Tr­ish Allen

New Zealand Listener - - THIS LIFE -

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.

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