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Edible Gardening in Whangarata (week four: pests)

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Event description

A series of hands on gardening lessons for the 'lazy' gardener: people with busy lives who would love to feel like their garden is growing itself.

Book for the sessions that look most useful, it might be just one, or all four: 

Week One: Seeds (May 3rd)

  • learn to make your own seed raising mix, grow from seed, save seeds from your own plants, and store or share them.

Week Two: Soil (May 10th)

  • learn to make your own potting mix, and use the biodynamic preparations to help keep your plants at optimal vitality. 
  • We'll cover: worm farming, composting, making leaf mould, using the biodynamic CPP (cow pat pit) preparation.
  • Learn when to transplant your baby seedlings from shallow trays into deeper pots. 

Week Three: Plants (May 24th)

  • Create a plan for this season of what you want to grow in your garden, and begin planning an annual list of vegetables, herbs and flowers to keep your garden full all year round.  
  • Learn more techniques to turn one plant into many, and which method is easiest for which plant.

Week Four: Pests (May 31st)

  • We'll talk about invasive weeds and how to deal with them without getting stressed or overwhelmed. and you'll create a green waste management plan for your space. My goal is to help you cancel your green waste collections and become confident that every single plant can and will get turned into a useful resource. 
  • There are a wide range of strategies for biodynamic pest management - we'll talk through the common problems presented by the group so you can go home and feel like you aren't losing food to wildlife faster than you plant it. 

I recommend booking in for the whole series, but if you have to miss a session, then I'll probably start the cycle again in May - please send an email to if you'd like to pay upfront for all four classes and I'll send you an invoice. Otherwise book at the sliding scale for each class separately. 

Any questions? Please email me at

A good accompanying course for this workshop series is the online programme 'Family Friendly Biodynamics' (but it's not compulsory)

The workshop will be mostly hands on work with minimal theory, and any notes will be available online (my goal is to always be paperless). Please bring a notepad if you like to write things down for reference.

What to bring: 

- These are indoor lessons so no gumboots are needed. 

- Wear suitable clothes for gardening. Most people like to have their own garden gloves when we start handling soil. We will go ahead in all weather, unless there is a power cut in the hall. 

- Part of Wednesdays in Whangarata will be a crop swap / plant swap over a shared lunch before I get the ping pong table out for an afternoon of games. There are two ovens in the kitchen, so if you want to bring something to heat up for lunch, then please feel welcome to do so. I'll probably pick salad greens to wash and share, and might get around to making some bread rolls or Daikon pickles the night before. You can also leave straight away - some people will have a long drive to get home, or need to get back to the office for an afternoon of work. 

- With the plant swap aspect of the day, it can be useful to have something to protect your car. I tend to use cardboard boxes, which later end up in a compost pile. 

- I will arrive around 9am to set up, and always welcome help with this. 

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