Archive for the 'News' Category


Edible Backyard Summer Festival

The lovely Kath Irvine has invited to give seedsaving workshops at the Edible Backyard Summer Festival this February. I’ll also have the new collection of LovePlantLife Seeds available. Very excited! I’ve been to a herbal workshop at Kath’s before and can’t wait to spend two days back there in her wonderful garden with such a fantastic group of presenters.

There are no doorsales for this event so email to book your place today!



A quick round-up: Less glyphosate, more mind-dump.

Valerian – Used by many to help with sleep. Flowering prolifically here right now, but there’s not much sleeping going on.

For 9 months I almost had the perfect baby–happy, healthy and slept like a hibernating bear! From six weeks my little darling slept through the night – 11-12 hours. And now the bear has awoken and won’t go back to sleep.

My mind is off on more tangents than a trigonometry convention. And so time to note them down here so I can be held to task later, when I finally get some sleep. I will someday sleep again, right?

In the works right now, I’m a’workin’ on:

  • NZ Food Bill – I’ve been trying to write something on this for the last two months. Every time I try, I get more confused. I’m trying to write something that illuminates rather than adds to the murky misinformation and just plain scaremongering out there now. Something will be up soon, hopefully before the bill gets passed.
  • While we talk about Bills, find out about the Natural Health Products Bill and have your say, so we don’t get into the same mess.
  • Working on posts about blood pressure, water meters, a GE primer, organic farming and seed collecting.
  • Planning a new Friday feature for the blog, which I think is pretty exciting.
  • And I’m working on a new website…actually, two. Details as they happen.
  • And I’m thinking it’s about time for a redesign for this one.
  • I’ve got a couple of seedsaving workshops coming up. Look out for Edible Backyard’s Summer Festival and the Sustainable Home & Garden Show.
  • I’ve kept it simple this year and I’m only growing several types of lettuce, herbs, flowers and beans for seed at the moment.
  • I’m updating the seeds and info that you can buy online. And thank you to the dear people who are buying my seeds on Trade Me. You’re keeping me in raspberry slice and I am eternally grateful.
  • My garden beds need to be rescued from a forest of lemon balm.
  • I’m building a more organised area for raising seeds at home so I can do more seedlings and better germination testing.
  • Zinnias – I have a wee obsession forming. Think my old potato bed is about to get a makeover.

All of this unfolds around an upwardly mobile baby menace and a hungry, hungry husband. So stuff is happening but sometimes the pace is a bit glacial. Stay tuned for more exciting botanical adventures.


NZ Food Bill Madness

Please repeat after me: the NZ Food Bill does not make gardening illegal and it won’t be rushed in over xmas holidays. (Politicians have long summer holidays – not back until Feb 7)

Nice to have everyone talking about food policy though!

More on this later….


Bring the noise: Summer is definitely here

To me, the arrival of summer is a real three stage process. There are three very clear, progressive signs that we are here. The first being the glorious arrival of flowering pohutukawa. The second, the brief sightings of my pasty-white legs. The third and final ‘yeah it’s actually really summer now’ signal–the raucous behaviour of thousands of cicadas wanting to get laid. This male cicada photographed today on my clothes line deafening the neighbourhood.


Being fair to Fonterra

Previously, I have noted with disdain, some of the activities of Fonterra that I have not found favourable. Because my Mama raised me right I thought I should give praise where praise is due.

It has been announced that it will be mandatory to fence all waterways on Fonterra farms as condition of supply. Bloody good work! This is a fantastic step forward.

Cows trampling, polluting and eating their way through waterways and verges has caused significant damage. Water pollution, toxic algal blooms, habitat destruction – nasty realities of rural streams and waterways.

River Dog (trailer) from James Muir on Vimeo.


Hungary: My enviro-refugee destination

I may have ranted on election night the desire to find another country to live for the next couple of years. And it’s taken me awhile but I have come up with a few options should I wish to run away. One option is Costa Rica, for reasons already discussed. Next on the list may just be Hungary. I’ve always had a soft spot for the land of paprika, but since they destroyed 1,000 acres of  Monsanto’s GMO-maize? I think I’ve got a real crush on the place. 

March 2011, all genetically modified organisms (GMO) were banned in Hungary. The March legislation required that seed must be tested for genetically modified organisms (GMO) before it goes on sale. So when in July officials tested maize in the field and found it was a Monsanto messed-with variety, officials dug the crop under before pollen could be spread.  Kick-ass!

And cherry-picking further Magyar facts to highlight Hungary as my destination choice of the week:

  • Hungary was the first country to ban DDT in 1968.
  • Hungary is ranked 6th in the world for environmental protection. (But Anna, who are the top 3 I hear you say? Well, it’s Sweden, Germany and Iceland.)
  • The country is a thermal water wonderland.
  • The Tokaj area of Hungary gave birth to the world’s first botrytised wines, which I’m awfully partial to. And the region itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Imre Makovecz – Extraordinary man, whose wooden, organic architecture I fell for many years ago.
  • Budapest is amazingly gorgeous and has such a brilliant examples of Art Nouveau.


Smelling the roses

I spent Election Day smelling the roses, literally. As there has been so much manure on the campaign trail, I thought it only fitting. I’m now as sunburnt as a Raspberry Ice floribunda. But I don’t think it’s that making me feel ill.

I’ve been staying up late surrounded by Whittaker’s chocolate wrappers, with a mad twitchy left eye thing going on. It’s the look of furrowed concentration that is the most alarming as it will probably cost me more than supermarket shelf moisturiser to repair the lines. I got this idea ya’see. And clearly because I don’t have enough to do…..I’m launching a new project. Yes, another one. So I’ve been out shooting it up, preparing prettiness for you. Prepare for prettiness people!

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November 2019
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