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How To Get There 3/2/19

Written By: - Date published: 6:54 am, February 3rd, 2019 - 137 comments
Categories: Deep stuff - Tags:

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137 comments on “How To Get There 3/2/19 ”

  1. WeTheBleeple 1

    In 2016 the average NZ household was spending around 11K on food per year. Food that, for the most part, is not great. A chain of ingredients shipped from country to country through the processing of commodities into products. Large scale production with oil products as fertilisers, herbicides, pesticides fungicides and fuels.

    Bon Appetite!

    The planet is imperiled, the science is in: We have to change the way we farm. We have to change the way we eat. We have to divest from oil.

    The planet faces unprecedented pressure, and people are feeling the noose tighten. Wild weather brings home the reality of our looming crisis, yet apathetic and sociopathic leadership seem to merely pay platitudes for political points. Still everything costs more, everything’s tighter, more crowded, more hostile, and those bloody lefties are talking about a carbon tax!

    The average food bill for any household represents a considerable savings potential for those fortunate enough to reside on properties in which they can garden. Alternately, community gardens often offer reasonable annual rates for a plot of your own. Here you will find gardeners, persons generous with seeds and information to help you on your way.

    In plugging gardening here at TS I have received several readers comments something along the lines of: I’m talking about subsistence farming, I must be hungry, gardens won’t make a difference… And then there’s a lot of people with money who forget that at least 40% of us have little to no money; and they miss the point that gardens can completely turn lives around when income is so low it hurts; or when health is so low it hurts. From what I can tell, money and dietary related health issues go a lot further up the food chain than just folk who are clearly poor.

    There are others who think gardening makes no difference. They’ve absolved themselves of personal responsibility by throwing their hands in the air and waiting for science/Govt/God to save us. That is a pathetic response and in disguise an apathetic response.

    Do you want to: save lots of money, get fit and save on gym membership, eat better, feel better, reconnect with some calm…

    We could bring some of our most destructive industries to their knees if everyone started gardening. We could change the planet one plot at a time. Passively, peacefully, taking care of business.

    Here’s how you can do it basically for free:

    • Ad 1.1

      Good luck and well done to all who do.

      We dont have time, broadly.

      Of our 7 2x1metre raised beds, only unkillables survive our neglect.

      Lemons, oranges, berries, apples, elderberry
      then herbs
      then silverbeet and spinach

      Our household just recovers from professional life.
      The garden generally needs to take care of itself.

      • patricia bremner 1.1.1

        Rhubarb looks after itself Good from year two.

        • greywarshark

          I meant to get this in early on but has got pushed down the comment line.
          Robert will be on line later. Busy doing workshops this morning and into the afternoon. Will look in as soon as he can.

        • JanM

          New Zealand spinach is very hardy, so is perpetual spinach, actually

          • sumsuch

            Hard to keep NZ spinach down, even seems to prefer beaches on the dry east coast. I wonder how anyone can starve with it around , except the nutrience value.

      • Stuart Munro 1.1.2

        Scarlet runners thrive on neglect and will go perennial if mulched heavily.

    • Cinny 1.2

      And if you have a larger crop than you can eat….put excess food at the gate with a sign that says ‘Koha’.

      Growing food should be a mandatory subject at all schools, IMO.

      • Muttonbird 1.2.1

        Most primary schools do this now.

      • Sabine 1.2.2

        this is an excellent movement

        community fruit n veggie stands that pop up up and down the country where people can drop of their surplus veggies/canned goods etc etc etc.

        Community Fruit & Veg Stands https://www.facebook.com/groups/communityfruitandvegstands/

        you can check there to see if there is not already one near you and support that or start your own and have it added to the network.

        Me, i am pleased for my first lot of pears. The tree is a bit overgrown and huge, but it helps with the agreement i have with the critters, those on top that i can’t reach is for the birds all others are for me. It seems to work 🙂

        • patricia bremner

          “Pears are for the heirs” so yours must be just the right “Old Age” lol lol

      • Jenny - How to get there? 1.2.3

        “…..Growing food should be a mandatory subject at all schools, IMO.” Cinny.

        Indeed it should.

        I also think that the Supermarkets should be mandated by law, to have at least one, (or part of one) produce aisle dedicated to local food. Giving local food producers an income stream, would be a move that would make community gardens and other small growers more viable, particularly in decile 1 areas.

        Other benefits would be providing local employment.

        In case of a major natural disaster or emergency – possibly the most important benefit of all. Food Security.

        In case of natural disaster, when commercial food distribution systems based on long haulage may be disrupted, poorer communities would still have an available food source close at hand. And one that could be expanded from its core experienced gardening group if the crisis persisted for more than a few months.

    • Muttonbird 1.3

      A noble post for sure but the realities of small plots for low income people mean there is a huge amount of work and expense for variable and high risk gain.

      The future of housing and the plummeting home ownership rates mean home gardens are the preserve of the elite, the haves, the semi-retired and retired, just like the Texas woman in the clip.

      She speaks about picking up boxing and composting material from businesses and from the side of the road but this is not accessible to most people on low incomes. She doesn’t talk about pest control, bird control, fungus control, extreme weather conditions, ground preparation, mulch, or the time required to maintain a vegetable garden able to produce consistent and reliable crops.

      Neoliberalism has taken and adult from every young family and forced them to work to pay for increased housing costs. That’s one adult who can’t tend a home garden or plot at the very time they might need it most.

      The future of housing we are told is medium and high density apartments. The space required to usher in this noble revolution is shrinking day by day, especially for the low of income and the vulnerable and the infirm.

  2. rata 2

    One thing I have noticed is teenagers are not exactly ecstatic when
    offered broccoli, broad beans, silverbeet Brussel sprouts.
    Until kids want to eat what is in the garden why plant more gardens?
    I also notice how now days they ignore trees laden with fruit
    and let the fruit just rot on the ground.
    Kids are too well fed.
    Cottage cheese taufu humus rice biscuits just don’t cut it with the kids.
    If only we could grow, Pizza, KFC and McDonalds in the garden.
    Kids would be planting up a storm.
    The latest mobile phone, Ipod + Mobile data plants would be popular too.

    • North 2.1

      Oxymoron Alert……”Kids are too well fed”……alongside mention of Pizza, KFC and McDonalds. The dynamic you somewhat quirkishly describe Rata is not however the fault of the kids, nor essentially of their charges.

      Yes I’ve tutted a bit seeing 40 bucks of KFC in a bucket going over the counter…….thinking to myself “Wow ! I could feed your family of 6 for 2 nights with 40 bucks.” That depends on knowledge and time however which many, particularly the financially stressed working poor, just don’t have…….in this connection knowledge and time are inextricably tied.

      The real culprits are found in the ranks of the predatory, highly corporatised fast food industry and its advertisers. I feel ill seeing kids slurping on McDonalds’ ‘sugared-to-death’ frozen Coke mysteriously marketed at $1 a pop for ‘small’, $1 a pop for ‘large’. What’s that all about ? Someone devised that.

      Grow a garden…….spread the knowledge and the product and the joy up and down your street. Still, if that hamburger remains irresistible don’t go past the bespoke $5 version at LJS Cafe, Broadway, Kaikohe. Best in the North !

      • Shadrach 2.1.1

        “The real culprits are found in the ranks of the predatory, highly corporatised fast food industry and its advertisers.”
        No one is being forced to buy their products. By labelling these companies as the culprits you are effectively providing an excuse where there is none. Feeding our children properly has financial, health, educational and general wellbeing benefits that are self evident, and should be enough to keep anyone from the clutches of these corporates.

        • Sabine

          what you say is true to an extend.
          it is also true that our laws are made to facilitate the large industrial providers and not the small local providers and businesses.
          i.e. you have to jump through hoops n loops and offer your first born if you want to grow organic food, however you have to do absolutely nothing if you use pesticide upon pesticide and grow your food on an industrial scale. No labeling requirements nothing. In saying that would anyone buy the food if they had to label all the use of pesticide, antibiotics, and environmental degradation?
          as for no one is being forced,……yeah, that market provided bullshit again. If you live in an area where there are only the three standard supermarkets and no alternatives you have a choice of buying the food accessible or starving. That is not really a choice, is it now? And again, the government and its food control plan comes in, you know the one where the little ladies jams for a fundraiser are on equal foot with the industrial jam maker 🙂 So no, you eat what is available in your region, and what you can afford to pay for. That is not choice, or in the world of a capitalist who needs to extract the highest profit it surely is choice. You can shop foodtown, countdown, pak n save and all you get is Pams.

          • Shadrach

            North was referring to food available at Maccas and LJ’s. There are plenty of healthier food options available from supermarkets.

            • North

              Read again Shadrach…….LJS Cafe, Broadway, Kaikohe is a smallish family run place with excellent, reasonably priced, heathy food. To wit their $5 hamburger (sushi too a little bit pricier for a satisfying intake and a carvery). I praised them in contradistinction with the corporates and because they deserve the praise. Perhaps you should visit.

            • Sabine

              true that, but you still need a supermarket in your area.
              And there are many areas, especially rural that do not have the choice that you might have in a supermarket in town say AKL/Wlgtn.

              And again, you are missing hte larger point that i made, namely that a. you need to know how to cook, b. you need the tools of cookery i.e. working stove, working fridge, and last but least you need decent stocked supermarkets and access to them ,which again if you live rural and have no car or only one car per family can be an issue.

              Now if you are at the poorer end of income you might not have all the ingredients to live a healthy lifestyle, and yes healthy food is more expensive.

              If you grew up poor, chances are you don’t know how to cook. That in my eyes is the biggest issues here. When i buy leek, chickpeas, lentils and the likes at my local and the check out operator asks what you do with these things then we have an issue. Namely a. people don’t know their good foods – can’t identify them, and b. they don’t know how to use them. So even when in the supermarket you don’t have that much of a choice. Nor do you have a much of a choice with the different supermarkets as they all carry the same brands.

