1. The Tall House

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Your Hosts: The Burwell-Heard Family

Address:  26 Glenpark Avenue, New Plymouth

Property Size:  700 m2 

Opening Hours:

  • Sun 28 Oct, 10 am - 4 pm
  • Sun 4 Nov, 10 am - 4 pm

Tours, Talks & Demonstrations:

  • Tours: 10.30 am, 1.00 pm & 3.00 pm on days open

Property Description:

With clever design, this garden nurtures itself - kitchen greywater feeds a banana and taro mulch basin, before seeping under the chook straw yard (where compost is made), collecting nutrients to feed the vege gardens downhill!  This greatly reduces the amount of water required for the garden, while feeding the garden effortlessly at the same time.

 

The chook straw yard too has a key task. Having decomposing organic matter 40cms deep, it provides a large proportion of the chook’s food needs. Mulch for fruit trees and vegetable beds is made on site, and uphill of the house there is a grove of mini avocados and citrus. Mature fruit trees jostle for space with a baby subtropical food forest.

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2. Instant Bounty

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Your Hosts: Miranda Palmer

Address: 17 Regent Place, Blagdon, New Plymouth

Property Size: 560m2

Opening Hours:

  • Fri 26 Oct, 12 pm - 4 pm
  • Sun 28 Oct, 10 am - 4 pm
  • Tues 30 Oct, 12 pm - 4 pm
  • Thurs 1 Nov, 12 pm - 4 pm
  • Sat 3 Nov, 10 am - 4 pm

Tours, Talks & Demonstrations:

  • Talk: Food Forest Gardening, 28 Oct & 3 Nov 3 pm

Property Description:

Four years ago Miranda downsized to a 550m2 suburban section, bringing with her fruit trees and berry bushes from her previous site. Within just a year she had removed all of the lawns to build veggie beds, established a food forest with a variety of fruit and berries, erected a greenhouse and welcomed in bees.  

 

Miranda builds her soil using compost, wood chip, seaweed and manure. She has special interests in the microbiology of soil, seasonal eating and food forest gardening. 

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3. Weaving Water

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Your Hosts: Nick Brown

Address: 14 Waiwera Place, Merrilands, New Plymouth

Property Size: 650m2 

Purchases Available: Plants and refreshments

Opening Hours:

  • Fri 2 Nov, 10 am - 4 pm
  • Sat 3 Nov, 10 am - 4 pm
  • Sun 4 Nov, 10 am - 4 pm

Tours, Talks & Demonstrations:

  • Talk: Permablitz Taranaki, 3pm on days open
  • Tours: 10:30am & 1pm on days open

Property Description:

Nick has a small suburban permaculture property that provides food for his young family, a tenant and friends. Water is a key feature, with recycled tanks and fish ponds capturing and storing 6000L of rain water for use in creating new microclimates. These flow into a 70m network of swales, which weave through a food forest and into 12 round garden beds.

 

The beds are gardened using a geodesic dome chook tractor, which rotates around the beds, allowing the use of chickens to weed and fertilize the garden beds.  There's also a herb garden, perennials veggies and a food forest.  A variety of mediterranean, deciduous, and sub-tropical species give good diversity.

Nick is a keen recycler and makes use of old materials to upcycle into new garden features.  A catenary bridge over the pond is made from recycled urbanite (unproductive concrete driveway). In a full cycle system, Nick makes his own compost to germinate seedlings, preserves or swaps excess produce, and saves seeds for the following year.

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4. Biodiversity on Brois

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Your Hosts: Nathan Hills

Address: 56a Brois Street, Frankleigh Park, New Plymouth

Property Size:  800m2

Opening hours: 

  • Sat 27 Oct, 10 am - 4 pm
  • Sat 3 Nov, 10 am - 4 pm

Tours, Talks & Demonstrations: 

  • Talk: Encouraging Biological Diversity, 2pm on days open
  • Tours: No set tour times, informal tours are available throughout the day

Description:

Nathan's 9 year old garden looks down the valley to the Huatoki Walkway. The property has two main focuses. Firstly there are a mixture of fruit trees, including a large variety of subtropicals such as cherimoya, fruit salad plant, guava, banana, mountain pawpaw, pomegranate, and tamarillo.

 

Secondly, as an educator in the field of conservation, Nathan has planted trees and shrubs that provide food and habitat for native birds, lizards and bees.  Included on the property are a 2000l rainwater water collecting tank, for the veggie garden, a worm farm, compost bins and free range chooks.  

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5. The Art of Growing

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Your Hosts: Andrew French

Address: 55 Blagdon Road, Blagdon, New Plymouth

Property Size:  900m2

Purchases available: Plants

Opening hours: 

  • Sat 27 Oct 11 am - 4 pm
  • Sun 28 Oct 11 am - 4 pm
  • Sat 3 Nov 11 am - 4 pm
  • Sun 4 Nov 11 am - 4 pm

Tours, Talks & Demonstrations: 

  • Demonstration: Building a Weta House, 4 Nov, 2pm
  • Tours: No set tour times, informal tours are available throughout the day

Description:

Andrew's garden is a small property that had one tree on it 10 years ago. It has been planted out on a budget and is loosely based on permaculture ideas, without a formal plan or strict adherence. The garden is a mix of plants for eating, smelling and admiring. 

 

Snuggled around the small property are a variety of fruit and native trees, a chicken tractor, composting, a worm farm and raised vegetable beds. Andrew likes using gates and landscaping materials to create courtyards and spaces, with a focus on raw, recycled materials and found objects. Amongst this, spaces are left for insects and bird life.

