Transition Valley 473

We’re a group of residents from North East Valley, Opoho, Dalmore, Liberton, Pine Hill, Normanby and Mt Mera in North Dunedin. We’ve got together to help the Valley on our transition journey – coping with the climate, energy and economic changes that are coming.

We are still at an early stage, and we want to welcome local residents to join us. The best way is to turn up at an event and introduce yourself, or you can email us at for more information.

Upcoming Events
Green drinks:
Last Thursday of the month
GreenDrinks is an opportunity to meet other likeminded people in a relaxed setting. We meet on the last Thursday of each month from 5.30pm at Filadelfios. Each month a different group hosts a theme. All interested in sustainability and the environment welcome. Please bring a friend.

GreenDrinks Dunedin is organised by the Sustainable Dunedin City Society (a kindred group). For more information or to join go to or email To get on the GreenDrinks Dunedin elist – or to host a GreenDrinks – please contact Maureen on THEME THIS MONTH: Potatoes, Garlic and Pumpkins: Growing and eating them – in ways that don’t contribute to GDP!

GreenDrinks is hosted this month by Waitati Edible Gardens. Derek Onley from Waitati Edible Gardens will share useful, delicious and planet friendly tips for growing and eating your autumn pumpkins and spuds – and for growing great garlic. Join in the conversation – bring growing tips and your recipes to share.

About Waitati Edible Gardens (WEGgies) The Waitati Edible Gardeners group (nicknamed “the WEGgies”) are a group dedicated to addressing the challenges of post peak oil and climate change, by strengthening our community in the immediate future through food production, with emphasis on domestic scale growing.
Our Aim: To empower local people from the grass roots up, to establish local food sovereignty or semi-autonomous food production.
Our Tool Box: We use Community networking, Local knowledge, Hands on learning, Local/free natural resources, and Volunteered time and labour.
We Provide: Workshops, Garden tours, Market site for local barter and trade, Support for the Waitati school kitchen garden, a Network of local growers as a knowledge base/source who can be put in touch with people who need help, Information updates, A Question and answers column and Planting calendar in the Blueskin News, A Community vegetable growing space for bulk crops.
For more information contact Lynnaire Johnston:
Phone: (03) 482 1364 or email

Taking cuttings from currants etc
Would you like to learn how to do this? TV473 will hold a few informal workshops. Tel 473 9535 if you are interested.

June 19 – Fruit and nut tree planting: 10am-12pm at Chingford Park and 12.30 – 2.30pm at Wilkinson St. Pine Hill. Jason Ross will show how to correctly plant the fruit and nut trees that have been selected. We have prepared the holes at our recent ‘digging’ working bees, mixing in horse manure and removing stones.

Planting at Calder Ave and Pine Hill Park will take place in July and August.

Updated maps of what trees are being planted are attached below.

Peta Hudson is a qualified and experienced permaculture teacher. She is offering a course in practical permaculture for the NEV area starting in September. Please see course outline attached below. Please send expressions of interest to Maureen at before mid June. After that please email Peta directly on

Films for loan
Movie “HOME”- A Hymn for the planet. Released worldwide June 5th 2009

*TV473 has a high resolution version of the film ‘Home’ that was screened on Earth Day from ( via youtube (.flv) or converted to a normal DVD movie format. If anyone would like to borrow them, and perhaps watch it with friends/ neighbours etc, email Chris : bracey-browns at

Also “A Farm for the Future”. Produced by the BBC, this film asks the question how England could feed itself in a post-Oil, Climate Changed world. Some of the themes it explores are permaculture and no-till pasture systems.

Earthwhisperers. This absorbing documentary focuses on 10 visionary New Zealanders who are environmentalists, seed savers, organic growers…The film, by Kathleen Gallagher was shot at spectacular locations around New Zealand and is described as inspirational.

Initiating Group Information
The group currently consists of residents who want to get a Transition Town moving in Dunedin North. We welcome new members who are good at organising, or those interested in our Food & Garden & Energy working groups. In the spirit of the “traditional” 12 steps group though, we see our role as temporary, lasting only as long as needed until we have “sub groups” (focus area groups) in place.

About the Valley and Catchment
The catchment of Lindsay Creek, which runs through North East Valley forms a potential transition community. We have a nacent community formed around such facilities as the Gardens retail area, and Dunedin North Intermediate and other schools. We cover both urban and rural land, and our population includes families, retirees and school and tertiary students. Our population is 3000+ and our phone numbers (mostly) start with 473….

Community sustaining initiatives running in the valley include the North East Valley News, a monthly newsletter /noticeboard published by the North East Valley Community Programme, and the North East Valley Community Development Project, which involves local schools and businesses to improve the welfare of residents. The report from the Project is available for download and summaries of key points appeared in the April and May 2009 issues of Valley News.

Transition Valley 473 aims to bring together the community to plan out – and live – our energy descent.

