The legendary potato harvest of 2020

My work did a potato fundraiser this season and we ended up doing stints at one of my favourite city markets near the office to try and move the potatoes on. We were still left with 80 bags of potatoes. … Read More

Organic NZ Magazine’s summer issue

I had the pleasure of meeting Niva and Yotam of Pakaraka Permaculture recently. (I wrote about that here.) The result is this feature article in the summer issue of Organic NZ Magazine. I’ve seen many small market gardens in many countries and none … Read More

Introducing: Pakaraka Permaculture

A few Sundays ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Niva and Yotam of Pakaraka Permaculture for a feature article in the summer issue of Organic NZ Magazine. Watch out for lots of tips and insights into market gardening and a fab … Read More

The spring garden

The birds are being all sexy, the first baby rabbit was spotted, the greens are rampant and our grapefruit are ready…it’s definitely spring. When we moved in the vegetable garden had been untouched for a long time. Friends helped to do … Read More

Chilean guavas

In my mind, these pages are full of news and photos of a very full and wonderful summer. Sorry that posts have been a bit sparse. I have been thinking, and talking to others, about what to do with this … Read More

Summer fruit

‘Tis the season of summer fruit.  Our fruit bowl is the place to be at the moment. The local fruit and vege shop had $1 rockmelon, honeydew and organic grapes this week. I loved the rockmelon so much. It brought back … Read More

Farmers market mornings

This rainbow of winter fruit and vegetables at the farmers market made me so happy. You can’t beat freshly picked local produce.  I have plenty of greens and fruit from our place at the moment. Kale, celery and chickweed are … Read More

Heroic Garden Festival

It’s that time of the year again!  If visiting other people’s gardens is your idea of a good time, take a friend along to the Heroic Garden Festival. You’ll have access to 22 fabulous gardens all over Auckland on the … Read More

Garden goodness: then and now

We’re in the first of the warm spring days. Last weekend was the official start to planting out the garden with summer crops but my greens garden has been going off all winter and it’s still going. I planted celery, … Read More

last throes of winter

 I stacked all three square metres of this firewood by myself. It took me three days in between work and the rest of life. A few months on and we’ve almost gone through the whole lot. We live in a … Read More

Winter garden madness

It was the neverending summer until it wasn’t.  I had bare arms working in the garden ten days ago. It’s been sleepless nights with gale force winds, crazy rains, flooding streams and a frost since. I have been stacking wood … Read More

The Luisa plum

 Luisa plums have to be the cream of the plum crops…they are kind of pear shaped, sweet and juicy with yellow flesh. And taste so good. Our local orchard had ONE week when these beauties were on sale. They went … Read More

new fave green smoothie

Oh my goodness, I need to get back into town for more supplies, this smoothie was so good!  Fresh pineapple, soaked goji berries, spinach and peppermint out of the garden, lemon straight off the tree, lime, spirulina powder, raw manuka … Read More

They’re ready!

The broad beans are ready at last. There is something calming in the process of picking and shucking beans. I have been waiting and waiting. It always seems an age from when I plant them to harvest. So good! Lightly steamed or … Read More

uncooperative bugs

The sun shone! That alone is worthy news for a blog post at the moment. It’s been so rainy and grim lately. Normal spring weather for New Zealand I’m afraid. But…that subtle shift in temperature and growth of green things … Read More

lemon, honey and ginger

 Jed and I have succumbed to colds and have been laying low, keeping warm and enjoying the homefront. Our little lemon tree is laden with fruit and I am so grateful to have homegrown lemons on hand. I use them … Read More

hold onto your hat busy

I miss you! With things being hard and busy my end I haven’t been here nearly as much as I have wanted to. I have had my hands full here at home lately. I’ve had a bunch going on. Foremost … Read More

garden solace

I have been gardening a long time. I have lost track of how many gardens I have created or worked in and left over the years. It is a special kind of sadness to walk away from a much loved … Read More

The beetroot motherlode

I am loving greens, peppers and beetroot from the garden. The beets especially. Grated into a salad or in a juice, something about the nutty freshness and the zingy colour is just happiness.  There is nothing like a health scare … Read More

kids work

Jed solved a dilemma for us this week. He’s figured out that the space under the deck of the sleepout is sheltered from the rain and dew and makes a jolly fine place to hang our garden tools. Revolutionary! First … Read More

chamomile harvest

It’s a modest, ongoing chamomile harvest but a most satisfying one. Homegrown and dried chamomile used to make tea is such a different experience when compared to shop bought. My favourite is fresh chamomile and peppermint straight from the garden … Read More

