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Spring is here!


August 15

Spring is well and truly here! we are all a little scared to feel and acknowledge it after the past 8 months of rain! It is sunny and warm, chicken pumping out eggs, muscovies beginning to nest, along with the Weeder Geese, and bees humming.

Lots of preparation for Spring now, beginning to remove lupins and tic beans for compost so we can plant early Spring crops.

  • We spread our first compost heap made in this garden onto the beds that will be planted with pumpkins and heavy feeders, and we are beginning a new compost pile with our over wintering carbon crops. It will be 2 months before they are all out, and that compost heap complete. We burned our bones that have accumulated in the bone barrel over winter so we have calcium to add to the compost heap. I’ll see if we can collect seaweed for this heap as well, otherwise I’ll add seaweed meal. I’ll also continue to add our compost Minerals and Microbes into my compost for another year I think, to ensure we get our brix’s up as fast as possible.
  • I’m removing Tic beans from our asparagus bed in preparation for planting our asparagus. The little plants I grew last year are just beginning to move so it’s time.
  • I’m transplanting my last lot of brassicas into the heavy feeding section of the winter garden…after  this planting, that section of my garden will become the summer roots and legumes section  ( for more details and info on garden crop rotation see page 141 of the Koanga Garden Guide.)
  • I’m transplanting WF Massey dwarf peas and Southland Sno peas  into the legume/rootcrop section of the winter garden, the last crops that will go in that area before the rotation happens and it becomes a summer carbon crop section. I’m also transplanting beetroot seedlings and direct sowing carrot and turnip seed.
  • I’m organized now with my propagation cloche for seedling production (don’t have a green house yet in my new garden area). Basically I’m using a wooden bench built from old pallets with a plastic sheet over hoops to make a cloche.  
  • I’m doing lots of planning, so I get my summer garden how I want it. This garden provides our food year round so careful panning is essential to ensure we have the right amounts of the right crops, and varieties  for storage drying fermenting etc . This is the time get  very clear about which variety you want of everything, which potatoes, which tomatoes, which peppers, etc etc. They all have different purposes, have all been selected for different qualities and characteristics. Read our catalogue or website to ensure you get seeds that are going to match your needs as well as having been selected to do well in this land in organic conditions. That is what Koanga seed is all about. There is no other seed company in NZ doing that. All other seed companies are buying over 90% of their seed from industrial seed companies overseas.
  • I’m about to plant my heritage berry patch. I’m very excited about that because i have never lived in a place I could grow gooseberries, currants  and Worcester berries before, although raspberries and cranberries and blueberries fruit everywhere in NZ. I’m planting 20sq m of bio intensive berry beds; 2 blackcurrants, 2 red currants, 2 white currants, 2 Worcester berries, 2 Pouto blackberries, 3 Chilean cranberries, 2 yellow raspberries, 2 red raspberries, all from our heritage berry collection. Many of these berries will be available this next winter in our Koanga Fruit Tree range, available from the Koanga Institute nursery here, from Edible gardens and from Kaiwaka Organics in Kaiwaka. Our blueberries will be from a community blueberry garden, so they can all be managed together and we can get to know them. We have a large NZ heritage blueberry collection here now.
  • I have 200m of Biointensive garden  ¼ of the garden e will be heavy feeders tomatoes and basil 10m, peppers and eggplants 10m roc melons, cucumber Tampala and Magenta Spreen 10m, pumpkins 20m. ¼ of the garden  will be in roots and legumes 10m green beans, carrots and beetroot, 10m in yams, artichokes salsify and scorzonera, ¼ of the garden will be in light feeding carbon crops  hulless oats 20m, 10m hulless barley, 20m millet,
  •  ¼ garden will be in heavy feeding carbon crops  50m Rainbow Inca sweet corn (enough that we can also save the seed for the Institute)
  •   I’m making ferments with all my excess over wintered root crops. my favourite ferment is a mix of all of them, beetroot, daikon, carrot, onion or welsh bunching onions, a little garlic etc for this recipe click here
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