Green Drinks and Lynda Hallinan

One of the first things the Opotiki Transition Town group did after our first public meeting in November was to establish our own regular Green Drinks.  We’ve been meeting and welcoming new people to join the korero ever since.

Nora has welcomed us to her café “Rostcards 1914” which is up the stairs above Koha florist on King St.  It’s amazing how the ideas flow when the wine is flowing, and we’ve been able to co-ordinate some surprisingly well organised plans in this warm, casual setting with no set agenda, no minutes and no need to be a ‘member’ to participate. 

Green Drinks is an international phenomenon, held in many major cities all over the world, and in Aotearoa as well.  On Tuesday 19th August a group of us will be taking a van to Rotorua’s Green Drinks.  Lynda Hallinan, editor of NZ Gardener magazine, will speak about her year and a half of almost total self-sufficiency in her quarter acre section.  There are still available seats in the van, so anyone from Opotiki who would like to catch a ride is welcome.  Why not come up to ‘Rostcards 1914’ on Thurday 7th August for desert and find out more?

What I love about Lynda is that she never gardened at all before she got the job as editor.  She was drunk when she declared on New Years Eve that she would sustain herself entirely from her garden for a year, and waking up sober she stuck with the goal.  Maybe not being an experienced gardener was good in a way, with no idea of how difficult the task was she was able to go ahead and do it, and now it has been 18 months and she is still growing almost everything she eats organically in her garden.

The rules of her resolution did allow for trading, and that is the secret to her success.  She takes the surplus of whatever she has a bounty of, and trades it at her local farmers’ market.  Her butcher accepts a box of organic produce in exchange for the finest cuts of meat.  Lynda has a budget of just $10 a week for food from the supermarket, usually reserved for things like coffee and sugar.

Lynda now has an inspirational passion for growing and preserving her home-grown food.  She has now published two books that take the reader through the seasons in the garden and the kitchn.  I just picked her first up again and turned to August, and what’s on the menu?  Of course, marmalade!  And what better way is there to use the baskets of gorgeous, plump, sweet yet tangy grapefruits that everyone with a grapefruit tree is gifting into the hands of anyone clever enough to visit this month? Only the recipe for lime and ginger marmalade surpasses it in sheer mouthwatering delights.

There are still places available on the FREE Sustainable Living Course at 6.30pm on Mondays, call the CAO on 315 7025 for details, and remember our website, .

See you next Thursday at Green Drinks!