August at Waygood
Updated: Feb 2
This last winter month has passed by quickly because of the strict lockdown that started in the middle of August. Claire and I were bound to the safety of our homes. Luckily our current residents were able to take care of the gardens.
Unfortunately our mara tamariki hasn't had many visits from the little ones due to the lockdown and often shortages of teachers. Hopefully this will change in the coming months since we would really love for the children to be planting themselves and watching their garden grow.
The gardens are still very much asleep, but looking closely we can see the first signs of spring coming up. The blue lupin and phacelia that we had sown as a cover crop has started to show its beautiful flowers. We harvested ginger and turmeric tubers, which can be stored in a pot with wood shavings to prevent them from rotting. There is an abundance of citrus and we started our kumara tipu (shoots) so they will be ready to be planted in spring. We used the following two techniques.
1. Container with drainage...layer of well rotted manure,
layer of straw, layer of pumice sand with kumara
pressed into sand. Water well and cover with a lid. Check
regularly that it is moist. Remove the lid when tipu shoots emerge.
2. Bucket with drainage holes. Half fill with pumice sand.
Add kumara, fill to top with pumice sand. Water well,
add lid and proceed as above.
Our compost bins are flourishing with coffee grinds, food scraps and cardboard from the Piha café. Making compost can be very easy, fun and rewarding to do. It shouldn’t cost much, if you are good at resourcing materials you can even do it for free. Collect your food scraps cardboard, dried leaves, grass clippings and any other garden waste. Make sure it's invasive weed free and that your carbon (brown) and nitrogen (green) ratio is about 1:3. Cover and turn every week to speed up the decomposing process. For more information on composting have a look at this post,https://www.earthskintrust.org/post/composting-systems.
On the last day of August we experienced a huge flood in Piha and Karekare valleys. The lower terrace, Three Sisters and pump house were flooded. The planting and earthworks which the Water Board completed last summer reduced the flood damage to the pump house, luckily all of our buildings remained watertight. Unfortunately the Jerusalem artichoke and yaccon that we had planted over winter flushed away together with their soil. Seeing the damage and power that the flood created has been a worry and at the same time a resource. The flood left a great amount of debris behind which we’ll be able to use as a mulch in the gardens.