Growing Power

The New York Times: July 6, 2009
Street Farmer By Elizabeth Royte*

Will Allen (above), a farmer of Bunyonesque proportions, ascended a berm of wood chips and brewer’s mash and gently probed it with a pitchfork. “Look at this,” he said, pleased with the treasure he unearthed. » Read more

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

CSAs come in various flavours but essentially they involve a variety of partnerships between farmers and consumers, in which the consumers buy products directly from the farm, and pay for them in advance. Farmers do their best to produce food in sufficient quantity and quality to meet the consumers needs. Consumers in turn assure the farmers salary and in return receive a regular supply of a variety of fresh vegetables and fruits (in time we plan to include eggs, meats and possibly more). » Read more


A few nights ago, Pete and I sat down and reviewed the "Sowing and Growing" event that we had just held at the Waiheke cinema. We talked about the centralised food model versus the local food model and came up with this short video. In it we referred to a website called Ooooby, which you can find at and if you visit it you will find a social networking site whose purpose is to connect food growers in your local area,and facilitate the exchange of food, the sharing of knowledge and information, and the offering of an abundance of inspiration, particularly through the expanding library of video.

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The Famine of 2009

If you are not averse to considering some of the possible changes that may be heading our way, and appreciate when someone offers some considered ideas as to how we might respond, then consider the article below titled "The Famine of 2009". If you really don't want to look at some of the challenges our northern hemisphere family could be facing, and would rather watch some inspiring video about creating a permaculture food forest, then check out these clips - they are wonderful!

Still here? OK.

In support of this article the following link comes from the early part of the text and offers some revealing pics and a well thought through vision-for-the-nation-article entitled "Food without Fossil Fuel". In it Neal describes some solutions. In case you are still wondering, Neal's (Stranded Wind's) reputation seems pretty good if you follow the links near the end of this article in the updates section.

Certainly worth thinking about the consequences if he is only partially right. On Waiheke we are looking at a nursery for seedlings, a place where we can share information, offer courses, offer services to establish gardens for people then help them maintain them. We now have 6 applicants after advertising for a farmer/gardener for our CSA project. The Marae has plans for a massive (for Waiheke) Kumura planting using most of the harvest from this years acreages - as seed stock for next year.

Tuesday night we are holding a Sowing and Growing event at the cinema. I am planning to video the event, as it should be a full house, with great presentations and lots of discussion.

The opportunities are coming thick and fast, go grab a few. » Read more

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My garden is getting going

I'm really enjoying the variety of things growing in my first garden!

A few samples are below. Full set of images is also available. » Read more

Farmer in Chief - Changing Food, Changing Climate, Addressing Peak Oil

Here is the video of Michael Pollan being interviewed on Web 2.0 Summit. When you have watched this to the end, and been inspired by the possibilities, take a look at and specifically the Ooooby Store


Video thumbnail. Click to play

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If you have trouble playing this here, please use this link

If you don't have fast broadband, you can get some of the information from the following letter to the President (Which obama read and quoted from just prior to the election). The letter doesnt however talk about the exciting changes at the social level, which is where the opportunities are for people involved in initiatives like Transition Towns.Michael Pollan, a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, is the Knight Professor of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author, most recently, of In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto. Source: Eco Literacy » Read more

"Everyone should have one of these"

Segment from Geoff Lawton's new DVD on Establishing a Food Forest the Permaculture Way.
Available from

» Read more

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The start of spring

Spent sunday afternoon digging around in the local community garden. Plenty of weeds to pull and compost to prepare!

It was a beautiful day (for a change), and I'm really looking forward to a good 8 months or so of growing things coming up :-)

Did you know?

In this article Sarah goes beyond the personal and embraces the need to act collectivley. That is where our power is. Right at the end she points people to Transition Towns.

Eco-Anxiety: A Call to Action, by Sarah Anne Edwards

And So It Begins... The signs are all about. Each day there are more, and they are escalating in seriousness. It’s hard to ignore a few signs from the past couple weeks:

  • Delta Airlines is significantly cutting its number of flights this summer.
  • Flights that aren’t full in time for take off will be cancelled.
  • Middle-aged white-collar workers in their 40s and 50s are moving back into their parents’ homes for shelter.
  • Twenty-four states are now paying $4 or higher for gasoline.
  • To save money and stay in business, truckers and carriers are slowing down and carrying loads for multiple suppliers at a time. In some parts of the country, truckers are protesting and poised to strike.
  • Bread, a friend complained, is over $5.00 for a standard brand loaf at the supermarket. A loaf of our spelt bread, which we eat because we are allergic to wheat, costs over $6.00 now.
  • Merchants are resorting to haggling in order to sell their merchandise.
  • Airlines are returning to prop planes for regional flights because they use less fuel.
  • Worldwide food shortages are arising, from Africa to Central America and Afghanistan. Food riots have broken out in Haiti. Food prices are escalating not only here in the US but everywhere, even Rome and Paris.
  • Water wars have begun in Colorado.
  • Shell Oil took out a full-page ad in Time and Fortune magazines saying, “no combination of technologies can plug the energy gap … There will be a … global energy crisis. It will dwarf previous crises. Profound economic dislocation will result. The challenge for human civilization will be to rebuild ‘post-peak.’” view pdf

Yes, Shell Oil.

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Organic Food and Local Produce Market

Growing conventional crops in the same place year after year has been described as mining the soil for minerals.  Layers of topsoil blow away each year after tilling and are never replaced, leading eventually to dust-bowls where only gorse can make a living. » Read more

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