WIC Gardening Update 17 Oct 2012

Posted 11 years, 8 months ago by Kathryn Mercer - WIC Project Manager    0 comments

Hi and mhoroi

Clare says October is a good month for sowing: lettuce, celery, spinach, spring onions, carrots, silverbeet, parsley, beetroot, leeks and peas.  These can all be sown directly outdoors - they will survive frosts. 

They also started sowing potatoes outside at the Grandview Community Garden: by the time they sprout above the soil we should be past the  frosts.  Peta, CEO of K'aute Pasifika Services, enjoyed getting out and planted a few rows of potatoes early last week with her family.  She wishes you good luck with your potatoes growing!

Reminder: Grow your own vegetables 

This short free hands-on practical session covers the basics of:

  • Vege growing - what can I plant now?
  • Getting the ground ready
  • Making compost
  • Sowing seeds – how and when to sow
  • How to feed your plants
  • Dealing with weeds
  • Pest control the organic way.

*If the weather is very wet, you will be under shelter learning how to sow seeds, which you can take home!

When: Thursday 18 October, 10 am - 12 pm, repeated 6 pm - 8 pm

Where: Grandview Community Garden. Entrance to the garden is through the gate opposite 183 Grandview Road - look for the WIC flag. Park your bike by the shed, or take bus route 8 (Frankton), or park on Grandview Road.

Any questions? Contact Clare (ph 021 0387623) or Tim (ph 021 2243109), the WIC Community Garden Mentors.

Reminder: Thriving on a Shoe String - Cooking classes

Topics include:

  • Shopping on a budget
  • Preserving fruits and vegetables
  • Menu planning
  • Time Savers – quick healthy snacks
  • One pot wonders

When: Thursdays, 18 October to 22 November, 9.30 am – 12 noon

Where: Methodist Centre, 62 London St, Hamilton

Cost: $2 per session

Limited spaces: book a place - contact Wendy, Methodist City Action, ph  8393917.  All welcome!

SHAMA Cooking/Healthy Living Course

The Hamilton Ethnic Women's Trust is running hands-on course where women can learn to cook low cost healthy dishes from around the world.  It costs just 50c per session and starts this Friday.  All women are welcome (no booking required). 

When: 10 am - 12 noon, Fridays from 19 October - 14 December.

Where:  27 Beatty Street, Melville.

SHAMA also runs free ESOL classes, sewing ($5 per term), craft classes, parent support and play group, and a basic computer course.   For more information contact SHAMA ph 843-3811. 

Reminder: Free Water Wise Workshop 

Join Tim, WIC Community Garden Mentor, to learn how to:

  • Collect and store rainwater for your garden
  • Minimise the amount of water you need to use
  • Water less often
  • Choose plants that don't need lots of water
  • Shape the landscape to make the most of your water.

You will see the solar water pump being used.

When: Saturday 20 October 2012, 2:30- 4 pm. 

Where: Grandview Community Garden. Entrance to the garden is through the gate opposite 183 Grandview Road. Park your bike by the shed, or take bus route 8 (Frankton), or park on Grandview Road.   

Any questions? Contact Clare (ph 021 0387623) or Tim (ph 021 2243109), the WIC Community Garden Mentors.

Planting & Feeding the Grandview Community Garden

On Tuesday 23 October, 10 am - 12 noon, join a WIC Community Garden Mentor to do some planting and feeding of the garden.  This is also a chance to ask your gardening questions.

Where: Grandview Community Garden. Entrance to the garden is through the gate opposite 183 Grandview Road. Park your bike by the shed, or take bus route 8 (Frankton), or park on Grandview Road.

On Thursday 25 October, 11 am - 12 noon one of the Community Garden Mentor's will be doing seed sowing - everyone is welcome to come along and learn!

Any questions? Contact Clare (ph 021 0387623) or Tim (ph 021 2243109), the WIC Community Garden Mentors.

Reminder: Time Banking Orientation

If you would like to become a member of Hamilton TimeBank, book your place for one of the sessions to get set up, phone: 834 2249 or email: hamtimebank@gmail.com  Everyone is welcome.

When & Where: Choose one:

  • Wednesday 24 October, 6 - 7:30 pm, Waikato Environment Centre, 25 Ward Street, Hamilton City (upstairs)
  • Friday 26 October, 12:30 - 2 pm, Waimarie Community House, 53 Wellington Street, Hamilton East.

