Earl Mardle
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Glen Innes
Food Growing Skill Level
I am interested in...
Swapping Food, Community Gardens, Learning, Preserving, Helping Others, Seed Savers, Eating Local Food

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Earl Mardle's Blog

Edible plants and fish in ponds

Since we moved to Bombay we have had a plan to turn some of a small swamp into ponds. The swamp is too small to be self sustaining and in last summer's drought it went from a reed bed to a Yorkshire fog home in less than a season.

So in November we had the digger in and created 3 new dams and their associated ponds which we didn't expect to have filled until next winter - expecting another dry summer. Nice theory.

Right now, as the rain falls again, one of the ponds is about to…


Posted on January 4, 2014 at 9:49am — 2 Comments

Another response to the Self Sufficiency Myth

Laine has a link to a post by Toby Hemmenway about whether permaculture is capable of providing us with self sufficiency, self reliance etc and even whether that would be a good thing.

I think he misses the point.

Permaculture itself is a response to the question about how long we can go on using the land in an unsustainable way. To be clear about…


Posted on February 13, 2013 at 8:30am — 2 Comments

Still looking for seedlings

Still on the lookout for both Wormwood and now Kumera tupu. While most of the seedlings and cutting survived the shift, both of those failed and I'd really like to get some kumera in the ground before its too late.

Anyone near Bombay know where I can get some? Please? Pretty please? With honey.

Posted on December 4, 2012 at 1:01pm — 2 Comments

Houston, we have a problem

Anyone with an interest in pollination has been holding their breath for a decade now as CCD has ravaged hives in other parts of the world, especially the US. So it was not a surprise to wake this morning to this headline from the NZHerald

Wipeout threat for NZ bees

An Auckland beekeeper who has set up 300 hives around the region says his insects have started…


Posted on September 10, 2012 at 7:44am

Kumera Tupu

Turns out we can't shift house, get 10 acres organised and keep last year's seedlings alive for this year. There have been several casualties of distraction but the Kumera are the most important.

Anyone know where I can get about 30 seedlings within reasonable distance of Pukekohe?

Posted on September 7, 2012 at 4:52pm

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At 8:13pm on November 3, 2012, Helen said…

Hi Earl , happy to send you courier bag, i just put plants in wet paper , bend  the tops over a bit and then another layer of paper - put all into grocery bag, that goes into plastic courier bag and is usally received day after sending....I dont have much out of the ordinary really , lavender, shoo fly, peppermint mint (yum in with ice-cream), winter mint, tomatoes plants-still small (black from tula), pineapple sage cuttings, honeysuckle climber cuttings, cheers Helen

At 4:45pm on November 3, 2012, Helen said…

Hi  Earl , Just wondering if there is any chance of getting a little tumeric and if you grow any other spices , i dont seem to have heard much , but am sure there are spices grown somewhere out there!! not sure what i have to swap with you but maybe we can come up with something...

kind regards, helen

At 1:23pm on June 7, 2012, Louis Wilson said…
At 8:49am on September 7, 2011, Robyn Wolfe said…
Glad the parcel arrived safely. I have heard about the corn treatment. It is supposed to break down the protein to make it easier to absorb but I don't bother.  The little cobs are pop corn.  They only grow just over a metre and have about  5 cobs to each plant.  Thought you might like to try them, too.  Have fun!
At 9:53am on March 9, 2011, James Samuel said…
Thanks for that Earl. 4 mins is not much when you have to share it with someone who waffles!
At 5:53pm on March 8, 2011, Ellen said…

Hi Earl. Yep, smoker was running hot. sold lots of jars at this weekend's Heroic Festival for Chch appeal. Yep, would love to pop by and you to pop by. This year I had super success with Ridge Gourd and will cook my first curry tonight and hope to have several of the sponges for pot scrapers. When's good? Ellen

At 10:06pm on March 7, 2011, Ellen said…

Hi Earl. Congratulations on your tyre success, I remember last years disappointing findings when you showed me the potatoes. Mine have gone a bit better than last year but nothing compared to your Kumara. Guess I have to go with less as I start to run out of sunny spots now as I do not yet want to use the middle of the green patch we have left over.

Congratulations to the Austrian Hullless, I have tried for 3 years, 2 packs, and haven't ever gotten one to germinate!!! If you have some left to swap a few seeds I can offer some back, eg Luffa or sorghum (grain) or a cutting of my hops plant.... I would love to have some success with that pumpkin next year. Cheers, Ellen (Sandringham, your visit to Heroic Gardens 2010)

At 2:58pm on February 11, 2011, Pete Russell said…
Cool.  Nice one Earl.
At 1:51pm on February 11, 2011, Pete Russell said…

Great.  I have forwarded your details on so let's wait and see.

Yes I think we are due for a cuppa.  Maybe once we move into our new home you could venture your way over the seas to visit us here on the island??

The TV programme sounds interesting.  I look forward to hearing more.

At 10:00am on February 11, 2011, Robyn Wolfe said…

Firstly, I never sell seeds.  I give them away.  I will get you some fresh seed from this season.

Next, they say you learn something everyday. Thanks for highlighting nixtamalisation!



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