              All that leaves you with convenient food, i .e . Maccas , KFC and the likes and in areas where you don’t have these it would be your local fish n chippery, with a bit of fake chinese thrown in. With most if not all of the food coming from companies like Bidvest, Gilmours etc etc and all ready made, frozen to be deep fried, smothered in ready made sauces. Which if you have no fridge, or stove, or can’t afford the electricity bill to run both, is the easiest way to feed people.

              And i was not answering to North, my comment was to Rata. 🙂

              • Shadrach

                Thanks Sabine. Some good comments. I get that there are some who are shut out of healthy living by the factors you outline (particularly geographic isolation), however this will not account for the vast majority. If people can afford to visit KFC, then they can afford to visit a supermarket. And learning to cook is surely a life skill to be obtained like learning to drive, or learning to order from KFC? There just seems to be so many contradictions in the way people lead their lives.

                • McFlock

                  however this will not account for the vast majority

                  Reckons ain’t facts.

                  There’s been quite a bit of research into food scarcity in NZ. Try googling it.

                  • Shadrach

                    There is no food scarcity in South Auckland, or anywhere else where population masses. You seem to have missed the irony of you claiming that there is food scarcity when we’re comparing whether people buy food from supermarkets or KFC! Some scarcity!

                    PS I suspect you are confusing food scarcity with food security. Google that.

                    • McFlock

                      Really? What results did you get when you googled “food scarcity in nz”?


                      PS I suspect you are confusing food scarcity with food security. Google that.

                      There is no difference between the two. If there is no food security, scarcities will happen. If there’s food poverty, there’s food scarcity. Now tell us all why you’re focusing on semantics rather than the problem of people in NZ not being able to afford to have their nutritional needs met.

                    • Shadrach

                      “What results did you get when you googled “food scarcity in nz”?”
                      Nothing of much consequence. Did you find any food scarcity in South Auckland?

                      “There is no difference between the two. ”
                      You really are ignorant. Do some proper research.
                      “Food security exists when all people at all times have physical and economic access to adequate amounts of nutritious, safe, and culturally appropriate food to maintain a healthy and active life. ”

                      Time waster.

                    • McFlock

                      “Nothing much of consequence”. Interesting.

                      I got links to articles on food costs for families, food security and urban poverty, food parcel demand, determinants of food insecurity, and several other topics all relating directly to food scarcity in NZ.

                      So three options come to mind: there was a rare fail by google when you used it, or you have a weird interpretation of consequence when it comes to relevant articles, or you’re a damned liar.

                      You provided a definition of “food security”. The definition of food insecurity is when some people are not assured of those things. If they do not have “access to adequate amounts of nutritious, safe, and culturally appropriate food to maintain a healthy and active life”
                      then they have inadequate amounts. For them, food is scarce.

                      BTW, if you didn’t want to waste time you’d have provided support for your “vast majority” assertion, and then explained why you thought it was fine for a minority to experience barriers between them and decent nutrition.

                      If it happens to one person in NZ, it’s still wrong. You can’t minimise your way out of it,

                    • Shadrach

                      So you went away and came up with a bunch of searches that confirm what I wrote, and still don’t know the difference between food scarcity and food security. Yep, time waster.

                    • Shadrach

                      “You provided a definition of “food security”. The definition of food insecurity is when some people are not assured of those things. If they do not have “access to adequate amounts of nutritious, safe, and culturally appropriate food to maintain a healthy and active life”
                      then they have inadequate amounts. For them, food is scarce.”

                      No, dimwit. What is scarce is “nutritious, safe, and culturally appropriate food to maintain a healthy and active life”.

                      There is still plenty of KFC. You see food scarcity and food security are NOT the same thing!

                      “…if you didn’t want to waste time you’d have provided support for your “vast majority” assertion,”

                      You don’t understand the difference between food scarcity and food security. You claimed there was no difference. You are an ignorant fool. How would any support help?

                    • McFlock

                      Let’s say that there is still plenty of KFC in physical and economic access for many people. How does KFC relate to “nutritious, safe, and culturally appropriate food to maintain a healthy and active life”? It doesn’t. The food that does meet that criteria is too expensive, physically unavailable, or not accessible for some other reason, otherwise people would favour the nutritious food over KFC. That is a food scarcity.

                      It’s food scarcity because anyone familiar with the human metabolism doesn’t regard the availability of one type of food, even a surplus of one kind of nutritious food, to be “food abundance” or “food security”. Even in the fucking bible they knew man couldn’t live on bread alone. Nor KFC. There is a shortage of other foods and nutrients. A “scarcity”.

                      But once again you’re fixated on an insignificant semantic distinction rather than actually address the original point about the role capitalism plays in making poorer people simultaneously obese and malnourished.

                    • Shadrach

                      “Let’s say that there is still plenty of KFC in physical and economic access for many people. How does KFC relate to “nutritious, safe, and culturally appropriate food to maintain a healthy and active life”? It doesn’t.”
                      Correct. If there is plenty of KFC there is food insecurity, not food scarcity. Two different things.

                      “The food that does meet that criteria is too expensive, physically unavailable, or not accessible for some other reason, otherwise people would favour the nutritious food over KFC. That is a food scarcity.”
                      Not if KFC is available, it isn’t. That is food insecurity.

                      “It’s food scarcity because anyone familiar with the human metabolism doesn’t regard the availability of one type of food, even a surplus of one kind of nutritious food, to be “food abundance” or “food security”. Even in the fucking bible they knew man couldn’t live on bread alone. Nor KFC. There is a shortage of other foods and nutrients. A “scarcity”.”
                      No it isn’t. Food is not scarce. There is plenty of KFC. And Macca’s. Etc.

                      But here’s a question for you. My comment you challenged was this:
                      “I get that there are some who are shut out of healthy living by the factors you outline (particularly geographic isolation), however this will not account for the vast majority.”
                      Do you agree or disagree?

                    • McFlock

                      I would agree with “some”. Taking into account the over-demand on food banks, the fact that 25 years ago benefits were deliberately set at only 80% of the amount a person is required to live on, taking into account that 40% of children in poverty are the children of parents in work, taking into account the relative cost of fresh, healthy food over fast food of all kinds, I think your “vast majority” wildly overstates the proportion of people in that “some”.

                      But I think that any proportion less than 100% is irrelevant, because “any” people denied healthy living for the socioeconomic reasons outlined is “too many”.

                      And if we can be surrounded by all the fast food in the world, and still have a food scarcity because that food is insufficient for health. Whereas food security is when you can be sure that healthy food will be there tomorrow. If it isn’t there tomorrow, then there’s a scarcity, regardless of how much other junk there is around you.

                    • Shadrach

                      Ok, let’s agree to disagree on the numbers, but your second paragraph is food for thought. No pun intended.

                    • McFlock

                      fair enough

        • Gabby

          They probably know kids have little to no impulse control shadders, and a lot of parents are weak. I reckon they may have researched that, going by the ads I’ve seen.

          • Shadrach

            True about children and parents. And anyone selling any product will target their market. It’s up to us to make good choices.

        • greywarshark

          No one is being forced to buy their [corporates’] products.
          No one is being forced to think in this society, as you indicate through your own comments. Instead we are encouraged by advertising to buy the food industries corporate output. You no doubt would complain if there were efforts to stop advertising on television of certain foods, a rule against sugar promotion, chocolates etc; you would find this heavy-handed, a nanny state.

          Yet the known facts are that advertising and public relations are used widely by corporates because they work on people’s minds and habits. Mind and perception shaping through PR makes jobs in that work plentiful and lucrative.

          Here we are working individually to do our own mind shaping, working from a basis of facts and research and experience that shows good outcomes. Just so you know what the process is here and you can gain the most beneficial effects from using the thought forum which is what The Standard actually is trying to be.

          • Shadrach

            We shouldn’t need to be encouraged to think about what is best for our children. It should come naturally.

            • greywarshark

              Dial Shadrach for Shoulds. Feel the need to be preached at? Do you feel that you are unnatural? You can be turned to the right way with help from The One Who Knows. Don’t think just feel and turn to the wise one for all you need to know.

              • Shadrach

                Actually I said ‘shouldn’t’. You implied we are somehow helpless to resist this evil corporate mind bending. Screw that.

    • Cinny 2.2

      Rata, I’ve found that if one involves the kids in planting the food, they want to eat it when it’s grown. It’s like they get a kick out of it.

      Not sure where you are, but here in Motueka the kids often stop and pick plums etc to eat on the way home from school.

      Maybe some people don’t want to pick fruit because they are unsure if they are allowed, for example if a tree is half hanging over the park fence dripping with plums, is that stealing?

      • greywarshark 2.2.1

        There used to be a large plum on a corner of our suburban street. It came to ripen just on Christmas and everyone was busy elsewhere. It was in a house with an elderly occupant. No-one from the house picked much of the fruit. The tree branched out over the pavement and fruit dropped and stuck there wet and sticky. In the end the tree was chopped down and now there are neat pruned hedges and the house is used as a dental consulting rooms. So the natural lifestyle of seasons and people using food around them was sort of warped by our culture and ways of behaviour. The tree didn’t fit.

        • Sabine

          Did the tree not fit in, or were the people just to dumb, lazy, ignorant and rather bought the fruit in the supermarket.

          I have a list of trees that hang over fences……good foraging. Excellent foraging.
          last year i came across this apple tree that has green very tart apples on it. Can’t wait for them to get there….good apples for pie.

          • greywarshark

            It is so easy to label people dumb etc. Why did the tree not fit in? Why did people not use its produce? (I am going to put down what I have observed of our NZ society and don’t point this at you Sabine, please don’t think that.)

            I answered those questions partly when I said people were busy preparing for Christmas. There are only so many things you can do in a day and when you are poorish they tend to be moreish than those with more than enough dough. But the poorish generally like Christmas, and prezzies and getting together – it’s a lovely ritual. (I say that before someone says that Christmas is bad and commercialised blah,blah.) The poor consider it is a shining time of tinsel and Christmas trees lit up and Santa, and personal enjoyment time and seeing family, something to look forward to. But it is busy and they don’t have time to pick up plums, wash them and freeze them. They have managed to get a ham to share with the rellies and friends and the frig/freezer is filling up. They don’t have bottles, or time to do that. It isn’t appropriate to call those people dumb or whatever.

