Thursday, June 7, 2012
Autumn's back after an interesting summer harvest (anyone else have problems with their tomatoes this year?). We've had some great gardening Sundays recently, and all three of the gardens are looking fairly tidy and with bountiful crops either just been or soon on their way. I'm personally looking foward to the parsnips and jerusalem artichokes for some yummy roasts.
We owe some great thanks to Aro Valleyites that have been using the compost bins at The Orchard at the top of Aro Street. The bins are filling up and we're looking forward to using the compost for the fruit trees and veggies growing up that way. If you're keen to compost but don't have space or a use for it at home, you're welcome to contact us about getting rid of your fruit and veg scraps in one of our compost bins or worm farms in Aro Valley - send us an email and we'll let you know the details.
We are also extremely grateful for a keen kai o te aro gardener that has expertise in fruit trees and has been pruning them appropriately (as now is the time!). We're lucky to have you on board, and we're looking forward to seeing our fruit trees growing strong and healthy with an abundance of plums, apples, fejoa (to name a few) over the coming years.
If you've got a special skill you'd like to share with us, pop us a line. All sorts of skills welcome, or, like lots of us, you can come along to learn as we go.
Show up to one of our gardening Sundays to join in or give it a go. We meet on the first and third Sunday of the month at 10am outside the Aro Valley Community Centre at 48 Aro St. We're also keen for people to get gardening at other times and you can email us to make a time for us to show you around. For questions or to jump on our email list, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy gardening everyone! Here's to log burners, dark ales, roast vegetables, and crisp autumn days in the garden,
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Sunday, October 2, 2011
Spring is definitely here and the earth is warming up. I am loving watching the tui feeding from the kowhai flowers outside my window, and the bumble bees enjoying my fresias and bean flowers. The three gardens are really livening up, and there are even blossom on the fruit trees in The Orchard (see the picture for our "Black Boy Plum" blossom).
We just can't keep up eating the over-abundance of lettuce, herbs and other greens in The Secret Garden and The Steps. You can see a small selection of the harvest from this last weekend at The Orchard, a red radish, some delicious fresh peas and one of the potatoes we accidentally uncovered.
This is a really exciting time of year for the gardens; we get to plant all the things we want to eat over the next few months and it is getting warm enough to see things grow quickly (vegetables especially, but also the weeds!). If you love a particular vegetable or plant and would like to see it growing in our gardens, why not join in? You could be the latest crop guardian for anything of your fancy, from courgette and aubergine, to blueberries and sugarsnap peas.
We are incredibly grateful for Victoria University putting in a storage space for our buckets and things at The Orchard site. We've also planted some natives in the area that used to attract all sorts of broken furniture and rubbish - and we're optimistic that this area will now be rubbish-free. Thanks guys!
We'll also be putting in new raised beds at The Orchard, so if you have any old materials lying around that could make good boarders, please do get in touch. Bricks, rocks and timber are all welcome.
If you'd like to join in or give it a go, you can just show up to one of our working bees. We meet on the first and third Sunday of the month at 10am outside the Aro Valley Community Centre at 48 Aro St. For questions or to jump on our email list, email us at email@example.com
Here's to daffodils, fruit blossoms and long evenings in the sun.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Monday, August 1, 2011
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Friday, December 10, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
As the cost of living continues to increase faster than wages, many people are turning to growing their own fruit and vegetables as a way to save money. So it comes as no surprise that over the last couple of years there has been a rise in popularity of community gardens throughout New Zealand. Individuals in towns and suburbs around the country have joined forces to promote community building, food sustainability and horticulture education. One such group is central Wellington-based Kai o Te Aro, which currently has three community gardening plots in Aro Valley.
Kai o Te Aro started about 18 months ago with founding member Charles Barrie, and a collection of Aro Valley residents flowing on from the Transitions Town movement. It started with the Secret Garden, a private patch of land that has been provided for the group. But today there are three separate community gardening plots, with Victoria University providing Kai o Te Aro with two areas for the group to develop into fruit and veggie plots. Although no longer living in the valley, Mr Barrie is still an active driving force of the Kai o Te Aro gardening group.
Te Aro resident and Kai o Te Aro member Lynsey Ferrari says community interest in the group was still strong, with about 140 people on their mailing list, and about 12 actively involved in working bees. Ferrari considers herself the only “granny” in the group, with most of its members being relatively young—around 20 to 50—made up of mainly students flatting in the area and working professionals. Despite being one of the senior members of the group, she says she is probably learning more from them than the other way around in terms of different aspects of gardening, including soil maintenance and compost building.
She says a main aim of Kai o Te Aro is “building community and giving people confidence”, by educating each other on how to best grow things in Wellington, as well as things such as permaculture and seed saving. In their three garden sites, they have planted a variety of vegetable and herb plants as well as fruit trees. But having only been established for a couple of years, Kai o Te Aro is still in the development stage with members constantly learning .
“The whole point of it really is to start co-op gardens where people can work alongside each other, learn about growing vegetables, seed saving, building compost, worm farms and getting rid of food waste,” she says.
“It has a strong environmental message, but it also emphasises that you don’t need a huge area to grow gardens. A lot of people grow herbs in pots, and there are a lot of apartments around here that are developing roof gardens—I think that’s a great idea.”
In the early days, a major high for Kai o Te Aro was winning the Australasian section of a competition by international garden supplies company Fiskars, which awarded them with vouchers to spend on gardening products. Ms Ferrari said that prize money was “a wonderful boost” and very instrumental in getting Kai o Te Aro off the ground.
New people are always welcome to get involved with Kai o Te Aro. They hold a working bee on the third Sunday of each month, meeting at the Aro Valley Community Centre, 48 Aro Street, at 12pm. Every month, Kai o Te Aro also holds a pot luck dinner, held at a different member’s house each time, when they have their monthly meetings. People wanting to get involved in the community gardens can either come along to one of the working bees or email their interest to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We’d be delighted if people with more local gardening knowledge could come along and advise or help us,” Ferrari says.