The per­ma­cul­ture gar­den

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Feature -

When Lance Palmer

built a pro­to­type hemp build­ing, he gifted it to Matt and Melissa for their per­ma­cul­ture gar­den and they turned it into the most well insulated hen house in NZ, com­plete with a green roof. The gar­den also has a top­bar bee­hive, sheep, turkeys, and cows run­ning around the pas­ture.

“Self-suf­f­ciency is prob­a­bly not the goal, but it is the di­rec­tion we want to go in,” says Matt. “We’ll never be com­pletely self suf­fi­cient, but we haven’t bought meat or eggs from a su­per­mar­ket in years.”

The only veges they buy are mush­rooms, peas and car­rots.

“I have to buy car­rots be­cause Taranaki soil is so fer­tile your car­rots end up like forks.”

Their gar­den is still a work in progress but is based on a per­ma­cul­ture de­sign, part of an­other stroke of good luck.

“We won a com­pe­ti­tion run by Green­bridge (a sus­tain­able prop­erty de­sign com­pany), about $800 worth of con­sul­tancy fees. It’s kind-of per­ma­cul­ture de­sign and they helped plan it, and they also helped us out with a 12 month plant­ing or­chard, helped us pick the trees, so we get fruit right through the year. The maps they do are awe­some, and you get a cal­en­dar with months of the year in a cir­cle and what fruits you get.

“We’ve got the base or­chard planted out, the ap­ples, pears, peaches, that sort of stuff, but we haven’t quite fin­ished de­vel­op­ing the sub­trop­i­cal gar­den, that’s mainly a big top­soil pile out­side the house.”

In per­ma­cul­ture there are no lawns, but on this block, there is James and he needs a lawn says his mum.

“I was like yeah, nah! Out front of the house is north-fac­ing and beau­ti­fully sloped and I want lawn in front of my house. I don’t want to look at my vege gar­den when it’s in a state

of dis­ar­ray, that can go out the back.”

The cou­ple have also planted out trees around the wet­ter ar­eas of their prop­erty, and say they can al­ready see a dif­fer­ence in the wa­ter qual­ity on their side of the fence.

“We’ve done a cou­ple of ri­par­ian plant­ing blocks,” says Melissa. “When we came here one hill was com­pletely cov­ered in gorse – it would have been over Matt’s height in woolly night­shade too. We’ve had friends spend hours with us on weed whack­ers.”

Friend Lance Palmer built the hen house as a struc­ture to test hemp mixes. He gifted it to the cou­ple for their flock.

The gar­den will even­tu­ally ex­pand, but right now the only veg­eta­bles the fam­ily needs to buy are car­rots and mush­rooms.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.