            The wealthy don’t go round on their hands and knees picking up plums to prevent them going to waste. They would have the time if they decided to do it, and just might if it was a charitable organised thing for the ladies and the media documented them showing what the poorer classes should be doing. Educational and role modelling to the lower classes. The men wouldn’t consider it as they have to take the car to the garage for servicing and cleaning and other tasks. They have finer things to do.

            Then there is the matter of who owns the plums. With the amount of criticism coming from the ‘good’ people in society, eagerness to find fault and allegations of criminality from the ‘better class of people’, gathering them up might brand the person as a low class scrounger. Some po-faced oldie, anxious to keep the neighbourhood safe and free from riff-raff or worse, might call the police. Such people who would act like this, and it comes out in the news and from people’s mouths that these thoughts and actions happen, are dumb, lazy and mean-minded thinkers, and determinedly ignorant about others well-being.

            Maybe the Wellbeing Index will help to change these inground, inbred, attitudes. Our plants and minds grow best with adequate light and care, and then we can cohabit as most plants do in a synergistic culture.

            • Sabine

              i do consider people dumb that cut down food trees or generally cut down trees.
              But i put them in various categories of dumb.

              willful dumb- the guys who knows what he is cutting down and is cutting it down for ‘low maintenance laws or concreting over for even more convenience”.

              good meaning dumb – oh that tree makes a lot of mess, lets cut it down.

              hate trees dumb – lets cut everything that is green and shrubby/tree’y down and build a big fence.

              and i get what you are saying re ownership etc etc etc, and i get what you are saying about hte ‘riff raff’, people calling the cops etc.

              No i see the issue somewhat different, namely people not knowing what fruits they can eat, they can’t identify trees and their fruits and thus fruit falls to the ground and rots. And the stuff that grows on trees in our backyards often look different then the shiney, blemish free stuff you get at the supermarket.

              Btw, i grew up poor, food insecure even at times and we learned how to forage from our grandmother and mothers. Why? that’ free food was a big part of our daily food, berries, mushrooms, nuts, wild asparagus, apples, pears, forrest strawberries (now a rare delicacy) . But yes, it was work and it was fun too.

    • patricia bremner 2.3

      Most teens like spaghetti. With the cheap ($19) whizz put boccoli/or cauli in with the tomatoes and onions to make the sauce/ Broad beans in nachos.
      Whizz up silver beat drizzle on home made Pizza. say 4 leaves to make 4/5 rings. Do the same with red peppers/capsicums. One chorizo sausage cut very thin to add zing and mozzerella cheese. Make spokes with tomato sauce. A teen favourite I called it “Mum’s Margarita.” I would make 6 at a time and pack them in the freezer. Quick to bring out when the hordes descended.

      Ask your teens to pick the fruit to take to the local food bank, old people’s home,
      church, marae/ neighbours.
      It helps remind them how lucky they are.
      Show concern for those in poor health or need. Talk… it can save a life. Time is a gift anyone can give.

    • greywarshark 2.4

      Sounds like alcoholic thinking. Alcohol provides easy calories, so such addicts don’t bother eating normally or well. They may be fat but malnourished.

      Pizza, KFC and McDonalds likely provide a ratio of more calories than that of protein, and add some vegs for topping as a rule. KFC may be better, on a par with fish and chips. I could get a coleslaw from my fish and chips shop if I ask but it is easy to ignore the vegs, the greens, that our body needs to be healthy.

      Going for easy isn’t a good option, Having at least a plastic tub or a strong cardboard box with or without lining of plastic with a lettuce, some parsley, chives, and perhaps little tomatoes to pick would be wise and useful and let the kids help themselves. Have on the plate along with everything else, and serve small meals with requirement that everything has to be eaten, and then second helpings can be the food of choice.

      A little firmness in table rules will lead to firmness round the stomach area and in general muscle tone, and also self-discipline which is so necessary to be a strong, capable individual these days. The trend of the leadership from our culture is to turn us into a helpless mass who can’t manage without the tech provided, the lifestyle organised, the thoughts put through a pulveriser; and all comes out beige. Please don’t sink into beigeness!

    • Sabine 2.5

      to be honest, do the kids actually know they can eat the fruit of the trees?
      I am on a few vegetable/garden pages and it astounds me again and again when people post pictures up of fruit n veggies that they found in a property they just bought/moved in/rented etc and they don’t know if they can eat it or if it is a weed.

      As for Broccoli/Brussel sprouts if they never ate that to begin with why would they eat them now? Kids eat what they know. But in saying that, try covering the veggies with cheese 🙂 chances are they will eat it.

      Its not that kids are well fed, they are not, they are fed junkfood, and they are – many at least are – fed only that from baby age one. Why? because its easiest, and in case of some welfare dependend families it the only way – no oven, no working oven, no fridge, no working fridge, no electricity, etc etc etc and above all adults who don’t know how to cook.
      So fishnchips, kfc etc it is.

  3. WeTheBleeple 3

    Defeatist crap. Feed children properly.

  4. Janet 4

    Kids eat what you put in front of them if they are not given the choice, as mine were not.
    I, as a housewife at home and a mum kept a veg garden UNTIL I too had to go out and work to make traction towards buying our own land. I too bottled the extra fruit of the season etc … as a housewife and mum. When it became necessary for both parents to work – from the 1980,s onwards – then things like the vegetable garden were sacrificed. But if I was idle at home now I would return to growing a vegetable garden. It is common sense to do so , especially if you have land available around the house . It is a very satisfying and rewarding activity.
    If no land is available many towns and cities are trying to establish communitiy gardens.

    • Shadrach 4.1

      Well said. Like you, our children ate what we gave them, because they were not given the choice. We were fortunate to have land for a garden, and our children participated in that hobby with us. And those healthy habits have generally followed them into adulthood.

  5. Jenny - How to get there? 5

    After agriculture, Transport, is NZ’s number 2 source of Greenhouse gas emissions.

    Only public transport and rail can sort this problem, and the problem of congestion and road accidents.

    Most transformative of all is the concept of Free Public Transport.

    LA Metro CEO proposes free public transport for all in Los Angeles
    Thursday, December 13, 2018

    Last week, Metro CEO Phil Washington endorsed a bold proposal: implement congestion tolls on drivers to make public transportation free. If the proposal moves forward, it would fit into a number of projects Metro has in the works, which all aim to turn Los Angeles into a seamless public transportation utopia before the Olympics come to town.
    “We think that with congestion pricing done right, we can be the only city in the world to offer free transit service in time for the 2028 Olympics,” Curbed reports Washington said during his presentation to the Metro Board of Directors.
    Washington presented three possible approaches to establishing a congestion pricing scheme. Cordon pricing would create a perimeter around a particular location, and charge dynamically fluctuating prices to cross the border. This system, similar to the congestion fees that have been charged to enter central London since 2003, would generate an estimated $12 billion a year, according to Metro. There’s also corridor pricing, which would identify certain high-traffic roads and set up something kind of like the existing Express Lanes system, but which would apply to every lane, not just the express. This plan, which could net $52 billion, would only be used on roads where there is a “viable public transit alternative.”……



    • Ad 5.1

      Its not the CAPEX that kills you, it’s the OPEX.

      • greywarshark 5.1.1

        For dummies like me – CAPEX is capital expenditure

        and OPEX (with google example) is:
        operational expenditure.
        “you can only cut opex so far, and most carriers are getting very close to reaching that point”

    • patricia bremner 5.2

      Wow, We can do it if we want to!! Thanks Jenny.

      • Jenny - How to get there? 5.2.1

        To overcome political resistance, I had been thinking, in Auckland we could start small. Bringing the bus lanes across the Harbour bridge and making that route fare free could be a start.

        Another thing I have noticed lately, is more commuters bringing bicycles onto the train. These are not the traditional lycra clad cycling crowd, but people in working clothes, factory hands, labourers. We need to encourage this trend.

        Maybe free train fare, for every commuter who boards a train with a bicycle?

        This may mean having to add an extra dedicated bicycle friendly train carriage to each commuter train to meet the extra demand. This cost may be more than covered by the reduction in congestion, and pollution.

        Long list of costs and expenses of the subsidized auto system
        Saturday, February 2, 2019

        Autosprawl Welfare. Put an end to it with free transit.


    • Sabine 5.3

      Any one from the current government here reading this? This would be the only way to go.
      oh can you see the no mates party go green all over where it to be proposed here in NZ.

    • DJ Ward 5.4

      After pretty much nothing else, agriculture is the only human activity that absorbs greenhouse gases.

      What a surprise a CEO of a company thinks getting another $12 to $52 billion for doing nothing is a good idea. How about services that work for the customer and are profitable. If policy intends to create less congestion in an area then do it but don’t misrepresent how that’s achieved.

      The Free Public Transport con. Notice the $12 to $52 billion. Not free then.

      Just like agriculture vs transport con for emmisions. Yes the emmisions may be higher for agriculture but the absorption is a profound win for agriculture. Emmisions minus absorption trends agriculture towards nuetral while transport trends to only emissions. Food production is enevitably an emitter due to CO2 converting to methane, and N emmisions but unless you don’t want to eat that’s a price that’s unavoidable.

      Transport inputs carbon into the system as its from stored carbon. The biggest change, and solution is converting transport from fossil fuels. Congestion is a social issue far more than a climate change one. It’s presented as a Climate Change issue to make people support it when it’s actually a social change issue. Plus other people’s money is always attractive to those wanting social change.

      • Jenny - How to get there? 5.4.1

        “Plus other people’s money is always attractive to those wanting social change.”

        DJ Ward

        The neo-liberal catch cry in one sentence.

        Let me us ask you this DJ. When was the last time you were on a commuter train or bus. Take your time. I am guessing, and I could be wrong, but hardly ever?

        If you had you would have noticed that the people I see boarding trains with bicycles dressed in worn clothes in South Auckland, are the strugglers that keep our city going.

        Your accusation that the Fare Free Movement is a con is unwarranted

        Social change and climate justice go hand in hand, they must, because exploitation of the human world and the natural world derive from the same root.

