Sunday, 2 October 2011

Seedy Sunday, seed stores and seed sorting

In the interests of transparency, and because it's been asked, it's about time I explained some of the behind-the-scenes workings of Seedy Sunday. People want to know more about what happens with the seeds, where they come from and how they get looked after.

There's an entire ecosystem of seeds that keep Seedy Sunday running. And explaining it all may show you the depth of my madness. But because this is a community event I think it's good to have a bit of clarity around what happens.
  • Anna's seed collection
I have this thing for seeds. I grow them, I collect them, I process and store them. Some I swap, some are given to me and some are bought. This little seed fetish is how Seedy Sunday started; not just to feed my maniacal collecting frenzy, but because the value of seeds and sharing and community building became more and more apparent.
  • Seedy Sunday's pot of gold
To prepare for a Seedy Sunday I donate a pot of seeds for each event; usually about 50 packets. This ensures that everyone who comes gets something and adds some variety to the table. Other people bring seeds and whatever is left after an event is safely stored away in an air-tight tin can until the next one.
  • A growing opportunity
Some of that seed may be grown out by myself or given to experienced gardeners to keep the seedline going. This builds up stores of seed to be giving out at Seedy Sunday or to go into a community chest. That's a project I'm calling the Kapiti Seed Store.
  • Funding the growth
LovePlantLife seeds are a separate thing entirely, but still an important part of this ecosystem. Most are bought in but some lines are grown by me under careful conditions and checked for strong viability. These act as the fundraising arm for these activities. I'd like to keep Seedy Sunday and the Seed Store as self-funding projects and not apply for already overstretched Kapiti community grants.

LovePlantLife lets this happen by paying the bills - marketing, hall hire, printing, consumables etc. The donation at events usually covers afternoon tea and a bottle of wine for the speakers. None of the seeds I've received through Seedy Sunday have gone on to be sold.

So what do I get out of all this?

I get to put together something pretty special. Seedy Sundays have been really popular, educational and social. Some great things have come out of it, some great friends even. I'm doing work I feel is really important. And I actually really enjoy harvesting, processing and packaging seed. I guess it's what you would call enjoying the little things in life :)

~ Anna

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

How to get your garden beds worked by a keen team for free : Seedy Sunday Spring

Seedy Sunday is back with a Spring Seed Swap

Seed saving for Daylight Saving: Come and share local seeds and gardening knowledge.

We'll tell you the secrets of worm farming. Imagine thousands of worms digging over your beds and providing nutrients for your veges. And you won't have to pay them a cent!

3pm, Sunday 25 September - Kapiti Community Centre, Ngahina St, Paraparaumu (near Library).

Bring: seeds (labelled, please), seedlings and garden produce, questions and gold coin donation.

Hannah Zwartz, Green Gardener and garden writer, will talk about worm farming - where to get worms, what sort, how to house them, what to feed them, and why they make such good livestock.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Seedy Sunday Discussion Group

Seedy Sunday is on hiatus right now - let's call it maternity leave. But in order to keep in contact, a web-based discussion group has been started and we'd love for you to join in the conversation.

The discussion is powered by Google Groups and you will need to head over there to sign up. You can either use the web-interface to see what is happening or receive emails. You can change your settings to receive emails as they are posted or get periodic digests.

So come and join in the conversation, ask questions, introduce yourself or see if anyone has those herb cuttings or vege seeds you're after.

Click here to check out the Seedy Sunday Kapiti Google Group.

Edible Backyard Spring Festival - 8 October

Home Garden Workshops with Peter Proctor and Rachel Pomeroy

Biodynamic gurus Peter Proctor and Rachel Pomeroy are set to deliver a series of Home Garden workshops this week in Kapiti. For more details please click the images below. 

Watch the trailer for One Man, One Cow, One Planet
This film looks at biodynamic agriculture, a Rudolph Steiner-inspired system of organic farming. The film focuses on proponent Peter Proctor, a worm-obsessed Kiwi gardener; and his work promoting biodynamics worldwide, particularly in India, where he argues that modern industrial agriculture (eg. artificial chemicals, GM seeds) has made soil and plants toxic, and farming unsustainable. Proctor's simple recipe to save the planet? One man and a bucket of cow dung.

