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Sustainability workshops promote edible growing


The Environment Centre Hawke’s Bay is hosting a number of workshops over coming months for people interested in sustainability.

It’s a continuation of the successful Sustainable Backyards programme run during November last year that featured talks and workshops ranging from bird rescuing to climate change, local biodiversity and beach clean-up events.

Supported by the Hastings District Council, last year was the first time the Sustainable Backyards programme had been run in Hawke’s Bay.

Environment Centre manager Marielle Haringa said the upcoming workshops would give more opportunities for people to learn and participate in sustainability.

“To keep the initiative going we are holding these ‘Sustainable Backyards bite-sized’ workshops, so keep your eye out for them over the coming year.”

Two of these workshops will be held in February, run by Rachel Knight of The Kitchen Garden, who takes gardening courses and workshops throughout the year, helping people grow things to eat.

She said the courses were aimed at suburban gardeners with busy lives, giving tips and inspiration for creating productive edible gardens.

The first course “Portable shade and shelter for easier edible growing” will be held on Thursday, February 14. 5.30pm to 6.30pm.

If people are fed up with birds, rabbits and wind ruining their crops, this course shares ideas for  providing edible plants with shade and shelter for better harvests, and will help people identify what’s stressing their edible garden the most, said Rachel.

“It could be predators, weather or even humans."

“In this workshop we will see examples of different options for readily available shelter and shade, each with different pros and cons in terms of cost, portability, longevity, aesthetics and ease of use.”

On Thursday, February 21, 5.30pm to 6.30pm, Rachel will hold another workshop on “Self-watering containers for easier edible growing."

This will guide people on how to grow their own crops in containers with a water reservoir to reduce watering and keep plants moist for maximum growth.

“Wicking beds can come in all sizes and this workshop will help you decide if they are right for you,” Rachel said.

Attendees will see examples of homemade and bought versions, and get ideas on how to make their own at a scale that suits what they want to grow.

Both workshops will be held at the Environment Centre at 1004 Karamu Rd, Hastings, and are free thanks to sponsorship from Hastings District Council.

Register on Eventfinda to secure your place, but only if you are definitely going to attend. Numbers are limited, no door sales.

For more information, contact Rachel Knight at or call 021 172 5635

30 January 2019

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