Venue: 
Kandallah - 64 A Shetland Road, Glen Eden, Auckland

Public food forest talks and new discoveries

Three well attended talks to appreciative audiences in Taranaki and Manawatu, resulted in a lead on a hidden 20 year old food forest in the Central Plateau.

Public talks

It was a short lead time, but this didn’t seem to matter, in these days of being able to share information rapidly through the networks. Kama Burwell, a very competent and active permaculturalist working at the Hive Taranaki Environment Centre, spread the word and drew in 40+ people on a chilly Monday night, aided by an interview on Access Radio Taranaki that morning.

One of the highlights for me was meeting Ché Rogers and seeing the tagged Facebook photos of his forest garden, taken with his daughter in the pictures for a sense of scale. He let me download them andadd some graphic tags of my own.

Food Forest Garden with names

The following night 30 people came out in Marton, from the efforts of Lorraine Bartlett who invited us to meet in the Marton Arts Centre. It was a particularly warm and generous welcome, and the talk was followed by an abundant pot luck meal, which kept the conversations going for some time until we had to leave to head over to Fielding.

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