Join our mailing list for announcements:

You can also see the previous posts there, made since the list was started a few months ago.

Groups – Focus areas
We expect groups will work in with existing Community Initiatives:

Economy and currency
Housing, particularly improving old houses- See the Retrofit project.
Food & Gardening
and any other areas residents see as important.

Ongoing projects
Projects we are planning for the Valley include:

Film and talk series
Fruit and nut tree plantings
Street based sharing of surplus and gardening support
Sustainable transport – bikes, car sharing, electric trams or trolley buses.
Community gardens
A local currency
Water – rain barrels
Retrofittiing insulation
Community Orchard ~ 1000 Fruit and Nut Trees

As a community we are planning to look after ourselves and each other into the future when food and its transport become increasingly expensive. One way we can do this is by planting and looking after fruit and nut trees in our community.

Transition Valley 473 has received some funding to start planting fruit and nut trees as part of our Community Orchard – 1000 Fruit and Nut Trees Project.

We have initially identified the areas of public land listed below in North East Valley and Pine Hill as places where trees could be planted for harvesting by the community. We are interested in ideas about other possible sites.

Between Calder Ave and Buchanan Street – short term goal
Chingford Park – short term goal
Wilkinson Street – short term goal
Pine Hill Park – short term goal

Pentland Street Playground – under consideration
The unformed section of Arnold Street, Lennox Street – long term goal as very overgrown

Over the last few months we have been consulting with the Dunedin City Council and the local community and we are delighted that there appears to be strong support for community orchards. We have revised the planting plans in response to feedback from locals and expert advice and soon we will hold community workshops to prepare for planting at 4 of the proposed sites: Chingford Park, Calder Ave, Wilkinson St, Pine Hill Park.

In the long term we would love to have local people involved in the ongoing care of the trees in their neighbourhood, and plan to hold future workshops about tree care (including pruning), and preserving fruit.

For more information or to get involved, please contact Philippa,the Community Orchard Coordinator on 473 9293. Thanks to … HEHA for providing financial support for this project, Dunedin City Council and Sutherland Nurseries for expert advice and support. The North East Valley Community Project, The Valley News and North East Valley School for their support.

Fruit and Nut Tree Register

We have the vision to plant 1000 fruit and nut trees in our area. Some will be planted in schools and public places. But we’re also keen for all residents to plant new fruit and nut trees on their own properties. We hope this will be our first concrete (or should I say wooden?) project. To encourage people to do this, we are going to provide information and support, as well as letting them know where they can get seedlings from.

We have begun a register of fruit and nut tree plantings in our TV473 area to learn what is here, to record progress and to help and support each other in our tree care. For safety reasons, locations of private garden plantings will not be kept, though knowledge of the general area would be useful.

Please let us know numbers and types of fruit and nut trees you already have in your gardens so we can start the register. Send information about those you plant in the future so we can watch the register grow.

To add your trees to the Fruit and Nut Tree Register, phone Polly on 473 9391 or email with “1000 F&NT” in the subject heading.

In the mean time, fruit trees are available from Youthgrow (see attachment at the bottom of the page) and Sutherland Nurseries, and you can find out about caring for trees from Peter Waymouth.

We hope to engage a high profile personality to plant the 1000th one. The first ones have been planted (cherry, peach …) and as for the last one – that’s up to our residents.

Thanks to the people attending the meetings of the 1000 fruit and nut tree project. We will use the commonly used term: ‘Open Orchard’. We bounced a lot of good ideas around and discussions and meetings are continuing including discussions with the Dunedin City Council (email us for more information).

Previous Events
Saturday 15 May 2010, 2 pm, has been scheduled for digging holes in preparation for the fruit and nut tree planting in Winter. Meet at your closest site – Chingford Park (Across the stream to the right, after the sports ground); Calder Ave; Wilkinson St, Pine Hill Park.

Saturday 24th April- Fruit and Nut Tree Workshops.

Free- thanks to funding from Otago District Health Board’s Healthy Eating, Healthy Action (HEHA)

Jason Ross from Sutherland Nursery will visit four selected sites to meet with interested locals ahead of the fruit and nut tree planting in June. He will explain how to choose what species and cultivars are suitable for a site and how to prepare for planting. Come along to a site near you!

12pm Chingford Park, by the sports ground; then at the southeast corner of the park, past the old swimming pool, near the stream.

1pm top of Calder St, NEV

2pm Wilkinson Street Playground, Pine Hill

3.00pm Pine Hill Park

Tree species being considered are hazelnut, chestnut, walnut, elderberry, mulberry, apple, pear, plum.

If you have produce made from any of these, please bring along a little to share and your recipe! Cuttings to share would also be great.

Final decisions about what to plant will be made after these workshops and the trees will be planted in June. If you have any questions or comments, please contact Philippa on 473 9293.

