We believe that the urban garden is one of the solutions in the face of rising cost of living. By applying permaculture principles in the design and lifestyle, we seek to maximize onsite resources to meet most of our needs with minimal impact on the land.

Thursday, 24 May 2007

May's Meeting

We had some discussions infront of the cozy fire and enjoyed the homemade preserve and jam on crackers, and fresh walnuts. The dicussions revolved around issues relating to sponses not sharing the same passion about permaculture and potential conflicts. We didn’t come up with any concrete answers but it was really nice that as a group we could provide support to each other in this respect.

Tara's Chook Tractor
Over the last 2 months, 3 more of the regular members have made or acquired chicken tractors in various shapes and sizes. One of the topics for June’s meeting will be on chicken tractors, to discuss the pros and cons of the various designs and possibly come up with a more foolproof design(s). And to come up with strategies to integrate the chook tractors into the next growing season.

Thursday, 3 May 2007

April's Meeting

The meeting was kicked off by watching the clip "Permaculture in the City" from The Global Gardener.

The video clip features the provision of social needs and food on previously wasted la
nd in big cities such as New York City. Through the use of Permaculture principles, maximized production achieved with restricted space and water supply. Plants are utilized in the design to lower energy input for buildings. Guild plantings are used to reduce malaria problems in Africa. Personally for me the settlement, Village Home in Davis California is my favorite.

It's a settlement designs to encourage both the development of a sense of community and the conservation of energy and natural resources. The principal designer was Mike Corbett. Construction on the neighborhood began in the fall of 1975, and construction continued from south to north through the 1980s, involving many different architects and contractors. The completed development includes 225 homes and 20 apartment units. If only more developers in NZ are expose to this concept. Totally blows my mind away..find out more at http://www.villagehomesdavis.org

The meeting was followed by a sharing of yummy afternoon tea brought by everyone. The unforgettable was the heirloom apple that Karine brought to share with us. Her husband, David, picked them from the Hort Research Orchard in Hastings. I've never seen apples in so many different sizes, colors and taste.

Next, Karine invited us to her place to visit their KUNE KUNE pigs.

Karine, David and their Kune Kune Pigs

The meeting also became a family outing for Tara's children, Max and Abby (my most favorite children ever!!), resulted in an educational experience for them who had never had a close up experience with pigs.

Karine and David "supervising" Tara, Max and Abby while they checked out the pigs!

That concluded our most interesting meeting in April.

See you all in May!!

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

WOW..that's a super jumbo!

Since we haven't bought eggs for a year, we didn't know that eggs could be bigger than those we got from our chooks. When a new member, Ginger, was introduced into the chook family, we were amazed at the size of the eggs it laid...(Ginger's egg on the left, and Broodie's on the right )

Behold, Ginger, the star

Ded's Cherry Tomato Salad

If you have cherry tomatoes growing out of your ears and not sure what to do with it, try out this yummy recipe inspired by my Thai friend, Ded.

It's one of those recipes that you can get your child to help but watch out for those juice squirting out of the cherry tomatoes...I don't really have specific measurem
ents for this recipe because I keep tasting the liquid mixture until I get the taste that I like...I've put in some measurements for those who need more specific instructions...


500grams of cherry tomatoes (or more)
2 medium red onion chopped finely (depending on your taste prefer, more tomatoes more onions)
a handful of fresh basil (or 1 tablespoons of dried basil)
approx 1/2 cup Fruity vinegar
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
Sugar as required
juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon
rind of one lemon

Squeeze the tomato juice into a mixing bowl. To prevent the tomato juice from squirting everywhere (I literally mean it) use your finger to poke an opening on the top of the tomato where it attached to the stalk.

Next, add the chopped red onions, fresh basil (or dried basil), vinegar, pepper, lemon juice and lemon rind into the tomato juice. Mix it together really well. If there aren't enough tomato juice, add a little bit more vinegar. It should be a liquid mixture at this point.

Add salt and sugar as required and keep tasting the mixture until you achieve the taste that you like.

Next, add all the squeezed cherry tomatoes into the mixture and mix it well, put it into the fridge for an hour before serving.