WIC Gardening Update - 24 October 2012

Posted 11 years, 8 months ago by Kathryn Mercer - WIC Project Manager    1 comment

Hi and Fakaalofa lahi atu

The Metservice have been predicting overnight temperatures down to 0 degrees Celsius last night, with another cold one predicted tonight.  If you have planted tender summer crops outside, you will need to cover them to protect them from the cold and possible frosts!

We have had strong support for the work that WIC has been doing, and many of you have asked for WIC to continue beyond the end of 2012.  We are working hard to get funding to keep WIC going.  Because of the time this takes, we will not be putting out a newsletter. 

Grandview Community Garden is currently looking for some garden volunteers, see Volunteering Waikato.  If you want to work in the horticulture industry, these voluntary positions can give you useful work experience.

Reminder: Time Banking Orientation

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:

  • Tonight - 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).

Reminder: Planting at the Grandview Community Garden

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!

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.

Reminder: Growing Kumara

WIC is running a free kumara growing workshop on Saturday 27 October, 2-3:30 pm.   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.   

Bring: hat/sunscreen, raincoat, any seeds or plants you'd like to swap or share.

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.

Reminder: 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

The same weekend the Hamilton Permaculture Trust will be offering a guided tour & talk on Permaculture in the Sustainable Backyard garden.  The garden is set up like a model back yard that produces lots of food, including eggs and honey.  See what they have growing at this time of year and get inspired! 

Meet in the garden on Saturday, 27 October, 11 am or Sunday 28 October at 1 pm.   Maximum of 15 people - first in first served!  Koha (eg gold coin donation) appreciated. 

Planting Perennials in Tokoroa

Tim, WIC Community Garden Mentor will be at South Waikato Pacific Islands Community Services Inc (SWPICS), 1 Maraetai Rd, Tokoroa on Tuesday 30 October, from 10:30 am until at least midday.  He will be showing you how to plant perennials such as blueberries and herbs in the SWPICS garden.  Come along and learn about herbs, what to consider when deciding where to plant perennials, and to help with the planting.  He is also happy to show you hot composting if you missed that.

For more information call the mentors Tim or Clare, ph 0210387623 or 0212243109, or contact SWPICS, ph 07 8860010.

Every Child a Gardener - Supporting Food Gardening in Schools

There will be a meeting on Friday 2 November at 12 noon at St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Corner of River Road and Te Aroha Street, Hamilton to discuss how best to support school gardens to teach every child in the Hamilton how to grow vegetables. The meeting will be in the Mary Bryant room.

Anyone who might be interested in being part of this vision is welcome to go to the meeting.  Please bring a plate of food along for a shared lunch. Tea and coffee will be provided.  For more information contact Anne Overton, ph 027 520 8653.

Hot Composting

Hot composting turns organic waste into rich compost that you can use to improve your soil and feed your plants, while saving you money on rubbish dumping fees.  It is also great exercise! Hot composting kills seeds and most diseases.

When: Friday 2 November, 5:30 pm - 7 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.

Newcomers Network movie night: Grow Your Own

The film (drama/comedy), Grow Your Own is about a British allotment (a type of community garden) which has some garden plots looked after by refugee families as a form of therapy.  Some of the local people feel threatened by the influx of refugees (I must say the atmosphere at the Grandview Community Garden is much friendlier!)  There is a movie trailer here.

The Newcomers Network will provide some food, but if you can please bring a plate of food - share your cultural cooking traditions!  If possible email admin.newcomers@wmrc.org.nz or ring the Migrant Centre (ph 853 2192) so they know how many people to expect.

It is free, everyone is welcome!

When: Friday evening, 2 October.  (Time to be confirmed next week.) 

HOGs: Garden visits with a back yard chicken theme

Hamilton Organic Gardeners have 2 garden visits planned for Saturday 3 November: you are welcome to go to one or both.  

