Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Permaculture Workshop

I little while ago I signed up to follow a couple of the local (to where we will be living in New Zealand) permaculture groups on facebook.  I discovered that while were going to be in NZ there was a whole weekend of events happening, most free of charge or by donation.
We were a bit short on time so could not attend more than 1 event so we chose to attend a discussion about wind and water.

The discussion was held at a private property and the gateway that greeted us was quite magical.

Our host had only owned the property for a few years and it used to be a horse property so had compacted soils, a sand arena, no food production or wind protection.  He demonstrated how the water flowed across the property and how the property had been poorly designed as all the buildings created dams and blocked the flow of water.  Plus they were made of metal so the end result would be rusting.  Something we will have to be much more aware of when we plan our property.

There were about 30 people at this one talk and there were 2 other talks happening at other locations around the city.  It was great to see a diverse range of people attending.

They have planted over 50 fruit and nut trees so far and are using ally-cropping where you fence off your wind break and use chickens or ducks below food and shelter plants.

The property we visited had a section of very steep pasture and our host discussed how he was using Poplar poles to stabilise the hillside.  This is a very common form of tree planting for stabilisation in New Zealand as the hill sides are prone to slips.  They are basically giant cuttings that grow into trees and they only cost about $3 each So they are an affordable option for farmers needing to stabilise large sections of their property

Once the tree cutting has been planted they get surrounded with a plastic tree guard to stop the stock rubbing against them.

You can see the top of a slip in the photo
It was a very interesting day and we met some great people.  There was a seed swap later that day but we had other plans and since we are not living there yet there was not much point.
It seems like the permaculture group that hosted all the activities over the weekend do this a few times a year so that is something to look forward to doing once we are living there.

Hare you attended any interesting gatherings lately?


  1. Looks like a great course and good timing before you start building anything (and so GREEN!!!)

  2. What a great area to look forward to living in Fiona! Like minded locals would be a real bonus I think.

  3. Sounds like an informative workshop. I finished my PDC earlier in the year (at Northey Street City Farm). I'm in NZ (North Island) in January and want to check out some permaculture spaces when I'm there. I've heard there are some brilliant permaculture course over there...next time!


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