This is the place to find information and ask questions about gardening as exercise and health issues related to gardening, such as:

  • Back care
  • Calories burned
  • Sun burn
  • Tetanus
  • Care around potting mix

and more...


(See also the Eating discussion)

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If you are on a low income and injure yourself while gardening, need your blood pressure checked or need to get a tetanus booster vaccination, consider visiting the K’Aute Pasifika Services clinic which offers free Doctor’s consultations when you register as a patient.

The clinic hours are Monday-Friday 9 am – 11.00 am, 517 Anglesea Street, Hamilton. Ph 838-3874. The service is open to anyone on a low income.

Other health services offered include:
• Well Child assessment and childhood scheduled immunisation
• Smoking cessation
• Cardiovascular disease management
• Diabetes services
• Asthma and respiratory education
• Cervical smears
• Child and adolescent mental health services.

International Women's Day - Thursday 8 March 2012

How about showing your love for the significant women in your life on International Women's Day by:

  • making them some healthy food from your garden
  • giving them a bunch of flowers from your garden
  • giving them a flowering plant for the garden.

Encourage them to have a free health check: K'aute Pasifika Services will have a tent in Garden Place, Hamilton from 11 am-2 pm as part of the celebrations.  They will give information about women's health, quitting smoking and free health tests:

  • Blood sugar test
  • Blood pressure test
  • Cervical smears*
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) calculations

There will be other events happening in Garden Place too.

*Non-residents may be charged a laboratory fee


Look after your hearing!

Remember to wear ear plugs or ear muffs when you are using noisy equipment like lawnmowers. 

There is a free hearing clinic at K’aute Pasifika Services Clinic tomorrow (Thursday 5 Apr 2012) here at 517 Anglesea Street, ground floor.  


K'aute Pasifika Services Clinic is Moving


The KPS clinic is open to all ethnicities.  It is shifting on 8 April 2012 to 960 Victoria Street (Neville Kain Pharmacy building) – the signs have already gone up. 

The K’aute Pasifika offices (where WIC is based) will remain at 517 Anglesea Street. 

The free K'aute Family Medical Centre (Radius) has a new telephone number: 849 2767.  

The opening hours have been extended and are now 8:30 am - 5 pm, Monday to Friday.  You do not need to make an appointment.

Feeling Good :-)

Research has shown that gardening is good for your mental health.  More recently a University of Otago Masters student has done a study which showed a strong relationship between eating fruit and vegetables and positive emotions...

Some of you are K'aute patients, so here is an update on the service:


Please note the following changes of the free K'aute Family Medical Centre (Radius)

960 Victoria Street, Hamilton City



07 849 2767



  • HOURS:

8.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.


  • MORNING HOURS (8.30 a.m. to 12 noon):

The Doctor will see those on appointments and drop-ins (no appointments)


  • AFTERNOON HOURS (1 p.m. to 4 p.m.):

The Doctor will see those on appointments only.


  • EVENINING HOURS (4 p.m to 8 p.m.):

Visit Doctors’ Clinic Radius at Davies Corner for urgent medical cases (Free)



  • HOURS (8 a.m to 8 p.m):

Visit Doctors’ Clinic Radius at Davies Corner for urgent medical cases (Free)



Some fruits and vegetables are also poisonous unless they are processed in a particular way.  Karaka berries were an important Maori food but can make you mentally ill if they are not specially prepared.  Taro and soy beans must be cooked, ginkgo (ginkgo bioba) fruit can cause skin irritation and the nuts they contain must be cooked, many types of under-ripe fruit eg apples will cause stomach ache, Fijian junglee mircha/chillies look a lot like sweet cherry tomatoes but are very hot!  How does your culture keep your children safe from plants like these, particularly when they are very young?  Do you fence off poisonous plants or grow them in pots out of reach of children? 


If someone has been poisoned:

  • If they are unconscious or are finding it hard to breathe, telephone 111 for an ambulance
  • Otherwise ring for free the National Poisons Centre: telephone 0800 POISON (0800 764 766). Their number is also printed in the front of the telephone book, in the red Emergency Information section.

The free Language Line service is available through both numbers: tell the person who answers the phone what language(s) you can speak and they will put a translator on the telephone.

Our WIC workshops and the Grandview Community Garden are smoke free. Many people say their food tastes better when they quit.  May 31 is World Smoke Free Day, so if you find it a drag to get through one of our workshops without having to pop out for a smoke, why not use the day as an opportunity to quit?  Quitting smoking is hard work but you don't have to do it alone. If you are thinking about quitting, are working to become a non-smoker or you have relapsed – we can help and support you through our K’aute Pasifika’s FREE services, including consultation, free nicotine patches, gum and lozenges to people of any ethnicity.  For more information call Peni or Luisa - 07 834 1482 or Txt your name to 021 2880 503. 

Or meet Peni & Luisa at the World Smoke Free Day event tomorrow at Te Awa The Base, Hamilton (below the cinema, next to the food court), 11 am - 2 pm.  There will be entertainment and information.

The best way to stay warm in the garden (apart from putting on warm clothes!) is through aerobic exercise – movement that makes your heart and lungs work! 

In Autumn and early winter briskly raking dead leaves off the lawn and sweeping the leaves off your deck and paths is great aerobic exercise.  Wet leaves get very slippery and can make wooden decks rot, so it is good to sweep them up. 


Photo: Left - Outdoor broom for sweeping leaves off decks and paths.  Right: Rake.

Growing a fit & healthy you!

At the Being a Healthy Gardener workshop we learned that the garden is both our larder and our gym!

We got to try common garden activities that can be used for 'huff & puff' aerobic exercise, including:

  • Tumbling compost
  • Running out a hose and winding it back
  • Lifting or dragging heavy pots, bags of potting mix, etc
  • Mowing the lawn (the heavy old handmowers are excellent for a workout and make a beautiful job of the lawn)
  • Digging
  • Shifting tyres ...

Aerobic exercise makes your your heart and lungs work hard, growing stronger and fitter. 

Regular aerobic exercise can reduce your blood pressure and give you more energy.

Safer & Healthier Gardening

The Ministry of Health has a basic guide to keeping yourself safe and healthy while gardening that includes information on:

  • organisms that might make you sick
  • chemicals
  • poisonous plants
  • insect stings and bites
  • garden machinery
  • fires
  • prevention - especially looking after your back
  • being sun smart.

You can download the booklet (below), or contact me and I will post you out a copy (ph -(07) 834-1482).



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