Category Archives: Stories

On The Road To Self Sufficiency

Bus Tour – 26 March 2011-04-11

The morning of the bus tour I awoke to rain. And rain was the order of the day; though it did ease off a bit thank goodness. Despite this rain, our bus was full of enthusiastic people as we set off wards our first destination: The Olive Grove in French Pass Road, a 1.6ha property on the site of a former quarry, belonging to Eunice & Peter Martin. Their beautiful home is built with rammed earth, untreated and recycled timber. Grey water is used to irrigate the property which is mainly a huge garden. There are many fruit trees including a grove of apples trees, and, of course, a hundred olive trees. They also have extensive vegetable gardens, chickens, and sheep. I was envious of their dedicated olive processing shed, and even more envious of Eunice’s mosaic room. What made me most envious, however, was the amount of energy that accompanies these people’s enthusiasm.

On to the second property, Earthstead, where we were shown around by Alistair Osmand. He gave us a tour of his earth buildings: variously, adobe brick and cob, along with beautiful natural wood, an earth roof and solar energy. It was especially interesting to see the cob cottage still in the building stage. These buildings are used as accommodation for family and for bed and breakfast patrons.

We stopped for lunch at the Lillipad Cafe and before visiting the last property, Locavore, where Burton & Alison Worth grow vegetable seedlings, fruit and vegetables bio-dynamically on a 1 hectare property near Cambridge, selling them at three local farmers’ markets and at their farm gate. They choose to live as self sufficiently as possible with the integration of animals into their farming system such as a horse for manure, cows for milk, meat and manure and chickens for eggs, meat and manure. The ‘highlight’ of the visit was the demonstration of how to kill a chicken cleanly and quickly, how to pluck it and prepare it for freezing. However, for the vegetarians, the butter-making demonstration that followed was more pleasant!

A new season for permaculture in the Waikato

By Alice Bulmer The Hamilton Permaculture Trust has recently called it a day, after more than a decade. At the AGM in November the decision was made to wind up the Trust and allow permaculture to enter a new era … Continue reading

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Cool With Water

Whats going on in my Garden Examples of Olla’s for irrigation Firing up the earth oven for lunchtime pizzas Almost ready Simon begins with the wonders of water Ian loves to talk about the recycling of grey & black water … Continue reading

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Cool with Water

COOL WITH WATER Feb.23nd. 10 to 3:30 This event is part of Hamilton Gardens Summer Festival Join us for a time in the Sustainable Backyard Garden and focus on Ways to conserve water and become drought resilient. 10am. The Source … Continue reading

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Community gardening modules

Different Community groups request a gardening module for their community programs. We are often asked to provide a gardening module designed to suit their clients. We have had an enjoyable year catering for a number of different groups.

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Espalier pruning workshop

Learn how to epsalier your own trees! Espaliering is a convenient method of training trees to grow flat against walls or fences anywhere that space is an issue. It is ideal for small urban properties – fresh fruit can be … Continue reading

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Espalier pruning workshop

Learn how to epsalier your own trees! Espaliering is a convenient method of training trees to grow flat against walls or fences anywhere that space is an issue. It is ideal for small urban properties – fresh fruit can be … Continue reading

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 ORGANIC GARDENING  COURSE Presented by the Hamilton Permaculture Trust  Held at Waimarie Community House   53 Wellington Street  Hamilton East May 15th 22nd 29th  June 5th  Every Wednesday 10am to 12  Learn the practical applications to growing your own organic vegetables. … Continue reading

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Road to Resilience

Rocket stoves in action  Rocket stove workshop keen creators of rocket stoves a scything demonstration buns in the oven & its lunch time cookies cooked in the solar cooker Nandors talk on composting toilets Ruth on Hamilton Time Bank Many people keen … Continue reading

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APC 11 – Turangi, April 2012 – “May you live in interesting times!”

 By Alice Bulmer This April New Zealand hosted the Australasian Permaculture Convergence for the first time. It was great to be there in Turangi, alongside more than 400 other permaculturists. The sun was shining (after a classic marae welcome in … Continue reading

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Dig Day Out

Early morning start. CREATING A GARDEN- viewing the double-dig method Now its demonstrating the building of a no-dig garden planting it out with participants, it was suggested that those who were not experienced in planting seedlings to step forward, which was most … Continue reading

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