The founder, with her late husband,
Joe Polaischer, of the Rainbow Valley Farm in Matakana has inspired and educated thousands of people about sustainable living.
What strategy should permaculture newbies try first? Start with getting to grips with the permaculture philosophy of working with, rather than against, nature. Develop a clear picture of your goals and aspirations, resources, time and limiting factors.
What’s your top tip for minimising food waste? Compost your food and garden waste. Discover the magic that happens in a compost heap.
What inspires you as a gardener? The microorganisms in the soil. Healthy soil is teeming with life. I’m fascinated by the relationship between soil life and plants.
What food are you growing? Kale, mizuna, zucchinis, cucumbers, yacón, carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, basil, butternuts, pumpkin, beans, rampicante, apples, pears, limes, lemons and bananas.
How would you describe your diet and lifestyle? I lead an active lifestyle, exercise every day and eat healthy fresh food including a lot of homegrown vegetables, fruit and a small amount of meat and fish.
What’s your typical breakfast? This morning, I had a green smoothie (kale, cucumber, beetroot, fresh turmeric, black pepper, kefir made from full-cream milk, half a banana, a dandelion leaf, water), a brazil nut and six almonds.
What about lunch? Today’s was zucchini and tomato omelette and a slice of sourdough bread and butter.
What do you eat in the evening? Mostly whatever vegetables are ready in my garden, or our community garden, with a small piece of meat, fish or eggs. I often make a large stew or curry and freeze it in one-person servings. I also make bone broth for soups or stews.
How often do you snack and what on? I try to avoid eating between meals. If I snack, it could be fruit, crackers and hummus, or a muffin. My big weakness is almond croissants: there’s nothing more tempting than a good almond croissant with a flat white at my local cafe.