Please bring: finger food to share, 2 x names and phone numbers of referees, 2 x forms of identification (1 with photo; 1 with address).

Natural Health Expo & Sustainable Backyard Tour

The Hamilton Permaculture Trust will have a stall at the Natural Health Expo in the Hamilton Gardens Pavilion.  Talk to a Trust member, sign up for a course or for Time Banking.

Their book will be available: How to Grow Your own Food (well worth the $25).  It has a list of what to plant when for Hamilton's climate.

When: Saturday 27 Oct, 10 am – 5 pm and Sunday 28 Oct, 10 am – 5 pm

Where: Hamilton Gardens, Cobham Dr, SH1, Hamilton

Cost: Kids: Free. Adult: $7.00

There will also be a guided tour & talk on Permaculture in the Sustainable Backyard garden: Meet in the garden on Saturday, 27 October, 11 am or Sunday 28 October at 1 pm.   See what they have growing at this time of year and get inspired!

Reminder: Growing Kumara

WIC is running a free kumara growing workshop on Saturday 27 October, 2-3:30 pm.   Kumara is a sweet potato (root vegetable) of South American origin that is widely grown here in NZ.  We have three experienced growers who will share their knowledge of planting, growing and harvesting kumara:

  • Beatriz Hardy - South American information about camote and the Wintec Horticulture school's experience of growing kumara in the Kitchen Garden, Hamilton Gardens 
  • Wiremu Puke - a Maori perspective on kumara growing, experience of growing kumara in the Te Parapara Garden, Hamilton Gardens 
  • Lisiate Manuatu - a Tongan gardener who has been experimenting with growing kumara in NZ for over 40 years.  He grows enough to feed his family all year round - this year he plans to grow 1000 plants in his back yard - come and learn how to make the best of a your space!

Everyone is welcome to come and learn and share your experience!  If you need a translator, please let us know as soon as possible.   

Where: Grandview Community Garden. Entrance to the garden is through the gate opposite 183 Grandview Road - look for the WIC flag. Park your bike by the shed, or take bus route 8 (Frankton), or park on Grandview Road.    

Any questions?  Contact Kathryn, ph 834-1482.

Loy Kratong Thai Festival

Try some Thai food at the Loy Kratong Thai Festival!

When: Saturday 27 October 2012, 4 pm - 9 pm

Where: Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, Waikato University. 

There is a charge.  More information here.

Where to get tools

Tool Banks

A tool bank or tool library is a place where you can borrow or rent tools.

As part of the Nawton Crawshaw Healthy Living Project, the Western Community Centre has opened a garden tool bank that has spades, shovels and hoes.  You can borrow $10 deposit (refundable) + a gold coin.   Ph 847 4873 if you need more information.  Everyone is welcome to use this service.   Where: 46 Hyde Ave, Nawton, Hamilton 3200.

At the Enderley Community Centre (66 Tennyson Rd) a tool library is open to residents on the eastern side of Hamilton.  It was started to help people take pride in their community.  They have lawn mowers, spades, shovels, garden forks, a wheelbarrow, a wood-chipper (a machine used to turn branches into mulch).  They are planning to get weed eaters in the future.  There is a $10 registration fee and a $5 day hire fee for the lawnmower.  It is open Tuesday's to Fridays, but they sometimes close during wet weather. Register and pickup between 9 am-11 am, return tools between 4-5 pm.  Ph 8557520 for more information: ask for Mere or Debbie or Harata.  They would love some extra volunteer helpers. 

If you know of any other tool banks in the Waikato, especially Hamilton and Tokoroa, please let us know about it so other members of WIC can benefit! 

If you are looking for other specialised, expensive tools that you will use only once or twice, you could ask at one of the commercial hire companies, listed under Hire-Building and Handyman Equipment in the Yellow Pages (a telephone book arranged by business type).     Alternatively, some groups or extended families buy these kinds of tools together, sharing both the cost and the use.

Buying secondhand

"Dollar for dollar, it is better to invest in good quality used equipment, rather than poor quality new" - Robin Humphreys. 