        The time rich Eloi tending their gardens in their privileged sunlit bubble and driving their, (unafordable to most), electric cars will hardly make a difference to the climate crisis, the change must be society wide from top to bottom.

        P.S. I notice DJ, that you haven’t condemned the multi $billion cost of subsidising the private transport infrastructure with the same venom that you reserve for public transport. That would entail having to question your narrow individualistic approach and join with others (of all classes) to challenge the status quo.

        “The new roads are expected to cost around $10.5 billion, on top of the estimated $12 billion invested in the initial seven,”


      • Jenny - How to get there? 5.4.2

        Hi DJ, I just know that you will hate this article. (Warning contains trigger words)*


        (Link supplied by Fare Free New Zealand)

        ‘I leave the car at home’: how free buses are revolutionising one French city

        One month after the French channel port of Dunkirk introduced free public transport for all, a small revolution is taking place.

        By Kim Willsher, The Guardian, in Dunkirk, 15 October 2018

        A study into free public transport by online journal Metropolitics found an increase in mobility among older and younger people, and an increased sense of freedom….

        ….One month on, the Dunkirk mayor, Patrice Vergriete, who promised free public transport in his 2014 election campaign, says the project has been an overwhelming success, with a 50% increase in passenger numbers on some routes, and up to 85% on others.

        Sitting in his large office under a poster of Nelson Mandela, Vergriete claims it is a win-win measure for his home city, where previously 65% of trips were made by car, 5% by bus and 1% by bicycle. The other 29% walked.

        “The subject of free public transport is full of dogma and prejudice and not much research. This dogma suggests that if something is free it has no value. We hear this all the time in France,” he says…..

        ….“Before the bus was for those who had no choice: the young, the old, the poor who don’t have cars. Now it’s for everyone.”….

        ….When [Paris] mayor Anne Hidalgo suggested she would look at scrapping fares, Frédéric Héran, a transport economist, said the measure “made no sense”.

        “Who will the new public transport users be?” he asked. “All studies have shown they will be cyclists, then pedestrians and very few motorists. This clearly shows it’s an anti-cycling, anti-pedestrian measure and not very discouraging to cars.”

        Vergriete believes this is all part of an erroneous received dogma. He admits free public transport may not work everywhere, but says that, as well as being good for the environment, it is a social measure, a gesture of “solidarity” and promotes a more egalitarian redistribution of wealth than tax cuts.

        “We have been pragmatic: we looked at the advantages of free transport and weighed them against the disadvantages and decided €7m is not a lot to pay for all the benefits.

        If I can pass one message to other mayors it’s to fight the dogma. Put the advantages and disadvantages on the table and consider it realistically. It may be that the financial cost is too great, but don’t underestimate the social advantages. You can’t put a price on mobility and social justice.”

        *(Revolution, Social Justice, Solidarity, Freedom).

      • Jenny - How to get there? 5.4.3

        Unfree public transport as experienced by the the non-Eloi, people not white or middle class.

        This heavily pregnant woman who was trying to get to hospital after feeling contractions, had a pass. But could not find it. Brutally removed from the train and forced stomach down on a hard bench to be handcuffed. When she finally finds and presents her train pass, she had already been cited.

  6. greywarshark 6

    Ad – what do you think?
    Great idea has occurred to me. What about treating Ad’s garden and limited time for it as a project? What can be done by a busy person to have a relatively carefree but useful garden as a practical resource for the busy, time-poor person?
    What do you think Ad? Would it be all right for us to think along those lines and work out something that would aid you and be efficient? We would need some info to visualise it and check with you about features of it as time goes on so would need regular chats with you today. But if you have time today, would you like to give it a go. Or yes, but on a later Sunday? What do you think, and everyone else?

    If Ad does like the idea and can manage it, it would be putting ideas into practice and something like a template, and all can get something from it. And hopefully, lots of people would join in on the nitty gritty of the beaut doable garden.

    Also Robert has asked me to tell everyone here that he will be along later. I think he is running workshops in his area and will join in as soon as he is free, possibly after lunch – mid afternoon. He will want to be here as soon as he has had time for a sit and drink to cool down!

    • Ad 6.1

      Team; lovely offer.

      Just let me get through this deal I am working on and we can do all of this.

      Kia ora.

      • greywarshark 6.1.1

        Beaut – keep us on track with that Ad as it would be beneficial to us all to gather up our various knowledge and start applying it in a formal way, even just as an integrated plan before hitting the ground, so to speak. kia ora.

    • Janet 6.2

      Yes and consider kikuya and convolvulus in the “busy , time-poor garden’ plan because they defeat me every time.

  7. Anne 7

    A plug for those of us who have reached an age where arthritis and maybe other degenerative conditions prevent us from being able to grow our own veges etc. even if we are so inclined:

    Our newer Chinese and Filipino citizens are setting up Fruit Marts and supplying local communities with top quality vegetables and fruit. I have a local Mart and cannot speak highly enough of the produce. Always fresh and meticulously cleaned and/or polished. Everything is beautifully laid out. The produce is regularly sprayed with water during the summer heat. It is a pleasure to walk into the cool interior of the shop and be competently served by friendly and helpful staff. The prices are around the same as the local supermarket but the quality of the goods is superior.

    These people are providing an important service for the elderly and those whose work situations give them little time to grow their own produce.

    • patricia bremner 7.1

      True Anne. An old set of concrete tubs set on an old solid BBQ table made an ideal mini hobby garden. I could kneel on a cushion on the seat, put tools on the table beside the tubs.. even a watering can. and a container for weeds and one for picking. ( Wooden boxes may be used instead of tubs. or half barrels)

      To start, a layer of charcoal, scattered, a torn up card board box. a mix of straw and chicken droppings topped with soil and composted kitchen bits. (The last two can be replaced by commercial tub and potting mix but Do wear a mask and gloves when using it, keep it damp) Once you talk to keen gardeners you will be offered more stuff and help than you would believe. Gardeners love sharing.

      Gardener friends will happily give you mint, rhubarb, silver beet, and other bits and pieces. Plant tall at the rear, middle for middle and fast growing at the front. This is a great wee garden for the athritic old, and grandies.
      Plant 2/3 marigolds and 2 lavenders among the rear plants. They bring bees but deter other pests. Most supermarkets or your local nursery sell baby plants in small lots eg lettuce and salad bits like spring onions.etc.

      Having a cup of tea or coffee in the fresh air and a wee trowel for collection of eats is really satisfying.

      It is about ten square feet in area/ or 150 cm x 60 cm or 0.9 of a metre square. If you divide it up with string into 12 oblongs, it helps. 3 marigold in one oblong 2 tall lavender in an oblong 1 baby tomato& 1 beefsteak tomato staked in an oblong garden peas teepee of stakes next oblong oblong. At an end it is easy to net to deter birds and fingers lol.

      So the back row is marigold tomato lavender peas
      middle row at each end rhubarb and spinach/ silverbeet the other two oblongs for basil and parsley & mint (in a buried pot to control it.) The front 4 oblongs for fast growers. lettuce 6 mixed in one oblong, spring onion, raddish, kale, your choice.
      Close companion planting means few weeds.

      Start by setting up your spot. Gather what you have, then start talking about it to gardeners and friends Hint. People have spare pots stakes even boxes.. you don’t venture nothing gained You can always give some lavender or excess as a thank you later. It does your soul good. That first salad is as good as champagne for the spirit. Robert will know what I mean. “You grew it yourself”

      • greywarshark 7.1.1

        Great patricia. Hope you are keeping well.

      • Anne 7.1.2

        Thanks for the advice Patricia Bremner. I’ll bear it in mind if I ever get around to… growing my own. I have an old concrete tub, which was removed from the original bungalow my parents’ purchased back in the 1970s, where I currently keep an assortment of bits and bobs including pot plant containers.

        For years I had an an outdoor aviary full of medium sized budgies in a variety of beautiful colours. There was up to 28 of them at its peak. They took up a great deal of my time caring for them, and there’s only two elderly sisters left. They are housed in a portable cage and are so happy they won’t die. The little blighters still manage to make a god-awful mess which has to be cleaned up every day. Until such a time as they finally choose to join their mates in the great bird cage in the sky, I’ll be giving any further ventures a miss. 🙂

  8. greywarshark 8

    Supporting your local enterprises made by people living locally makes for good community spirit and living together amicably which helps to make life enjoyable, and provides a core of people who can consider problems and work for responses to them with the community to the forefront of mind.

  9. WeTheBleeple 9

    Restoring native ecosystems has a process. Pioneer tree species are relatively fast growing and tolerant of high light, disturbed conditions and degraded soils. Pioneers are a nursery. These species set the stage for other species that require lower light levels, better soil etc.

    Upon reaching flowering/fruiting the pioneer species attract birds that come from surrounding bush areas to feed. When they come they bring seed from these areas. Thus the areas overall biodiversity is spread through establishing pioneers.

    Historical records can be perused to give an idea of species no longer present in an area that you might need/desire to manually re-introduce.

    To begin the process by far the cheapest and easiest method is to grow trees from seed. Here is an excellent resource with significant information on a number of native trees you might wish to grow.


    The ultimate goal of the pioneers is to close the canopy. That is to shade out grasses and weeds. After this it is relatively easy to maintain – trap pests, watch the edges. This is a process that can take a few years especially where weed pressure is initially high. A successful planter takes on an area they can effectively manage, they get this established, then they move to the next area.

    Weed exclusion makes a huge difference to the establishment of new forest. Biomass and weed mats can be used to smother weeds out where they are sufficiently available, these greatly reduce labor costs. A thick mulch layer will greatly accelerate the succession processes creating an abundant soil food web in a few short seasons. Where feasible/practical, I recommend mulch over weed mat every time. However, weed mat is far better than no weed control for establishing trees when light levels are high.

    • RedLogix 9.1

      We participated in a stream regeneration project in Wellington some years back using very similar methods.

      The pioneer species were sourced from local trees within a few km, and one of our team dedicated her back lawn to a nursery.

