Or­ganic veg­etable gar­den the pick of the crop

Auckland City Harbour News - - Front Page - By Janie Smith Turn to P3

Gar­den­ing isn’t just a hobby for Michael Owen, it’s a way of stay­ing up­beat and feed­ing him­self.

Mr Owen’s veg­etable gar­den has been named the win­ner in the veg­etable cat­e­gory of Hous­ing New Zealand’s Gar­den­ing Awards for the Morn­ing­side neigh­bour­hood unit, which qual­i­fies him for the na­tional awards.

When Mr Owen moved into his Pon­sonby flat two years ago, the back­yard was a bar­ren lawn.

With the help of some friends, he dug it over to cre­ate veg­etable beds, bor­dered by re­cy­cled bricks.

Now it sports a wide range of pro­duce, in­clud­ing toma­toes, let­tuce, mar­row, red onion, sil­ver­beet and sev­eral herbs.

“All the stuff in there is or­ganic. I col­lect the seeds to re­plant for next year. I don’t see the point in buy­ing seeds all the time if you can prop­a­gate them your­self.”

Be­fore mov­ing to Auck­land, Mr Owen lived in the Bay of Is­lands and dis­cov­ered gar­den­ing dur­ing a dif­fi­cult time in his life.

“I was work­ing in a job that was very stress­ful and low paid. I got pretty de­pressed and ended up

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Ed­i­ble par­adise: Michael Owen in his prizewin­ning veg­etable gar­den.

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