Seed Saving Workshop Sunday 28 February, 2010 1 pm.
Transition Valley 473 is holding a seed-saving workshop, led by Bart Acres of Otepoti Urban Organics and Symbiosis Seed Exchange. Learn how to harvest and store your own vegetable seeds.
$5/$3. Afternoon tea included. Please phone Philippa 473 9293 to book.


WHEN: Monday 15th February,2010, 7-9pm
WHERE: Dalmore
WHAT TO BRING: 1-2 books

Do you have some books that have made a positive impression on how you think or feel about nature, sustainable living or community? Would you like to hear about what books other people recommend on this topic? If so we would love to see you at our Sustainability Book Night!
This Book Night is being run for people living in the wider Valley area (Pine Hill, Dalmore, Opoho, NEV or Normanby). For more information or to register please contact Maureen on 4739967 or Polly on 4739391 or email
PS – We’d also love to hear from you if you would like to be part of a sustainability themed Bookclub. Event, Oct 2009

Transition Valley 473 held a event in Baldwin Street on Saturday October 24rd 9-10am as part of the world-wide 350 campaign on climate change. We and the community created a living scale on Baldwin Street to show the 350 carbon parts per million target. Well done and thanks to all (particularly Tania and Kevin). Links to Dunedin video and photos. This was the most widespread day of political action in history with 5200 events in 181 countries ( Now on to Copenhagen where we require our leaders to commit to the right (needed) actions. Keep up the pressure on the NZ government.

Retrofitting Insulation in Houses
The Waitati TT and Dunedin Schemes have successfully completed (June 2009). More information on new projects from EECA and the government press release there.

Food and Garden
Seed & Seedling Swap
The seed and seedling 19th Sept 2009 at the Gardens New World supermarket was a successful event. There were 3 or 4 of us on the stall for the two-hour timeslot and we were kept pretty busy! Thanks to all who contributed, particularly Bart of the Symbiosis Seed Exchange (and Otepoti Urban Organics), Ross, Keri, Kristen and Polly. We swapped, gave away and offered for donation a number of cuttings, seeds and seedlings. Some people brought things to swap, but most were happy to give a donation, and we raised money in donations which will be put towards future Food & Garden group activities.

Symbiosis Seed Exchange
If you are interested in getting seeds or contributing some to this new local seed exchange, please contact Bart at

Friday 2 October 2009 at 12 noon Alex Huffadine from the Cromwell campus of Otago Polytech will talk about fruit tree growing for the home garden. Venue: Botanic Garden centre between the top gardens carpark and the Opoho Bowling Club. Free.

Lots of good ideas were shared at the ‘brainstorming’ meeting in May and we heard about some great initiatives that are already happening. For example, produce and cuttings are being shared via “Freecycle” You can register on Several people have offered to teach anyone who is interested how to take cuttings and to make preserves. We held a fruit tree pruning workshop in July anyone want to host this in their garden and have their trees pruned? Are you planting fruit or nut trees this winter? If so, let us know so we can add them to our register and help us reach our target of 1000 fruit and nut trees planted in the wider Valley area. If you have ideas, or want to be contacted about ‘food and garden’ happenings, contact Philippa.

Sutherland Nursery’s first open day on Feb 28th was a great success. Jason Ross is a mine of information about growing fruit trees. He gave us tips for successfully raising apple trees at home, producing good crops without needing great labour or effort to prevent pests and disease.

The Great Edible garden tour was held on 22nd March 2009. We are planning a couple of edible garden tours in the Transition Valley area for November. Gardens are to be confirmed. If you know of any great gardens that we could visit in November or later, let Adrianne ( 473-0995) know.

Films and Education

Dunedin Rideshare workshop, was held by the DCC on Thursday 6 August, 2009 12 – 2.30pm

Earth Whisperers/ Papatuanuku film screening, Friday August 14th

End of Suburbia was screened on 14th May.

Power of Community was screened at four locations on the 16th, 17th, 18 & 19th of March.

Our first event, a talk titled “Is our community resilient enough?” and held 12 February 2009 attracted about 70 people.

Water, stormwater and waste
TV 473 was invited to contribute to the development of these aspects of the DCC’s draft TLCCP. The following issues were raised:
– the urgent need for the DCC to plan for climate change and sea level rise;
– managing (and reducing) the demand for resources, for example through promotion of rainwater collection, greywater reuse and composting toilets, through bylaw changes and grants/loans/education/DCC investigation into their use;
– the improvement of our existing water, stormwater and sewerage systems to a high standard;
– stormwater – provision of cigarette butt collection with all litter bins, more litterbins, more public recycling bins, education programmes
– upgrading of sewage to tertiary treatment by 2011 as stipulated, reuse of treated material e.g. compost, mulch

We created a page on ‘giving away to a good home’ reusable goods in the North East Valley area (link).