Nur­tur­ing na­ture

Go Gardening - - Editorial -

Last spring my son had a brief fling with the gar­den­ing bug. “Could I please have my own space in the vege gar­den, Mum?” I de­cided to strike while the iron was hot and af­ter school we headed straight to the gar­den cen­tre. While I loaded my trol­ley with vege seedlings, he was taken by the colourful dis­plays and chose pun­nets of flow­ers in­stead.

Now at the end of sum­mer I’m so glad for those ex­tra flow­ers. The vege gar­den is burst­ing with colour and vi­tal­ity. On a sunny day, it’s im­pos­si­ble not to be spell­bound by all the but­ter­flies and bees. And when you linger, your eye hones in on all the other tiny crea­tures. Too many of them are gorg­ing on my vege plants, but there are preda­tory in­sects too. This is­sue we’re all about the bees and bugs so vi­tal to a healthy world. Find out how you can help the bees (on page 9) and get the kids in­volved (page 22).

De­spite ‘bad’ bugs and hol­i­day ne­glect, our vege gar­den has sup­plied us and all our vis­i­tors with veges through­out sum­mer. The chal­lenge now is to make the most of the au­tumn grow­ing sea­son and get new plants started be­fore win­ter sets in. Sarah O’Neil of­fers ad­vice on page 17.

There is noth­ing so sat­is­fy­ing as a gar­den that pro­vides some­thing to eat all year round. For health pro­fes­sional Meryn Wake­lin, grow­ing veg­eta­bles at home is the eas­i­est way to main­tain a healthy diet (read more on page 12).

It was shock­ing to hear in the news this month a World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion study re­veal­ing New Zealan­ders as among the high­est fast food con­sumers in the world (fourth out of 25 coun­tries). This aligns with our es­ca­lat­ing obe­sity rates. It seems so tragic and un­nec­es­sary in a na­tion with so much space to grow healthy food.

On a lo­cal level, our schools and com­mu­ni­ties are al­ready fight­ing to buck this trend, teach­ing our chil­dren where real food comes from. Health and gar­den­ing, food and soil - these things have al­ways been in­ex­tri­ca­bly linked.

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