WIC Gardening Update - 21 November 2012

Posted 4 years, 10 months ago by Kathryn Mercer - WIC Project Manager    0 comments

Hi and Konnichiwa

Lots of people went to the Diabetes Week walk around the lake last week, but we still have some kumara plants left.  So if you would like some free kumara seedlings for your garden give me a call (834-1482). 

Did you know: just 1 kumara tuber can make over 12 new kumara plants?!  Learn how here.  Peni tells me kumara leaves are also eaten in Fiji, either stir fried with other veges or cooked in coconut cream.

Free Basil Seedlings With Orders This Week

Growing plants from seeds is the cheapest way to grow your food, but some of you sometimes buy seedlings.  You can be sowing basil seed at the moment but if you prefer to buy seedlings, Awapuni Nurseries sell seedlings online through their web site and Trade Me. They are offering free basil seedlings with any online order this week (up to and including Sunday).    You could then grow your own pesto!

Sowing Dwarf Beans, Weeding, Feeding and Making Compost

This Friday 23 November 5:30 pm - 7 pm come along to Grandview Community Garden to learn about sowing beans, weeding and feeding your garden and making compost with our Community Garden Mentors.  Free: all welcome!

Entrance to the garden is through the gate opposite 183 Grandview Road - look for the WIC flag. Park your bike by the shed, or take bus route 8 (Frankton), or park on Grandview Road.    

Any questions? Contact Clare, WIC Community Garden Mentor (ph 021 0387623).

Reminder: Tree Crops Association Event

Visit a garden featuring walnut trees (I suspect they'll have walnuts for sale).  There will be an end of year pot-luck-lunch (bring a plate of food to share).  Bring your own eating utensils (cup, plate, knife, fork, etc) and a chair if you need one.    All welcome.

Where: 839 McClure St (can also park on Collinson Street), Pirongia.  Pirongia is about 32 km south west of Hamilton.  Look out for the 'Tree Crops Event' signs.

When: Saturday 24 November starting at 10 am, finishing early afternoon. 

Need more information? Contact Don ph (09) 843-9007.

Reminder: The Te Kuiti White Ribbon Art & Garden Ramble over the weekend of 24-25 November.   Some transport is available from Te Kuiti. Contact iSite for more information ph (07) 878-8077. You can buy the tickets from the Te Kuiti iSite on the day, or book over the phone. Tickets cost $25 - all the money will used to help prevent domestic violence. 

November is White Ribbon Monthif you see people wearing a white ribbon it means that they have promised to never commit, condone, or remain silent about violence towards women.

In NZ it is illegal (against the law) to hit, or threaten to hit, another person, man or woman: this is called assault.  But NZ Law defines domestic violence as more than physical abuse; it includes sexual or psychological abuse. In the Huron language, the word we might translate as ‘to calm down’ means ‘to make the mind like a field for planting.’ One of our WIC gardeners said that when his wife is ‘pulling his ear’ (a great Tongan phrase for nagging!), he likes to escape into the garden to work.  Many of us have commented, and research has proved that gardening and being out in nature helps to calm us down. 

Managing anger is a skill we can learn.  Learn more on Ooooby.

Sowing Late Summer Vegetables, Weeding & Feeding the Garden

Come along and learn at the Grandview Community Garden on Wednesday 28 November 9 am - 10:30 am  where they will be sowing late summer vegetables, weeding and feeding the garden. As always, you can ask the Community Garden Mentors any of your gardening questions. Free: all welcome! Remember to be sun smart!

Entrance to the garden is through the gate opposite 183 Grandview Road - look for the WIC flag. Park your bike by the shed, or take bus route 8 (Frankton), or park on Grandview Road.    

Any questions? Contact Clare, WIC Community Garden Mentor (ph 021 0387623).

G4H Visit to Pakuranga College, Auckland

You are welcome to go along to the Gardens 4 Health meeting of community garden leaders in Auckland on Thursday 29 November.  The meeting will include a presentation by Head Prefect Ben on the Pakuranga Organic Project (POP) vegetable garden and orchard, followed by a tour of the Pakuranga College.

Tim/Clare will be leaving Hamilton late morning and returning late afternoon.  Call them if you would like to travel with them (ph 021 0387623).  Free: All welcome.

Indigo: A Gathering of Cultures Festival

The Indigo Festival 2012 is on from Thursday 29 November to Saturday 1 December in Garden Place. Click here to view the programme. 

If you are passionate about your food culture and would like to showcase it to the wider community, why not have a food stall at the Festival?  Contact Patricia on 853 0463 or Philip 838 6765 for more information.

Reminder: Join the Hamilton TimeBank

Time banking can be a great way to give or get gardening help using time rather than money.  If you are interested, learn more and join up on Friday 30 November 12:30 pm, Te Whare o Te Ata Fairfield Community House, 60a Sare Crescent, Fairfield, Hamilton.

For more information contact Cheryl or Ruth on 834 2249 or hamtimebank@gmail.com

Healthy Cooking Class: Stir Fried Vegetables 

Jin Jin tells me that Chinese people prefer to eat their vegetables cooked.  (This includes some vegetables which in my pakeha culture are only eaten raw, like lettuce and cucumber - something new to try!)  One of the popular ways of cooking vegetables in China is stir frying. 

Experienced cooking tutor and WIC member Stephanie (Taiwan) will be helping the class to make stir fried vegetables Saturday 1 December, 10 am - 12 noon at the Waikato Migrant Resource Centre kitchen in Boundary Road, Hamilton.   These are hands-on classes, you get to help make the food and taste the results!

Free: Everyone is welcome!  Just turn up, no bookings required.  If you need more information contact Waikato Ethnic Family Services, ph 839 4688.