Oregano harvest

The oregano harvest is an annual thing. Just before the plants go into flower I cut enough of the aerial parts to bundle and hang in the hot water cupboard to dry. I love that our little home is often … Read More

fern anomaly

 I like words. I make my living as a wordsmith mostly these days and it gives me absurd pleasure to use words like ‘anomaly’. Takes all sorts aye?! Jed was perplexed and thrilled to find this doubleheaded fern on our … Read More

Kid grown carrots

I know the light is all skewy in this photo, but I love it. Jed is harvesting carrots and peas from his garden at the moment. From seed to plate, growing your own vegetables is so satisfying. The taste is … Read More

mountain herbs

Kicking around outside in Queenstown a few weeks ago, I showed the kids how many medicinal plants were around. There was chickweed, yarrow, cleavers, oregano, mugwort, plantain, dandelion, violets…the place was rampant with medicinal herbage. It reminded me of the … Read More

where radishes take me back to France…

There is nothing like greens picked fresh from the garden. I’ve been harvesting baby radishes to thin out the plantings. Zing! That pop of red against the spring green of the leaves and the flavour is just out of this … Read More

garden miracles and confession

This punnet of beautiful teeny seedlings turned into a riot of cut and come again salads in no time at all. Spring is full of miracles. The garden is a great place for me to hang out and tune into … Read More

Miracles

Every year when our spring seeds start to germinate, there is same pause. An intake of breath. A moment of wonder. A heartbeat of gratitude for the simple miracle of a seed beginning to grow and reach for the light. … Read More

the beginnings of a garden

We’ve had a garden in this spot for years, but this year we built the sides up and acquired a bunch more soil. Our garden has been quite soggy in winter with clay and bakes hard even with the mulch … Read More

Oh, Spring

It’s happening. Spring. It always does. Every year without fail. Yet somehow, in the deep of winter’s rain and chill, I lose touch with this little fact. Maybe that’s what happens when you live in the moment, or try to. … Read More

beans in winter

We had saved these bean seeds from a heritage variety Jed grew a few years ago. Finding them in a drawer, he asked whether they would still grow. After a bit of research into viability of bean seeds after 2 … Read More

Plant Medicine Workshop next month.

A few of you have been asking when the next Plant Medicine Workshop is. You’re in luck, I will be giving one called Kitchen Table Herbal Medicine at the Kaipatiki Project on the 9th of August.  I learnt from old … Read More

NZ Herald Gardening with Kids article link

Look what popped up on my facebook feed last night. Us!  You can read my gardening with kids article here on the NZ Herald. A big welcome to you folks who have found your way here from the article.  xx

The eggheads. A tutorial.

Meet the eggheads. We made these two in anticipation of the Gardening for Kids article I wrote that just came out in the NZ Herald’s Element Magazine. They weren’t looking their best in time for the photo shoot but they … Read More

tiny snails and the secret life of leaves

These two little reprobates hitched a ride home with us in a bunch of dandelions for Chester the rabbit. Touch wood, so far, we haven’t had much in the way of snails. I think the slugs must have crowded them … Read More

in the trench

We live in a pretty small house. 80 metres squared to be precise. Not quite a tiny house but pretty small by Western standards. Less to clean, which is mighty good in my book. And not too small for someone who … Read More

a medicinal pause

Ahh, the change of seasons. Here in the North Island of New Zealand we are in that changeable weather stage. It can be boiling hot in the sun, super chilly in the mornings and torrential rain at the drop of … Read More

Provenance

We stumbled across a little gem recently. On adventure up to see friends we stopped by a cafe called Bees Online to show Jed the bees. But. It no longer existed. This was actually a good thing. The bee colony … Read More

tomatoes and toast

Thank goodness for mulch. We’re in that dry part of the New Zealand summer. Cracks have opened up in my garden. It’s harvest time and I have been slack at planting out the next round of veg. I often do … Read More

the great annual strawberry pilgrimage

Our years, like our days, have a definite rhythm. I think this is our busiest summer together yet. I find the trick is to be conscious about balance. A busy few days of friends, new places to explore and late … Read More