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6. Huatoki Hilltop

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Your Hosts: Gareth Ratcliffe

Address: 38 Glenpark Avenue, New Plymouth

Property Size:  1/4 acre

Opening hours: 

  • Sat 27 Oct, 10 am - 4 pm
  • Sun 28 Oct, 10 am - 4 pm
  • Sat 3 Nov, 10 am - 4 pm
  • Sun 4 Nov, 10 am - 4 pm

Tours, Talks & Demonstrations: 

  • Tours: No set tour times, informal tours are available throughout the day

Description:

Gareth's property is an inspiring hilltop quarter-acre garden following permaculture principles. It includes terraced veggie gardens, a developing food forest, a subtropical pocket, and chickens.

 

The property hosted a Sustainable Taranaki eco-building workshop this year, which saw the building of a rammed earth wall seat, which Gareth plans to add to in future.  

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7. Villa Bumblebee

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Your Hosts: Franziska von Hunerbein

Address: 4 Smith Road, Mangorei, New Plymouth

Property Size:  550m2

Purchases available: Organic sourdough bread, pizza swirls, and honey

Opening hours: 

  • Sat 27 Oct, 10 am - 4 pm
  • Wed 31 Oct, 10 am - 2 pm
  • Sat 3 Nov, 10 am - 4 pm

Tours, Talks & Demonstrations: 

  • Demonstration: Making a Simple Sourdough Bread, 27 Oct & 3 Nov, 11am  
  • Tours: No set tour times, informal tours are available throughout the day

Description:

Franziska lives in a big house on a small town section, and grows as much food as possible. The property is an amazing example of a small section that is full to the brim with goodness. Making great use of space with well-placed trees and the use of vertical spaces via espalier pruning, their small section is home to 30 types of fruit trees and berry plants.

 

Alongside this you will find raised bed vegetable gardens, chickens, a berm garden with free food for neighbours, a worm farm, compost brews and the use of comfrey for improving soil fertility.

Attached to the house is a wooden green house, which serves both as a food production area and to warm the home. The house also features a solar panel array, which not only supplies the house, but is used to charge their Nissan Leaf electric car.  Franziska is also the founder of Crop Swap.

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8. Eco-Gran’s Delight

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Your Host: Tricia Thompson

Address: 76 Clemow Road, Fitzroy, New Plymouth

Property Size: 514m2

Purchases available: Seedlings

Opening Hours:

  • Sat 27 Oct, 12 pm - 5 pm
  • Sun 28 Oct, 12 pm - 5 pm
  • Tues 30 Oct, 12 pm - 5 pm
  • Thurs 1 Nov, 12 pm - 5 pm
  • Sat 3 Nov, 12 pm - 5 pm
  • Sun 4 Nov, 12 pm - 5 pm

Tours, Talks & Demonstrations:

  • Talk: How Chooks Garden: using chooks in garden bed preparation, weeding and composting,
    27 Oct & 3 Nov, 2:30 pm
  • Talk: Maximising Space in an Urban Garden: espalier, arbours and use of vertical space, 28 Oct & 4 Nov, 2:30 pm
  • Tours: No set tour times, informal tours are available throughout the day

Property Description

‘Eco-gran’ Tricia Thomson’s garden is a small urban space jam packed with new things every which way you look! At just 514m2 you will be surprised how much productive goodness she has going on, using espalier and vertical spaces to maximise production.

 

She tells us she has ‘conquered the lawns’ and created a wilderness of fruit trees, berries, herbs, edible weeds, flowers, raised veggie beds, chook gardens and yards, a worm farm, and a tumbler compost bin – a productive backyard ‘farm’ in the suburbs. 

Tricia has a special interest in using hens as garden helpers. They prepare garden beds, weed specific areas that she creates with mobile fencing, and help compost garden and household food waste to make rich soil to return to the garden. Spread around the garden are bins with homemade teas of seaweed, comfrey, and cow manure to use as fertilisers. Tricia is passionate about having some food to pick from the garden every day of the year. She bottles, dries and preserves produce to use at other times of the year, and for gifts and barter. She has future plans for a roadside ‘barrow stall’ and neighbourhood ’little library’ at the roadside.

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9. Suburban Homestead

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Your Hosts: Bruce Miller and Nelle Rose

Address: 162B South Road, Spotwood, New Plymouth

Property Size:  2.25 acres

Opening Hours:

  • Sat 27 Oct, 9 am - 5 pm
  • Sun 28 Oct, 9 am - 5 pm
  • Wed 31 Oct, 2 pm - 5 pm
  • Sat 3 Nov, 9 am - 5 pm
  • Sun 4 Nov, 9 am - 5 pm

Tours, Talks & Demonstrations:

  • Tours: No set tour times, informal tours are available throughout the day

Property Description:

Nelle and Bruce are suburban lifestylers, with a large 2.25 acre property in Spotswood hidden down a long driveway in behind South Road. Starting with 4 horse paddocks 20 years ago, the property is now home to hundreds of trees, 18 ducks, 3 chickens, 2 Kuni-Kuni pigs and many birds.

 

Several gardens are contained in large netted areas, which provide bird protection for strawberries, small fruit trees and rotating vegetable crops. The property includes extensive shelter belts, an orchard, and a large medicinal plant garden, which is Nelle's area of expertise. Rain water is collected from two sheds for use in the gardens, while a 2 KW solar panel array powers their home. Nelle and Bruce are active in the Seed Savers group, and have grown several seed lines on their behalf. Property design advised by GreenBridge.

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