      Over the winter we’d get several hundred metres of blackberry mechanically cut back, then once a month go through poisoning off the regrowing stumps. At the same time we’d be planting in behind the fast growing, tough pioneers. We found recycled paper weed mats helped enormously to both to suppress the weeds and act as a mulch.

      Over the season we’d slowly move through the entire cut area establishing these pioneers and controlling for weeds. On several occasions we’d be donated truckloads of mulch that were a lot of fun to spread around.

      Next year we’d then move onto a new freshly cut area, AND follow up with some longer term plantings on last years area. By now the pioneers were typically waist high and starting to shade out weeds and provide the essential wind break needed for the more vulnerable seedlings.

      After just five years of what was actually a very doable and pleasant effort we were rewarded with a remarkable restoration of trees, many over head high and now thriving magnificently. We had a few patches that were failures, but the most of it was very rewarding indeed.

      On our occasional visit back to Wellington these days it’s a real treat to visit this spot and marvel at what nature can achieve if only we co-operate with her.

      • greywarshark 9.1.1

        Terrific to read Redlogix. Template for others to follow – just fill in the details that suit yourselves and the area, type of plants, regular day for group to work, alternatives when weather not kind etc.

        • RedLogix

          I have to say I specialised in the ‘blackberry murdering’, deriving a special pleasure in dabbing on the gloop to kill it’s roots … 🙂

          • veutoviper

            A pox on you, LOL – some of us love blackberries!

            Childhood memories of family/whanau days out blackberry picking on the hills etc around Wellington; then home with tummy aches from eating too many and helping make endless jars of blackberry jam in the following days.

            Now – rarely seen and very expensive in supermarket if they appear at all.

            • greywarshark

              Same with me for blackberries when I lived in Taranaki. Came out from the bushes with scratches but full buckets. Lovely.

              • Dennis Frank

                Yeah, likewise. In the fifties it was a standard family outing due to blackberry bushes lining country roadsides everywhere around New Plymouth – part of the culture of the era, before poisoning started.

                We always got a bucket full, even if we had to try several locations to do it. Two adults working with four boys achieved that in a couple of hours. Plenty of jam got made by housewives, back in the day before supermarkets arrived.

                • Anne

                  Indeed it was a standard family outing, and we kids loved it. Our favourite spot was the back-blocks of West Auckland now covered in houses. We arrived home with faces covered in blackberry stains and filthy knees. Straight into the bath where the maternal parent proceeded to scrub our knees – always accompanied by loud protests from the knees’ owners.

                  I feel sorry for today’s kids, few of whom will know the joy of such simple outdoor pleasures.

            • patricia bremner

              Blackberry jelly. The blackberries in an old boiled pillow slip. slung on a broom over two chair seats to drip all night so the jelly would be clear into the jam pan.

              Any juice left was wrung out , but into a pot. This would make two or three pots of cloudy jelly that still tasted like heaven to kids from the country when sugar was expensive after the war.

              Sun burnt nose, blackberry stained fingers and mouths and scratches galore
              Happy long sunny days. A cool orange drink of cordial from the stone jar, buried in the creek’s shady bank. Memories.

              • Anne

                Ahh yes! Homemade blackberry jelly and ice-cream. Childhood heaven. Trouble was, you had to eat your veges before you were allowed to have it.

                You are bringing back happy memories of a long forgotten summer ritual patricia bremner. 🙂

    • greywarshark 9.2

      Just checking WtB. You write “I recommend mulch over weed mat every time.”
      You mean I guess that you recommend mulch in preference to weed mat…

      But while I was thinking of a likely scenario of putting down a weed mat and also putting some mulch over it then planting chosen plants through it; what if the mat stays in place and never gets lifted. Would that be a setback to the natural development of insects, fungi etc later on?

      Are there weed mats that will deteriorate appropriately and be non-toxic? I guess the old carpets with jute backing rather than synthetic would be the sort of mat that would blend in with nature, any others? Cardboard? Would synthetic backing on carpet be too toxic or would the natural processes just grow round it so that it actually does little harm and would be better used for this than buried in landfill?

      • WeTheBleeple 9.2.1

        Wool carpet. Cardboard, anything organic. Weed mats are problematic plastic crap. The trick is re-use. So you lay a line of it on both sides of the trees, and you still have a narrow strip to weed. Whereas poking holes through it and planting makes it a fixture, a future issue for someone else, and a waste.

      • Stuart Munro 9.2.2

        Newspaper is a good barrier mulch – but it needs mulch over it or it will discolour & blow away. Good for round tree roots, then mulched with lawn clippings. Biodegrades in a couple of years, depending how damp the location is.

        • greywarshark

          Stuart Munro
          OK thanks – would have to be 2 or 3? layers of paper – more? The ground thoroughly soaked first then the newspaper.
          Lawn clippings ready in a new-cut state spread evenly and not touching trunk. Thickness to start about 25mm?
          Then does this just lay there or does it get turned. It will dry out. Should it receive occasional watering if weather in a dry spell?
          Do other clippings get piled on top, after watering previous ones? How thick – doesn’t it matter. Could it be a place where the lawn clippings go and mound up high?

          Can you run through that and give me the right sequence and practice as you have done it. If I do this, I want to do it right so it’s successful.

          And right at present, it is very pertinent because we are starting to lose trees in the Nelson region. Maybe I can save my two I am worried about, and it might be something that an aware and concerned citizen group of a town or city could do in conjunction with their Council. And if Council is one of those ‘don’t worry too much bad copy’ of a good Council, then they would do it themselves.

          • Stuart Munro

            How many layers you use depends on the virulence of your weeds and how often you’re in attendance. I had a garden on a section in Havelock (the one near Blenheim) while I was working deepsea – could only get to it every 2-3 months. I used an opened weekday Press (a bit over ten pages I think) and it proved very satisfactory. Fresh lawnclippings on top, and subsequent mowings to follow, though not quite as heavily. Water in dry spells if you can certainly.

            The aim is to stop the light germinating weeds from sprouting, and the paper will resist the dark sprouting ones until you have a thickish working layer of self composting grass. Once it’s working well it will eat weeds you pull from elsewhere, provided you let them wilt in the sun for a few days first. It will also stop the earth around your tree roots drying out from sun or wind. I established almonds, apricots, several citrus, and apples on a fairly dry section in this way.

            If you’re really keen you could try to get hold of or recreate these: https://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/how-to-plant-a-tree-in-the-desert – paper mache over a ring form cake tin would probably do the trick.

            • greywarshark

              Great Stuart – thanks. I am going to print that out and keep it up as my guideline to follow. It is not that I don’t know anything – it is that I have to pull all the bits I know together and can get distracted before I really get going, and then it can become a Roundtuit. I need a Plan, a cunning plan hah hah. So improvements may take some time, but as the saying goes good things take time and it doesn’t happen overnight.

  10. Stuart Munro 10

    We hear a lot from speculative sources about the inevitability of an insect diet https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZo2mbbCmKQ
    but so far at least they are not a credible dietary item. I’ve a feeling they would do better as poultry or fish food, as would amphipods like slaters or springtails, which have the advantage of providing the beta carotenes that pinken salmonid flesh.

    It is small scale aquaculture (sometimes called aquaponics) I want to plug, because it offers numerous advantages on the backyard scale. A couple of cubic metres of water can support fish that could yield up to a couple of hundred kilos per year of desirable and health promoting protein.

    They don’t create problematic pollution, they don’t require extraordinary amounts of space, they are resilient insofar as feeding is concerned – if you neglect to feed them for a fortnight they will not be distressed – and in the event of significant disasters a large pool of potable water may be a handy thing to have around. There is every reason that they should be pretty much ubiquitous.

    Why aren’t they?

    One reason is the regulatory environment. It is very controlling. One does not need a council permit to grow tomatoes, but were one to try to farm tilapia or carp or catfish or even native fish it’s a sporting certainty that permitting authorities would absorb any potential benefit and impose onerous conditions as well.

    This is not to say that border controls on possible disease bearers, or Fish & Game’s rights in respect of introduced salmonids should be simply ignored. But there ought to be one or several species that are approved for casual culture – or there will be no backyard aquaponics here, with its accompanying decrease in demand for intensively raised petrochemically demanding beef, pork or the like.

    So this is my challenge for the mandarins who run our public service: choose at least one fish species suitable for backyard culture, and remove the permit requirements on it for small scale culture. Because we don’t presently have, or presumably want, tilapia in our rivers, that global aquaculture favorite might not be ideal. But the humble perch is widespread in numerous waterways, yet not considered a premium sporting fish. It might do.

    • Sabine 10.1

      we are so busy killing all the bugs that there is no way we can survive on them. lol

    • greywarshark 10.2

      How big does this backyard fish culture need to be? What fish can be grown legally that would be useful? Ponds would need to be netted as otherwise you can find a beautiful heron siphoning your dinner for his or hers.

      And it probably could only happen where water is being charged for as it would draw off much more water than would normally be used, as it would become accepted as a good idea it seems to be, and others would follow. Measuring and charging for water is essential anyway I think.

      Perhaps the Council could also promote water circulation for fish ponds, so that it is filtered and the residue goes to water a garden of sufficient size so that it is an ecologically sustainable unit that doesn’t produce pollution for them to have to deal with. Would it lend itself to having a hydroponic garden using the water, which would then be filtered again and go into an earth garden?

      Quick WtB – you may have answered my query already.

      • Stuart Munro 10.2.1

        Much depends whether you choose an aerated or open pond system. A small intensive tank with a solar electric aerator is one way of growing a lot of protein in a confined space. Ponds, though more aesthetically pleasing are a bit more site specific – best not built on possibly unstable hillsides for example. A hybrid model a bit like a raised garden bed ought to be possible in most places.

    • WeTheBleeple 10.3

      I’ve an aquaponic system around 20 years old has not required cleaning or changing the water once. Here in NZ aquaculture could couple with horticulture to create the concept of aquaponics without the enormous spend for all those tanks and pipes and beds and gravels and…

      You have a market garden surrounded by drainage ditches. These have water controlled via simple sluice gates. The nutrients moving through the land via rain go in the drains. The drains are full of fish growing for free off the food chain set off by the nutrients. Screened areas can house feeder fish populations for larger predatory fish populations. scavengers (koura, catfish) would also be included, and freshwater molluscs. The water from the drains waters the gardens via solar pumps.

