Saturday, 20 November 2010

Waitati Edible Gardeners

Community Garden Year Three Progress Report


By Rosemary Penwarden

There've been strange goings-on in Waitati since this community garden started. Anyone driving up Mt Cargill Road a few Tuesday evenings ago might have noticed eight people bent over little holes in the ground or forking steaming silage into piles, reminiscent of 19th century Irish peasants. With a small difference – Irish peasants didn't set up lines of orange bailing twine at ankle height to keep the rows straight. Even bright orange bailing twine is not easy to see when your arms are full of steaming rotting hay. T'was an accidental Irish jig you may have seen, as we tripped, hopped or tumbled into the pungent steaming silage. Luckily, the salsa dancers among us are quick on their feet. 


Other unusual behaviour has been noted; suddenly, dried cow 'paddies' (Irish for 'pats?) are difficult to resist, and community gardeners ('commies'?) may be spotted scooping them into sacks in the most unexpected places.


After a slow start enough spoilt hay came our way thanks to Yung Ko and Laurie Henderson, and the strong easterlies dumped a generous helping of kelp on the beach, also gratefully received. Garlic was planted in August and is growing well; onions in October, outcome less certain. Most of the potatoes are in and the pumpkins, far too big for their window sills, will be in the ground by the time December's Blueskin News goes to print. Note to next year's 'commies' – DO NOT eat all your best potatoes. Keep some for seed!


We have broad beans coming along too and left some of the winter's green crop to re-seed. Globe artichokes are dotted along the far side of the garden - we hope to get a nibble from them next year.


Anyone is welcome to join us at 6:30 on a Tuesday evening - deft footwork is not compulsory.  


(Ring Derek on 4822831 or email







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