The first, at 11:30 am, is at Joy and David's suburban garden in Claudelands.   They grow a wide range of interesting plants (including bananas), harvest rainwater, use a worm bin and make their own liquid fertilisers.  Their chickens help them in the garden.  People are welcome to bring their own lunch and if the weather permits they will light their home made pizza oven!

At 1:30 pm the second visit is to Wendee and Mitch’s lifestyle block garden, Whatawhata.  They have a diverse garden but are keen to learn more.

Free, but koha appreciated.

For more information see the HOGs blog and email hamiltonorganicgardeners “at” gmail.com to book and find out where to meet.

Free Cooking Class - Wontons

Learn how to make healthy wontons with Stephanie (Taiwan) on Saturday 3rd November from 10 am to 12 pm at the Migrant Resource Centre, Boundary Road, Hamilton.

No bookings required.

Organised by NZ Ethnic Social Services Waikato ph (07) 839 4688.

A Gathering of Scarecrows

Scarecrows were a traditional method of keeping birds away from the crops.  At this free event:

  • bring a scarecrow and enter the competition 
  • vote for your favourite scarecrow!

While you are there, see what they have growing in the food gardens at this time of year.

When: Sunday 4 November, 11 am - 3 pm

Where: Kitchen Garden, Hamilton Gardens, Cobham Drive, Hamilton. 

For an English language map and guide (page 2) to Hamilton Gardens - the guide is in several languagesEnglish, traditional Chinese, German, Spanish, French, Japanese and Korean.

For more information click here or contact Pamela Hide phone 07 838 6782.

Sowing Summer Vegetables

On Tuesday November 6, 11 am - 12 noon, the WIC Community Garden Mentors will be demonstrating planting pumpkins, courgettes, chillies, cucumbers.  They will also be feeding the garlic and greens (leafy vegetables).  Everyone is welcome!

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

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

Hay fever

Hay fever is also known as Seasonal allergic rhinitis. Despite its name, it has nothing to do with hay or fever!  People with hay fever usually have:

  • an itchy nose, throat or eyes
  • sneezing
  • a runny nose or eyes
  • a blocked nose.

The people who suffer from it react to some types of pollen in the air released by flowering plants, so it is most common between October and February.  (If you have these symptoms all year round, you might be allergic to something else!)  

Different people will be allergic to different types of pollen: ryegrass pollen is a common problem - and a common plant in the Waikato!  Pine tree, privet, olive and hazel pollen will also make some people react with hay fever. 

If you suffer from hay fever, the best times to garden are in the afternoon or evening, on still, dry days.  There is less pollen in winter, so this is also a good time to garden.  Wearing sunglasses may help.  If you can, avoid mowing the lawn. 

The Metservice forecast includes a pollen count (level of risk) and the types of pollen likely to be in the air - so tomorrow's pollen levels in North Waikato are moderate and the main pollens in the air will be birch and early grasses.   

Learn more here or listen to a Radio NZ podcast.  People who suffer from asthma have a high chance of getting hay fever - learn more here


Transplanting is moving a plant, from one pot to another pot, or from a pot to the garden.  Many of us will be transplanting seedlings from seed trays to the garden as the weather warms up over the next few weeks.  

We showed you how to transplant seedlings in the WIC workshops on growing plants from seed.  If you missed learning how to do this or need a reminder, there is more information, photos and a video here

Learning the English names of veg

Do you have trouble learning the English names of vegetables?  Vegetables.co.nz has free posters you can download with the picture, name and information about brassicas, root vegetables, summer herbs and edible flowers here.  Why not print them out and put them on your fridge door to help you memorise the names?

In season - Tarragon

In my garden I have harvested the last of my leeks, and the French Tarragon (a herb with an aniseed flavour) has sent up some fresh growth after its winter sleep.  So I am thinking of making Chicken and potatoes in a white wine and tarragon sauce.  In summer, you can use basil in place of tarragon for this recipe.  If you don't like using wine, use some fruit juice instead - I know some of you made yummy grape juice last autumn! 

Enjoy the sunshine in your garden!


11 years, 2 months ago

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