      Now look at the massive drainage networks covering the country. Miles of aquaculture via free nutrients just waiting for someone to kick it off.

      • RedLogix 10.3.1

        My partner has spent months researching aquaponics, a system that was largely pioneered here in Australia. There are now many examples of quite sophisticated systems all over the world. I’m a big fan and it has to be disappointing too many of our conservative agricultural community remain unaware of the possibilities.

        I once read a very interesting article (sorry lost the reference in the mists of time) that pointed out how aquaponic principles were already in play throughout much of ancient China in what was termed ‘water landscapes’. Huge areas were socially managed as highly intensive networks of rice paddies, fish farming and small livestock, all integrated into a functioning organic system.

        Water and nutrients would flow in complex, highly organic paths throughout these systems providing food, biodiversity and a highly linked system capable of being indefinitely sustained with relatively little external input like fertilisers.

        This is one of those areas ripe with opportunity for a melding of modern knowledge and ancient wisdom.

        • Stuart Munro

          The Chinese integrated five species carp culture with silk and pig terrestrial contributors was written up extensively in various Whole Earth Catalogues back in the day.

          In many parts of Asia, aquaculture is a regional development strategy to combat poverty. It is intended to “put fish in people’s food basket”, as well as to provide income for depressed communities. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/263300186_Sustainable_fisheries_and_aquaculture_for_food_security_and_nutrition

          We may contrast this with the colonial model fisheries NZ has chosen to develop, in which commercially provided fish is on people’s tables once a month or less. All the more desirable species are exported.

          I think it could be argued in terms of Treaty of Waitangi responsibilities, that regular meals of fish, even for NZ’s poor, is an implicit expectation of article 2.

          Both health and carbon footprints would improve, as well as there being a commodity that might be passed over the back fence to neighbours, which happened with a lot of fish, often after smoking, that my grandfather caught.

          • greywarshark

            I think we now have a capitalist model for the country that has developed from the colonial one. That has led us easily into a state where we want to export everything that we can lay our hands on. The corporates are not interested in what we have to do to protect our fish stocks or any other resource. They might make a show of it, but veracity nah.

            • Stuart Munro

              The difference between a colonial model industry and other forms of capitalism is that the colonial model never caters to the locals. It puts our corporates on a par with Jack London’s Moongleam Soap Company.

              • RedLogix

                the colonial model never caters to the locals

                Fair enough I can see the reasoning behind this thought. At the same time we shouldn’t be too sniffy about it, after all this ‘colonial model’ has kept NZ in the top 20 or so nations globally for quite a while now.

                What I’d be thinking about is how to transition to an economy that works for us ‘locals’, without destroying our ability to adapt.

                • greywarshark

                  ‘We can do this’ – transition as you say. I hope anyway. If we keep thinking and putting it together. Perhaps we can build a Trojan horse which we move into the middle of the money men and then carry out our plan. Always remembering that they will have turncoats, and spies, and fortune seekers and new/old way cult hijackers;
                  all of whom profoundly dissimulating types embedded amongst us.

                  • RedLogix

                    Well if we’re serious about this kind of transition we need to think about what it would take to achieve it at a meaningful scale.

                    That means people capable of taking an idea, working up a plan, building a team and leading it to a result. It takes capital, dealing with bureaucracy, lobbying and developing markets.

                    It will happen when competency and hard work meet opportunity and cash flow. History is littered with well-meaning people whose hopes turned to ashes at the first contact with reality. Dreaming behind our keyboards won’t cut mustard.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      The point was partly that the smaller aquaponics set ups can be, if not exactly portable, moveable. The inputs for a lowend setup – a container, some stock, maybe a worm farm for feed, maybe a small solar panel & aquarium aerator, also lie within a pretty limited budget. But you cannot legally buy & sell any suitable fish for stock.

                      Snail farms would be another practical protein replacement for small backyard setups – fed on indestructible silver beet, they’d make another healthy occasional alternative to the increasingly expensive supermarket supplied meat. Once again, stock of the preferred large edible snail, Helix pomatia, is not readily available in NZ. The garden snail or petit gris is edible, but small & thus rather too fiddly for most people.

                      A related matter import in terms of realizing value is the songi or matsutake (松茸) mushroom – or, in English, pine mushroom. These go for in the order of $1000 a kilo – more in dry years. There’s a fair and growing amount of pine forest in NZ, which should be producing a bit of income before the logs are sent overseas for processing 🙁 . Songi are not a secondary industry, but they’re better than nothing.

                      We used to be good at developing potential earning things – NZ pioneered longline mussel farming, feijoas, tamarilloes, kiwifruit. That seems to have stopped since neoliberalism.

          • patricia bremner

            The wonderful smell of manuka burning slowly to smoke eel and trout, in the smoke house.
            Always taking the tail section if first to taste the smoked fish… no bones lol.

        • WeTheBleeple

          It is the Chinese lore that got me into aquaponics. At the time Dr Rokysy (sp?) of Hawaii, myself and a couple of Aussies were into it. A farmer tired of his workload devised to put ducks in cages above water. The ducks lost food scraps and manures to the water below that had catfish and carp in it. This water went to rice paddies.

          Laziness is the mother of invention. The man had created a system to feed his ducks fish and rice all at once.

          The ancient South Americans were into it too. Chinampa systems are the most productive agriculture ever recorded.

          A more recent return to similar systems has been seen.

          Western aquaponics is often a mass of expense, plastic and gravel, many parameters to follow, finicky plant growth without supplementation, but… get it right it will piss all over the competition. But who wants to spend all day on water quality and expensive equipment to grow food when they could be under a tree beside a pond tending the ducks.

          In a desert situation aquaponics makes a lot of sense and with water shortages in some biomes – why not. Recycling the water makes it > 90% more water efficient than conventional aquaculture, and far less polluting than hydro.

          Meandering water through the landscape capturing and carrying nutrients in a controlled manner – good times. The Herald today shows farmers down South are learning a new word – fertigation. It only took them a couple of thousand years to catch up with the Chinese and Amerindians. Of course they’ve got expensive tanks and equipment, industry advisers, and chemical salts.

          Maybe they need another couple of thousand years…

  11. Blazer 11

    “In my next life I want to live my life backwards. You start out dead and get that out of the way. Then you wake up in an old people’s home feeling better every day. You get kicked out for being too healthy, go collect your pension, and then when you start work, you get a gold watch and a party on your first day. You work for 40 years until you’re young enough to enjoy your retirement. You party, drink alcohol, and are generally promiscuous, then you are ready for high school. You then go to primary school, you become a kid, you play. You have no responsibilities, you become a baby until you are born. And then you spend your last 9 months floating in luxurious spa-like conditions with central heating and room service on tap, larger quarters every day and then Voila! You finish off as an orgasm!”
    ― Woody Allen

  12. Infused 12

    Any recommendations for a pre built raised garden bed where I can grow some stuff and some info on how to do it without using chemicals?

    • Dennis Frank 12.1

      Okay, let’s assume you aren’t a gardener. Mid-summer is peak dry, so unless you have time to water them, no point planting now. If you have time, you need to figure out which veges to grow. Yates garden guide is the traditional source of advice – often found in second-hand bookshops.

      Depends what you want to eat, too. If you like salads, easy enough to get a crop of lettuce producing into autumn. If you mow your lawn, put the clippings in a shady spot and keep em damp – when they form a mouldy damp matrix after several weeks they are ideal mulch – stops evaporation around the roots, means you don’t need to water as often.

      Clear the bed of weeds before planting, toss any snails & slugs on the lawn at dawn or dusk (when local birds will be hunting for them). If you have a compost heap, dig it in a couple of weeks prior to planting, mix the residue with the soil thoroughly when you plant because some plants don’t like compost that is still breaking down. If you use a worm farm, ensure it is located where rain can fall through it, because the bottom container is where you get your liquid plant food from. If you locate in the summer sun, you must protect it from excess heat from the sun – either a permeable shade-cloth or loose boards or something. Summer sun on the plastic cooks the food waste inside and kills the worms!

  13. mac1 13

    Last week I took 15 lettuces into the local community kitchen for the weekly meal. They were grown in double and triple-tiered garden boxes built from free wooden pallets, (obtained from a near neighbour), in compost created by household waste and the mulched trimmings of trees, shrubs and garden.

    Yearly the new plantings are placed into refreshed soils from the compost heaps and the old soil returned to compost. The boxes are typically a metre wide, 15 cm high and 30 cm deep and grow four plants per tier. Easily weeded, with little stooping, they are watered at the top by a soak hose from which water trickles also into the lower tiers.

    The boxes occupy space with good sunlight. Since lawn divides the three rows, they are easily accessed. The space between the rows is easily controlled by a lawn mower- clippings to the compost!- and the job of weeding between the rows is eliminated.

    200 plants occupy these boxes. Today I will replace recent harvest with another 24 seedlings. The plants include all sorts of lettuce, rocket, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, parsley, yams, peppers, chives, bok choi, NZ spinach, beetroot, basil, kale, celery.

    In all, the tiered garden which I call ‘the palletsade’ is 21 metres long. Parts are more shaded than others which allows for some control of light and heat sensitivity, and for a staggered growth rate.

    It is just so easy to walk along these rows and pick a fresh salad.

    The setup means that an individual tiered box can be placed in a very small space for the most favourable conditions and moved if necessary. The boxes are free, and cost only a few nails for the reconstruction as some pallet nails would not recycle. Of course, too, plants could be cheaper but I access seedlings either for about 50c each or am given plants to grow for the community kitchen.

    The pallet boxes will eventually rot, at the base especially, but that is easily replaced at the time of soil renewal, which is itself a simple job for spade and wheelbarrow and probably occupies less time than conventional digging and weeding.

    The concept is ideal for someone who may not be able to manage a conventional ground level system, or who has limited strength, flexibility or mobility (the occasional heavy lifting can be done by an able-bodied friend), or for those with limited space. For example, my daughter has a southern fenced driveway ideal for tiered planter boxes on the north-facing edge.

