An introduction to growing food and herbs without the use of poisons.
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  • fb_guided_tour_march


    Saturday 5th March
    Saturday 2nd April 
    Saturday 7th May 
    Saturday 1st October 
    Saturday 5th November 
    Saturday 3rd December

    If you're a beginner gardener who want a taste of what time and space efficient gardening can look like then this is the inspiration you've been searching for! We hold NZ's largest organic, heritage seed collection. Unlike those big industrial seed companies - we grow out our seeds here in the Hawke's Bay so they are adapted to NZ soils and climate. We grow specifically for home gardeners so we select based on taste, nutritional value, a long cropping season and pest resistant using organic gardening methods. Many industrial seeds are only pest resistant if you use their chemical sprays etc. 

    So now that you know a bit more about us, what will happen at this guided tour?

    You will receive a guided tour and we will explain our seed saving gardens, and the process that we go through to save heritage seeds. We’ll show you our compost and mineral recycling systems, our heritage orchard and show you the plans we have for developing the site. There will be a BioIntensive Gardening demonstration – this is the method we use for high quality production – it is an extremely efficient productive system, which ensures that the soil is regenerated for long term sustainability. You will also see our forest garden and current research projects such as our Urban Garden project. You'll have a chance to ask questions too.

    Afternoon tea is provided, and guests will have the opportunity to make purchases from the Koanga store (which is usually an exclusively online store).

    If this sounds interesting, please tell your friends and share it around. We look forward to meeting you at one of our guided tours. 

    Read More & Book Online

  • Struggling to grow a vegetable garden? check out what you can do with weeds...come and attend the "power of garden weeds" workshop on the 20th July in Auckland. Weeds can help you assess soil deficiencies, or be processed as medicine for soil and people. Learn how to make basic teas, poultices, and creams. Go to the events page for more info or email

  • Hmm.  Well I think they probably chose to ingore it, perhaps preferring all the glorification they get from kowtowing to the large corporations, and their money.. I know I submitted against GE but have received nothing but the receipt. 

  • Hi Fiona,

    What has happened with the submission re making Ak city GE free?

  • Hi Fiona, this sounds quite bad, because everywhere Monsanto goes, they are accepted, because they have power and money and because I am not so sure we live in democratie anymore, since companies are much more listened than citizens.. WHICH PAY TAXES!!! How did the meeting go?

    I have an against Monsanto group here:

  • Hi guys thought you mght be interested in this seeing as it will destroy organic gardening forever---

    and mates come to NZ: Join the events in Rotorua next weekend (1-2 September)

    alert your networks, and come to support events* protesting the AgBio
    conference in Rotorua, where Monsanto's Vice-president is a key note speaker.
    Public events will start from mid-day Saturday 1st September with a vigil, and
    culminate with a rally at 3pm Sunday 2nd September, outside the conference
    launch (Rotorua Energy Events Centre Queens Drive Government Gardens).

    Monsanto and others at AgBio 2012 want to force acceptance of Genetic
    Engineering in New Zealand, including contamination of organic food.

    We need to show support for GE-free and organic production in New Zealand, and
    to tell Monsanto, DuPont, Dow and the others that their business is not welcome
    here. Invite your friends and be there for one day or both, with placards,
    musical instruments, drums, fancy dress - anything to make theses days fun as
    well as a visible expression of public concern.

    Events include a Public Meeting on 2pm Sunday with speakers addressing the
    scientific and economic threat from GE. Details can be found at:


  • HI all, I'm not sure if you are in Ak or not but If you are I just wanted to tell you that we, through the Auckland Council longterm plan submission process, have a chance to have our say about GE in Auckland and through that NZ.  Please read the article/submission below and sign and send it in to the AK Council by the 24th March, if you are in agreement.  That is soon so don't delay.  Thanks everybody.

    Please make a submission for the Auckland Council Plan to protect GE-Free food production

    Submissions close at 4pm on Friday 23 March.

    Use the example points below to write your own submission which can be made on-line through the council website

    or just email to:



    Subject: Submission to LTCCP Auckland City

    Include your

    Name/ contact address/ email

    Dear Councillors

    This submission to the LTCCP 2012/22 relates specifically to keeping Auckland GE-free and addressing community concerns about GMO’s.

    The Plan must reflect the health, cultural, economic, and sustainability benefits to Auckland’s diverse communities of preserving local GE-Free food production and the natural environment.