Many of our WIC members have bought tools through places like the Russell Recycling (sometimes called the Dump Shop) at the Waste Transfer Station where you can buy a second hand lawnmower for as little as $20, for example.   

You can now also buy second-hand gardening tools online through The Shed. They only stock motorised tools (lawn mowers, line trimmers, etc) and spare parts to repair them. They claim that most of their machines cost about half what you would pay for a new one.  You can enquire online or phone 0800 MOWERS (669377) - ask for Shane.  You can also visit their shops in Albany and Wairau in Auckland - see their web site for details.  They are new, I do not know of anyone who has used them before.

There is more information about where to get tools on Ooooby in the WIC Growing discussion.   

Plant Supports

If you missed the workshop on building garden structures, there are some inexpensive ideas here.

School Gardens

At the HOGs meeting on Monday night Avis Leeson, who works with 54 school gardens around the Waikato, said that she is looking for people to help, especially grandfathers. If you think that you could help to support one of your local school gardens, you can get in touch with Avis at 07 852 5783 or email avisleeson@gmail.com 

Uso Visit & Men's Health

It was good to see the Uso riders cycle into Hamilton last night!  If you missed it, or want to learn more about improving men's health, you might enjoy the All Black Buck Shelford's new book, Buck up: the real bloke's guide to getting healthy and living longer, available at the public library.  Local MP Tim Macindoe was at Shelford's book signing in Hamilton recently, and admitted that he'd discovered having a prostate cancer check was not as difficult as he thought it would be (it is a blood test), and appreciated finding out that he was actually fine. 

Hardening off plants

If you shifted to NZ from a hot country, you probably found the cold weather a shock! Shifting plants directly from a warm place to a cold place is a shock to them too, which is not good for their health.   

Many kiwis will be getting prepared for planting out the seedlings of their frost-tender summer crops over Labour Weekend.  The seedlings have been growing in a nice warm place: they need to acclimatise - ie to gradually get used to the conditions they'll be growing in outside before you plant them out - stronger sunlight, cooler nights and less-frequent watering.  This process of acclimatisation is called 'hardening off' - the leaves reduce the amount of water they hold and become harder.  Plants are usually hardened off over 5-10 days.

  • Reduce the amount you water them - just enough to stop them wilting (going floppy) 
  • If you have been fertilising them, stop fertilising
  • Gradually increase: the time the plants spend outside each day and the amount of light
  • Keep them warm at night (bring them inside, or close/cover the cloche), until the last 24 hrs before planting them out. 

You can learn more here

Free recipes and freezing  

Last Wednesday saw the launch of the free Healthy Food Guide 5pm panic weekly e-newsletter!  You can subscribe and get an email every Wednesday afternoon with an inspiring, simple and quick to make recipe for a week night dinner.

The week's recipe was for Asian style sesame pork with rice and steamed vegetables.  It takes about 20 minutes to make.  The recipe cost $22.80 to make to serve 4 people ($5.70 per person) - but this cost included buying frozen vegetables: you can reduce the cost if you use home grown vegetables grown from seed. 

Commercial frozen mixed vegetables contain between 4-8 types of vegetable: you could be including more variety than that from your garden - the more variety the better it is for our bodies!  

Another option is to use a mixture of frozen vegetables (especially in winter for the out of season vegetables like corn, capsiums and beans) and fresh home-grown vegetables like cabbage, silverbeet (chard), bok choi, kale/collard greens, finely sliced red cabbage, yacon, spring onions, violet leaves, carrots ...  

You can freeze your own home-grown summer surplus for use in winter stir fries.  If you don't grow your own mushrooms, buy them in bulk when they are at a good price and freeze them to add into stir fries, soups and stews.

Freezing Hint: With mushrooms, capsicums, blueberries and raspberries you can freeze them raw. Wipe the mushrooms, or gently wash and dry capsicums and berry fruit. Slice the mushrooms and capsicums, but the berries can be frozen whole.  Spread the produce out on a tray and put them in the freezer.  The next day, put them into a plastic bag or container and return them to the freezer.  By doing it this way they don't stick together (sometimes called the 'free flow method') making it easy to just take out what you need for a particular recipe.  

For more information on freezing fruit and vegetables, download the free Canadian manual on preserving food called Produce Preservation Program: canning, freezing, drying, harvesting, cold storage. 

Have a great week in your garden!

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