    21 box units, both double and triple-tiered, are equivalent to a garden with 53 metres of rows. That equates probably to a 10x4m garden. My growing area is actually 12.6 sq metres since there is no ‘in between the rows’ garden.

    • greywarshark 13.1

      That is very practical. Just setting up would take a while. Sometimes you can get help just when you need it and know exactly what you want to do.

      And pallets are often available at supermarkets etc. The wood is likely to be new, but of course you should look in corners and under boards to see if there are any pests lurking, we are living such exotic lives now in previously boring NZ – we have new borers to coexist with.

      You would probably need a ute and another pair of hands to transport them though you might wiggle them on an angle into a car boot and rope the boot lid down to your towbar. Have old bedspreads to shroud your paint work and slide the pallets in with someone inside holding a bedspread end pulling it forward heaving in time with the pusher outside.

    • Dennis Frank 13.2

      I saw that pallet-gardening on the internet some years ago. You just stand the pallet on its edge, opening top & bottom, then measure up for the boards to be inserted under each garden, nail them in and you get half a dozen identical row gardens. Because the edge footprint is so small, they are perfect for dwellings with minimal land to use, such as inner city. Just rope, nail or wire them to stand vertically or the wind will topple them.

      No good for large or thirsty crops but perfect for lettuce & other smaller stuff like strawberries, which is what the one I saw was full of. Have to water each day in summer to keep them alive, of course!

      • mac1 13.2.1

        Your design was the first I built but the soil and water were too little for good growth and health so I refined the tiers so that the bottom garden is 300 deep and sits forwards of the top two tiers which are 200 deep.

        The side profile looks like a ziggurat in that rain falling would land on at least 100mm of soil in each stepped tier. The boxes leak and drip to the lower levels =and I have improved the drainage to where I want it to so so that excess water drips down through holes bored into the base. The bottom base is not bored and ends up with sides being 350 deep and the weight is balanced.

        It’s quite stable but I join them at top to its neighbour and one attached to a secure in-ground post. Angling two units and linking them also provides stability.

        I am going to experiment with a soak system from a drum which can feed nutrient from a seaweed extract into the soak hose so that a 200 litre drum can feed 200 plants with a litre roughly of souped up water. Water fed from a drum or two will also act as a timer. I have to find out whether a soak hose will operate off gravity supplying the pressure.

        • Dennis Frank

          You’re obviously a practical lateral thinker. Improving on designs and systems is a primary key to resilience – particularly because what works in one regional climate cannot be assumed to work as well in any other.

          One strategy when such a garden lacks soil depth and/or dries out too fast is to use plastic liners that come up the sides as well as cover the bottom. Put a small hole about a cm or two up from the bottom to allow excess water to drain slowly, while keeping the bottom wet enough to prevent regular dry-outs. I’d do one at each end and one or two in the middle.

          Another option is white paint on the pallet sides to minimise heat absorption from the sun and thus maximise water retention. Don’t need it if rainfall is often but makes sense in drought-prone areas.

          • mac1

            Good ideas, Dennis. I actually painted the boxes black so that they were less obtrusive visually. I like the plastic liner- it would presumably lengthen the life of the wood, and I could control more the direction of excess water to = plants in lower tiers. Thanks.

            • Dennis Frank

              Just be aware that the black paint is a powerful heat absorber. Good in late winter to get strawberries into early spring growth, but dangerous otherwise!

    • WeTheBleeple 13.3

      Vertical gardening. Nice work.

      Dennis mentioned water issues. It is possible to set up a drip system on a timer and it would care for itself. I have one garden on drip, but I just turn it on when I go outside if it’s been dry a while and if I go back in without remembering to turn the tap off, I can hear it running, so I go turn it off. The same type of behavior would work if you turn on the tap while grazing the vertical garden.

      Some ideas for vertical gardening.

      • mac1 13.3.1

        Thanks. I never thought of myself as a grazer, though last year I did play the role of Cecil the ram in “Footrot Flats”. Good ideas. Forgetfulness occurs with both scripts and with turning off taps………

    • veutoviper 13.4

      Sounds great, mac1. I am trying to visualise your tiered garden and would love to see pictures of it.

      Vertical gardening seems to offer good options not only for those with limited space, but also for those of us who are not or no longer able to cope with conventional gardening, as Dennis Frank has suggested in his reply.

      Your comment stirred me to google “vertical Pallet gardens NZ” which produced some wonderful images, videos and articles. I haven’t yet had a change to look in detail but I thought I would put up the generic link for anyone interested as there are some wonderful images, interesting videso etc there:


      I did check out the link to vertical gardening products on Trade Me and was amazed at the variety on offer. I have never been a carpenter so making my own is out of the question. There are a lot of choices in terms of size, longevity, and price. I am seriously thinking of starting with a trial of a hanging vertical herb garden using one of the cheap pocket products on offer just to get the feel for it. (If it does not work for growing plants, it would probably work as a way of storing other things like shoes, etc ???!!!!

      I have extensive gardening experience but unfortunately am having to look at moving from my home (a family turangawaewae of 65 years) in the coming months as it is now too big for me to cope with etc. So am looking at movable solutions to easy gardening in the interim. Lots of pots to move, plus I have been growing veges in fish bins (great fun drilling holes in them!) looking to also move them. So a few hanging gardens could now be added!

  14. sumsuch 14

    By this line of talk the planet is buggered and we’re going back to individualised subsistence . As good an assumption as any but I think there’d be a couple of decades of vicious warfare before then wiping out us middle-class lifestyle dilletantes. Actually H.s.s. faces a serious chance, apart from a 95 % reduction of population, of extinction.

    • greywarshark 14.1

      Could be right sumsuch. But to help pass the time till then we are attempting to think our way through to get some useful extra skills and make some useful lines of communication and sociability with interesting and good souls. You could join but we try to limit our down times.

  15. patricia bremner 15

    Blackberry jelly. The blackberries in an old boiled pillow slip. slung on a broom over two chair seats to drip all night so the jelly would be clear into the jam pan.

    Any juice left was wrung out , but into a pot. This would make two or three pots of cloudy jelly that still tasted like heaven to kids from the country when sugar was expensive after the war.

    Sun burnt nose, blackberry stained fingers and mouths and scratches galore
    Happy long sunny days. A cool orange drink of cordial from the stone jar, buried in the creek’s shady bank. Memories.

  16. WeTheBleeple 16

    Let’s get this straight. Having a home garden is not subsistence.

    Let’s look at the financial case. When you get good at it, the food bill can largely vanish. I’ve made about 75% of my food bill go away. It took a few years to get here I had major disruptions and some learning curves but now, that’s some really good savings that will translate for the rest of my life – even if I move I have these skills to take with me. And should I stay, the trees will just get better and more over time, till it produces abundance. Some might say abundance to fatten a pig, ferment some grapes, and throw a party… My humble home garden.

    Above and beyond those struggling to feed their children; people can’t save for a house today, or after the mortgage is paid they’ve little else. Maybe if they gardened and cooked the pressure would come off.

    On farming/food production.

    Every dollar a home gardener saves is not going to exploitative oil based farming models that have done little to solve world hunger, and much to line the pockets of large corporations – all while screwing the planet. Food control is people control and it is used in sanctions repeatedly. I really can’t support a global food system it’s kind of ridiculous the stuff grows outside my front door.

    Traditional knowledge can be paired with today’s technology and scientific knowledge to produce hybrid forms of sustainable agriculture. Not a big step backward at all, it’s the next step forwards. Big farms will always exist we have cities to feed, but a large part of cities food could be grown in city limits in the future, and farms will change: the fuels, machines, nutrient sources, methods, crops… Farms will integrate with other industries. Suppliers of waste streams with nutrients to start food chains.

    In the face of climate change, the only logical step is change to sustainable models.

    The integration of animals and plants in symbiosis so the waste of one feeds the other, but with multiple species… This is not subsistence, it was just thought of back when all farming was subsistence. It is an imitation of how nature does it. It’s fucking brilliant.

    • mac1 16.1

      Sumsuch, it’s been the practice of as many generations in my family as I have known, and more, I’m sure. Grandparents home brewed, gardened, father gardened using double digging, uncles gardened, brothers garden as do I, for over forty years, and I home-brew beer, vinegar and kombucha. It’s not subsistence, though financially rewarding ; it’s more, a joy and a satisfaction, a keeping in touch with self and others in a very human activity.

  17. patricia bremner 17

    The wonderful smell of manuka burning slowly to smoke eel and trout, in the smoke house.
    Always taking the tail section if first to taste the smoked fish… no bones lol.

  18. greywarshark 18

    From Open Mike 6 Feb 2019
    greywarshark 6.1
    6 February 2019 at 12:23 pm

    Thinking factually. Are there trees that we could plant instead of pinus radiata that would be less flammable? Pinus R are very resiny aren’t they? Could we have less of them, and grow some longer maturing trees that might be exotics, plus natives as well. Perhaps we could grow greener natives that would be less flammable in amongst the pinus R which of course are good for longs being very fast growing here.

    WeTheBleeple 6.1.1
    6 February 2019 at 3:22 pm

    Suggesting what should have been done might seem a bit off considering the circumstances. The above post was in response to about 8 trolling comments in a row starting the day, I just forgot to link it to the rot posts so it’s kinda out of context.

    Was just me firing back.

    The forestry service would be the people to ask the questions re: flammability of their crops and any alternatives in the pipeline.

    While some plants are a lot less flammable than others, there comes a point where plants lose so much water they’re all tinder, though burn rate and heat will differ.

    There are a few things we might consider. Soil carbon (organic matter) holds on to soil water increasing the water holding capacity of soils. Retention and increasing of soil carbon in forestry will hold off the point at which trees become highly volatile. Ploughing, fertilisers and fungicides are all processes/products that may severely impact soil life and deplete soil carbon. Mulching of prunings on the spot (lay litter out in contact with the ground – not in piles), inoculation of stumps with fungi (crops and animal food), productive crop diversity, and biochar application are all practices that can increase soil carbon in forestry.

