Donna Osborn
  • Auckland
  • New Zealand

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I am a...
I can offer
Nothing yet.
Food Growing Skill Level
I am interested in...
Buying Local Food, Learning, Preserving, Seed Savers, Food Forest
Tell us about your garden and what you're growing
I came across some info on forest gardening (on Robyn Guyton) and although I grew up and spent almost all my life in the suburbs of Auckland, I admire and feel a strong pull in the direction of those who've made paved the way for novices like me. I look at the grass on our little plot (880 sq mts) and see a mammoth task clearing it and wonder how/where and how to begin clearing it? My husband works full time and is, I think, typical of many Kiwi blokes who's concept of 'gardening' is keeping a neat and tidy square of well mowed grass in front and back of the house with a flower bed around the edge that needs little of no weeding. The opposite appeals to me.

We moved to our current home in September. It's a small coastal village an hour from Auckland. We have neighbors both sides and a large sheep farm at the rear. 90% of our property is very steep with small flat areas at the top (where the house is) and bottom where there's a small creek running through. We're on tank water and have a septic tank. I'm feeding the septic as much good bacteria as we can afford and doing my best to to freshen it up. We've cut down and mulched some large Privet and lots of dead wood and cleared a large area of (over 6 feet high) Arum lilies. I'm working on digging out the lilies roots which is a big, big job. I filled 30+ huge garden bags with Wandering Jew and Privet mulch so far which has been collected by a garden waste company. We have some native trees on the steepest and lower part of the section.
I'm realistic about transforming what we have and realize it'll take time, that's no problem, I'm inspired by others who have done it.

I was amazed and thrilled wandering through a fantastic organic open home garden in Germany in May this year. My husband enjoyed it too but it's the transition from what we have now to a flourish of edibles that I think would be extremely challenging for my husband. He's not able to visualize the end result. Any changes that are made will need to be down by me alone with as little financial outlay as possible because we are a one income household.
My husband is a little apprehensive at the thought but I'm about to buy a small, chicken tractor to help clear some spots and I'm taking on a couple of laying hen's from a a friend. I'm so keen to make some little steps towards a self sustaining garden and to improve the soil and contribute something I feel is worthwhile within our small community. I'm hoping to get some tips here.

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