    I support a vision for Auckland City that is strongly committed to environmental action and green growth, and ask that The Plan include a strong precautionary GE policy.

    Auckland Council should extend the outright prohibition of all GMO land use and GMO aquaculture that is already in place in the Auckland City Council District Plan “Hauraki Gulf and Islands”.

    I strongly support Auckland City being a full member of the Inter Council Working Party on GMO Risk Evaluation and Management Options. Funds should be budgeted to ensure that our city can fully participate in the analysis on GMOs and work with other local authorities for the interests of residents.

    The Plan should include a precautionary approach and prohibit GMO release because current legislation exposes local communities and ratepayers to unacceptable longterm risks and costs. These risks are recognised as a concern by Local Government NZ and by independent scientists monitoring current failures in regulation of GMOs.

    I am concerned that officials have excluded previous submissions to The Plan asking for  Auckland Council’s protection of GE-free production for residents and businesses. Council officials have been wrong to ignore public submissions by claiming the matter is the sole jurisdiction of Central Government.

    I request to be kept informed of changes to The Plan as a result of submissions on community  GMO concerns.

    I would / would not  like to speak to this submission at hearings in person.





     'I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered...' 

    Thomas Jefferson... 1802



  • Hi Claire, it sounds like you are setting out on one of those journeys that could take you to a place even better than you'd anticipated... Our whole neighbourhood has been doing something not too dissimilar and have also got a blog:

    If amazing how rewarding the experience has been and how subtly but surely our habits have shifted... most notably, we barely have any need to go to the super market anymore! Go gardening! Go local! We're loving it and inspiring even more neighbours to do the same. I'll be reading your blog!

  • Hi, I am starting a blog! it features information and tips on organic, fair trade and NZ grown products and where to get them, ranging from food and health products, to clothing and shoes.
    It is a simple how-to blog with easy realistic ways to make changes to organic, fair trade or NZ grown products! I want to document my progress as I change to a more ethical lifestyle so that others may see how easy it can be.
    Take a look if you are interested in finding out more at
    I will also be doing 2 weeks of eating only NZ Grown from the 8th to the 22nd of May! Read my blog and follow my progress as I find more NZ Grown products and tips on how to turn them into realistic alternatives to your usual store brought foods!
  • Hi sharon, treetomato/tamarillo. Can tell you what i've done, I planted all mine in corners up against a fence to provide shelter from wind, also staked and tied them from both sides. I had some aphids and white fly on the young leaves, sprayed with soapy water.
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Organic treatment for white butterflys

Hi folks, A quick question: we have bee hives at our cooperative garden. What is the best way to control white butterflys and their caterpillars without harming the bees? We are trying to avoid using Derris Dust (i cant remember why). Any suggestions are more than welcome. For anyone interested, here is a plan for our garden: Soulhearth Cooperative Gardens is a group of community gardeners have joined with some land owners in Drury and together we have started a community supported…

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Strawberry root weevil

Two years ago our strawberry plants were suffering badly from what I think it strawberry root weevil. I took all the plants up, dusted as much soil as possible from them, and replanted them in another part of the garden. They had one slow season but this year we've had a wonderful crop. But now I'm starting to see telltale signs of the same little critters again - holes in the strawberry leaves. Any ideas for organic ways to solve this? I'd prefer not to move them again, since it takes them a…

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Starting from scratch

Hi,We have the wonderful (?) opportunity to start from scratch in a reasonable sized backyard (its a rental and our landlord is keen for us to do sustainability stuff). At the moment it's mostly grass (and giant noxious weeds!! which we're gradually getting rid of). We are working with a T-shaped area. We'll have chooks at the northern end of the T, and hopefully a "food forest" with fruit trees etc at the southern end of the T. In the middle, with the most sun, we will have a series of no-dig…

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My mystery bugs - how to get rid of them?!

Forgive me if this discussion has already been addressed - I'm not too sure how to search on ooooby yet.  A few different bug questions here - I hope someone can help! I have a small thornless blackberry bush (about 20cm high) and I've just noticed a few of the bottom leaves have lots of small holes in them.  I had a hunt to see if I could find any culprits and all I found was one of those little 'fluffy bum' hopper bugs (not sure what their real name is but I remember them on our passion…

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4 Replies