    Retaining water in the soil using earthworks is the most important thing that can be done. We’ve looked at how those systems work. Swale systems, keyline systems, small dams, plantings, retain not drain… When one farm has plenty of water, surrounded by neighbors in drought, you know something special has occurred. Not paying attention may lose the farm as weather gets worse and folk are denied water.

    What is what so far as these systems go: Swales vs Yeomans??

    See Geoff Lawton Q&A

    When all the land is rehydrating via earthworks and plantings, rain becomes more steady for the local climate. I can’t recall offhand but x amount of contiguous forest is sufficient to make rain. The trees take excess and siphon it back to the atmosphere so less flood issues too, not to mention the land covered in earthworks will catch rather than dispatch (to the poor bastards below) most water.

    It’s not about rainfall, so much as rain penetration.
    Stuart Munro 6.1.2
    6 February 2019 at 3:28 pm

    The maple family (including sycamores and plane trees) are hard to set ablaze – they will make decent firewood if dried though. They’re popular for decorative flooring in some countries,.

    • WeTheBleeple 18.1

      On water capture.

      Take a look at this photo (4th image down) of firefighters on a bank hosing charred remains. Observe the yellowed dry grass. Now, at the edge of the drive – see the green strip of grass…


      You are seeing passive water capture off the drive keeping plants green. Plants in severe drought. If that was designed right, so the rain was all retained, the whole berm would be green, the hillside more hydrated, and not nearly so flammable.

  19. greywarshark 19

    Satellites measuring ground water.
    “Our paper assimilated multiple satellite observations to the hydrological model for soil water balance estimation,” Tian said. “Our method and results highlight the importance to understand the vegetation response to soil water availability and the potential of using this information in the forecasting of drought impacts.”

    The research used data from the now-decommissioned Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites, along with other sources of remote sensing data. The authors say tracking changes in groundwater and vegetation allowed them to forecast both regional drought conditions and wildfire risks. Their methodology can be applied to anywhere on Earth.

    The data gathered are only good for shorter-term analysis, though, and aren’t suitable for making longer-term climate change impact predictions, Tian cautioned.

    “Satellite water remote sensing provides us the best knowledge on the current status of water availability and the great forecast potential, but the data is not long enough for the study of global warming,” she said.

    Would Mulloon Trust farm works show?
    Mulloon Creek Natural Farms – water penetration and storage

  20. Jenny - How to get there? 20

    Unless we severely regulate our fossil fuel spewing industries, the climate crisis will affect our very ability to grow food.

    Climate change is making it harder to grow fruit and vegetables
    Michael Le Page – New Scientist, (UK), February 5, 2019


    ….Three quarters of land that is currently well suited to growing potatoes will no longer be suitable by the 2050s, says the report. And more than 70 per cent of fruit is grown in areas where farms are already suffering water shortages.

    Even the warmer winters are causing problems, by allowing more pests to survive. Warmer springs also make fruit trees flower earlier, increasing the risk of the blossom being damaged by late frosts. Apple growers lost a quarter of their fruit in 2017.

    However, the problems are not limited to the UK. For instance, fruit farmers in the US lost billions after the “summer in March” in 2012 was followed by frosts. Other countries face even greater risks from climate change.

    Somehow the post entitled “How To Get There” seems to have been taken over by the gardening movement. 

    Not a bad thing. In fact I have found many of the gardening tips very useful and thought provoking. But maybe the gardeing movement needs a post of its own, possibly more accurately titled

    How to grow gardens in the age of climate change

    In my opinion, a lot of the talk about growing gardens comes under the heading of “mitigation”. (not a bad thing in itself and something that I myself do). But when we are discussing “How To Get There” I think we also really need to discuss how to cut, and I mean drastically cut, CO2 emissions.

    Something the gardening movement simply cannot do. (Even if local gardens are super efficient or even as DJ Ward says actually sequester CO2, they can never address the massive emissions of society at large. ie industrial agriculture, the fossil fuel production industry, fossil fueled transport and power generation.. Without challenging these big issues, even small gardeners will struggle against the worsening climate effects.)

    Maybe we need another post on “How To Get There” that concentrates on actually how to cut CO2 emissions of industrial civilisation. (After all, industrial civilisation is not going away, no matter how many back yard gardens we put in.)

    I believe gardening has a role in the battle against climate change just as the gardening movement had a role in the war against fascism but it was never the main front front. Nor could it be. They were an assistance to the main battle, and an important one, but they weren’t the main battle front.

    Gardening for Victory


    Victory gardens, also called war gardens or food gardens for defense, were vegetable, fruit, and herb gardens planted at private residences and public parks in the United States,United Kingdom,Canada,Australia and Germany[1][2]during World War I and World War II…..

    …..Victory Gardens became popular in Canada in 1917. Under the Ministry of Agriculture’s campaign, “A Vegetable Garden for Every Home”, residents of cities, towns and villages utilized backyard spaces to plant vegetables for personal use and war effort. In the city ofToronto, women’s organizations brought expert gardeners into the schools to get school children and their families interested in gardening….

    ….Land at the centre of theSutton Garden SuburbinSutton, Londonwas first put to use as a victory garden during World War II; before then it had been used as a recreation ground with tennis courts. The land continued to be used as allotments by local residents for more than 50 years until they were evicted by the then landowner in 1997. The land has since fallen into disuse.[21]

    The Fenway Victory Gardens in theBack Bay FensofBoston, Massachusettsand the Dowling Community Garden inMinneapolis, Minnesotaremain active as the last surviving public examples from World War II. Most plots in the Fenway Victory Gardens now feature flowers instead of vegetables while the Dowling Community Garden retains its focus on vegetables.[22]

    Since the turn of the 21st century, interest in victory gardens has grown. A campaign promoting such gardens has sprung up in the form of new victory gardens in public spaces, victory garden websites and blogs, as well as petitions to renew a national campaign for the victory garden and to encourage the re-establishment of a victory garden on the White House lawn. In March 2009,First LadyMichelle Obamaplanted an 1,100-square-foot (100 m2) “Kitchen Garden” on the White House lawn, the first since Eleanor Roosevelt’s, to raise awareness about healthy food.[23]

  21. WeTheBleeple 21

    I’m not interested in your beliefs Jenny. How about facts.

    Among the biggest polluters are transport and agriculture. How to curtail them – Garden.

    How to help agriculture become sustainable: Water and nutrient capture.

    This scales to global. Every consumer is a potential for change. Take away the customers the businesses collapse.

    I’m not going to stop telling people to garden because you’re tired of hearing it. You think I’m not tired of repeating myself?

    Y’all can live in fantasy land waiting for science/govt/Jesus to save you, I’ll take care of business.

    “Maybe we need another post on “How To Get There” that concentrates on actually how to cut CO2 emissions of industrial civilisation. (After all, industrial civilisation is not going away, no matter how many back yard gardens we put in.)”

    What the fuck do you think excluding big ag and oil from food production does? How about power generation from on-site waste streams rather than oil… Biodigestion, biochar, soil building…

    You do your thing, and I hope you got something after all that horseshit, and I’ll do mine.

    Tell us your ideas I’m sick of hearing your opinions.

    • WeTheBleeple 21.1

      My apologies I got angry Jenny. I share your frustration with the lack of concrete plans. For me it’s the apathy from our so called leadership aka business and government.

      The retrofit we require largely involves our consumer lifestyles. It’s not so much over-population (certainly doesn’t help) as over-consumption. Our lifestyle is only possible due to living in a ‘carbon bubble’ – where we harness the energy of hundreds of generations to stuff our faces and trade in baubles.

      Happiness is not a product of riches however, but we have lost sight of that. TV is merely a giant advertisement for consumption and has brainwashed entire generations to consume at ridiculous levels.

      So yes, the industrial machine is a huge issue. Hollywood/media/governments/industrialists – in bed together.

      So what’s to be done?

      Hit them in their pockets. Votes for progressive change and votes with dollars.

      Investing in the planet is investing in yourself but the industrialists haven’t realized that yet. As consumers turn their backs on business, business will be forced to adapt to sustainable models or lose their customer base.

      For me it’s about divesting from oil as much as possible. And encouraging others to do likewise. Food production is something I can mostly do for myself. The savings from this will go to solar, an electric vehicle…

      As more and more people turn their back on exploitative industry and shallow consumerism the industrial model will be forced to get in line with consumers wishes – after decades of them leading the play.

      It’s important that individuals act. It seems immaterial but when enough act, change occurs.

  22. greywarshark 22


    With just 24 fully certified passive houses in the country Quinn has published a book of case studies showing the benefits of passive design which will be launched at the Passive House Conference in Wellington this weekend.

    A passive house uses, Quinn says, tiny amounts of energy annually.

    “What makes it a passive house is a performance standard for very low energy use for heating and cooling, and when I say low, I mean really low – the same amount of power you use to run your fridge would heat your house for the whole winter keeping the temperature at 20 degrees centigrade throughout whole home.”

    It is a relatively new concept; the first passive home was built in 1991 in Germany. The passive part refers to the windows, walls and floor.

    • WeTheBleeple 22.1

      This is not new. Passive cooling is millennia old in the tropics. Go to Indonesia check out the traditional housing they know where it’s at. Passive heating – well, it is as old as the sun. 😀

      Good design is still more an art than a science unfortunately, a fault clearly in the hands of design schools. This bloke does sound like he knows his stuff.

      Signed up for the free booklet out tomorrow. Be great to have more case studies to pore over.

      This is stuff new homeowners should start demanding. Shell out a millionish bucks you want some thought involved in the process.

      • greywarshark 22.1.1

        I’ve got some ideas that I would like to discuss with you and not lots of vexatious stickyfingers that trash everything they can. Hah.
        If you have time to give me feedback on some ideas could you give your email address to Robert, or if you don’t have his, to TRP. Thanks.
        You may not have the time, or busy with other projects, so if so no worries.

        • WeTheBleeple

          I don’t have anyone’s email I lost track of the post Robert gave me his in…

          I can take a look at your proposal/idea… then the mockery 😀

  23. greywarshark 23

    Okay. she’ll be right with that. Will get back to you with further details.

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