Building a Shade House

At this free WIC workshop learn hands-on how to build a shade house.  If there is time you can learn more by helping to finish tunnel house.  A shade house makes a cool, sheltered area that stays moist longer. It is a good place to grow:

  • seedlings in trays and pots when the weather is hot
  • plants that like cooler weather 
  • plants that like shade. 

When: Saturday 1 December 2012, 9 am - 5 pm (remember to be sun smart!)

Where: Grandview Community Garden. Entrance to the garden is through the gate opposite 183 Grandview Road - look for the WIC flag. Park your bike by the shed, or take bus route 8 (Frankton), or park on Grandview Road.    

Any questions? Contact Clare (ph 021 0387623), the WIC Community Garden Mentors. 

While you are there you might also like to attend:

Bringing Good Insects to the Garden, Weed and Feed

Learn how to attract beneficial (helpful) insects into your garden.  See how to weed and feed your garden. 

When: Saturday 1 December 2012, 2:30 - 4 pm (remember to be sun smart!)

Where: Grandview Community Garden. Entrance to the garden is through the gate opposite 183 Grandview Road - look for the WIC flag. Park your bike by the shed, or take bus route 8 (Frankton), or park on Grandview Road.    

Free: all welcome!  Any questions? Contact Clare (ph 021 0387623), the WIC Community Garden Mentors.

Get Your Garden Ready for Dry Weather: Being Water Wise

Learn how to:

  • Collect and store rainwater for your garden
  • See a solar water pump being used
  • Minimise the amount of water you need to use
  • Water less often
  • Choose plants that don't need lots of water
  • Shape the landscape to make the most of your water.

When: Tuesday 4 December 2012, 9 - 10:30 am. 

Where: Grandview Community Garden. Entrance to the garden is through the gate opposite 183 Grandview Road. Park your bike by the shed, or take bus route 8 (Frankton), or park on Grandview Road.   

Any questions? Contact Clare (ph 021 0387623) or Tim (ph 021 2243109), the WIC Community Garden Mentors.

Green Ideas Magazine

The Healthy Food Guide has a new sister magazine called Green Ideas about how we can live more sustainably.  The related web site includes a gardening section where you can ask (and answer) questions.  They are running a number of competitions at the moment including a prize draw for bread

Digging New Gardens - Let Root Veges Do the Work

Some western gardeners use potatoes to dig new garden beds for them: the potato roots break up compacted (hard) soil and the leaves help to shade out weeds (learn more here).  In parts of Asia, the daikon radish is used for the same job.  Daikon can grow as long as your arm!

Did you know that the smaller varieties of radish can be ready to harvest just 3 weeks after planting the seed?  They are a quick and easy crop for kids (and impatient adults) to grow.

Vermiculture = Worm Farming

We farm worms to turn organic waste into fertiliser (worm castings and worm wee) - plants love it!  Jovi was asking where to get/how to make a vermiculture (worm farming) kit. 

If you want to buy a worm farm, the Waikato Environment Centre in Ward St usually stocks them. They have a working worm farm inside (yes, inside) the Centre and will be able to advise you. 

Most of the big hardware shops and garden centres stock the containers too, but not necessarily the worms.  The cheapest way is to build one with recycled containers - like the polystyrene fish bins you can usually get free from supermarkets.  Here’s photos of the one at Grandview made from a recycled hand basin and bucket below to collect the liquid fertiliser. 

You can download instructions on how to build and care for your own worm farm here (pdf) and a Bunnings DIY project sheet here (pdf).

The Waimarie Community House in Hamilton East have said they are happy to swap some compost ingredients or something else for their garden for some worms – take a container.   These worms are composting worms, as opposed to the earth worms that you will find in your garden soil.   

There is a Vermiculture group on Ooooby who can help if you have questions too: Vermiculture - Ooooby

Bamboo Update

Further to last week, you can get bamboo and bamboo shoots if you ask the Hamilton City Council where they are currently allowing harvesting.  They have recently restructured and the new contact is the Team Leader - Landscapes, Gina Hailwood (ph 838-6699).

Sow Now...

Now is a good time to sow: chillies, tomatoes, pumpkins, cucumbers, lettuce, celery, spring onions, carrots, silverbeet, parsley, beetroot, leeks, beans, peas... 

A few people have been asking about growing chokos - you can plant mature sprouted chokos now. Chokos grow on a vine, and are a member of the curcubit family (same as pumpkins).  They can be grown in pots. They need a trellis or fence to grow up.  http://www.tryit.sanitarium.co.nz/chokos/ I see on Ooooby that there are gardeners in South Waikato growing them.

Aside from feeding people, chokos are also eaten by chickens and stock, and the fibre can be used for weaving.  http://whiteglovestv.co.nz/Chokos.html

Eating Now...

Several of us have noticed that the feijoas are starting to flower.  The petals are edible, but leave a few petals for the birds - they seem to eat them and pollinate the flowers in the process.

Sofia tells me that NZ strawberries are bigger and sweeter than the ones they had in Indonesia. Her family planted some of the strawberry plants WIC distributed and tells me that, "the kids check it every morning since they don't want to miss the time when the fruit turns red. No wonder they're so excited, it's their first strawberry plants." 

My black currents are ripening.  Don't forget to cover your berries and currents - the birds love them too!  I am planning a Fresh fruit cake made from black currents, cranberries and blueberries cake - colourful and yummy!  The recipe is very useful as you can use any fresh fruit: it is on Ooooby.

We are looking forward to some of the Tokoroa SWPICS gardeners visiting the Grandview Community Garden this Thursday - we hope it inspires them! 

Have a great week in your garden!



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