Monday, 15 August 2011

The Future Begins At Home

A talk and slideshow by world renowned architect and sustainable living expert Brenda Vale

Sunday 21 August at 2pm
St Peter's Hall, Beach Road, Paekakariki
Entry by koha

Living in NZ as we do would take at least two planet Earths in terms of the resources we use. This talk shows what we need to do to reduce our personal environmental impact much closer to one planet living -and it's not as hard as it might first seem!

Brenda and her husband Robert are the authors of the seminal 1975 book, 'The Autonomous House'. The book has been translated into five languages and is widely recognized as an essential text in the field of green building. The Vales both currently hold Professorships at Victoria University of Wellington.

Brenda is a fascinating and delightfully entertaining speaker well worth a listen. Her talk includes many slides of her work and real living examples of inspiring 'autonomous' houses.

For more info phone Flo 904 2622 or email:

Friday, 25 March 2011

What's happened to Seedy Sunday?

Hi everyone,

Well, Seedy Sunday hasn't worked out as planned this year. I've been working on a growing project of a different sort. Richard and I are expecting our first child this weekend and so I've been completely distracted with getting life in order.

This isn't the end of Seedy Sunday or any of the other related activities. We are working with others to get things back up and running, but we're just not sure at the moment when that will be.

In the meantime, please do keep an eye on this website. I'll be updating with more information about growing good food on the Kapiti Coast and other local gardening delights. And stay tuned for info on the Kapiti Seed Store, a local seed bank that has sprouted out of Seedy Sundays.

And just a reminder that there are some fantastic speakers and great demonstrations lined up for the KCDC Sustainable Home and Garden Show this weekend.

~ Anna

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Kapiti Sustainable Home and Garden Show

"Resourceful living - living well with less impact" is the theme of the 2011 Kapiti Sustainable Home & Garden Show. Show highlights include a Resourceful Gardens Landscape Design Competition; a myriad practical workshops including renowned self sufficiency expert Carolann Murray; 70 vendors selling plants, edibles, self-sufficiency products, energy efficient and healthy home products; all day entertainment and food.

Gold coin entry for adults.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Waikanae Lions Super Garden Trail

Waikanae Lions Super Garden Trail, Waikanae, 29 January 2011 – 30 January 2011, 10am - 5pm. Adults $15 from the Ticket Kiosk, Cnr Te Moana and Koromiko Rds, Waikanae.

If you would like to experience some of Waikanae’s most stunning gardens put the 29th and 30th January 2011 in your calendar now as the Waikanae Lions Super Garden Trail is on again and will be just as enjoyable as last year.

Thirteen stunning town and beach gardens in Waikanae will be on display in this summer’s Waikanae Lions Super Garden Trail that is being held the weekend following Wellington Anniversary Day to avoid the congestion of holiday traffic.

This summer’s Garden Trail provides a rare opportunity to view exceptional gardens ranging from attractive cottage gardens to enchanting compact town and beach gardens to spacious lifestyle retreats with expansive lawns and special features. One of the really outstanding gardens in this year's Trail is that of George and Mickey Ritchie who have a two acre property featuring extensive and colourful flower beds, mature trees and lawns as well as a wonderful lake and very interesting bush walk. The Trail also includes the garden of Frank and Vicki Boffa with its large lake and wonderful “water garden”.

The annual Waikanae Lions Super Garden Trail has been a very popular event for garden lovers throughout the lower North Island and has raised in excess of $360,000 for many charities. This year the funds raised will be donated to the Wellington Free Ambulance, Kapiti Urgent Community Care Scheme.

Morning and afternoon teas and light lunches will also be available at 42 Ngarara Road to provide a restful garden experience with the proceeds going to The Cancer Society. By taking part in the “discover the plants” and “lucky ticket” competitions, visitors could win one of ten prizes for $50 plant selections or six $100 gardening gift cards or two landscape design packages.

Tickets for the Garden Trail and a brochure showing the location of each garden are available from Kapiti Garden Centres or from the individual gardens on the weekend of the Garden Trail.

The gardens will be open from 10.00am until 5.00pm each day and for only $15.00 per person per day, visitors can enjoy a wonderful day out visiting these stunning Waikanae gardens.

The following gardens are in the Trail:
8 Kotare St
3 and 6 Matata Place
160 Winara Ave
29 Cranbrook Grove
5 Balmerino Grove
19 and 39 Manu Grove
269 and 377 Te Moana Rd
24 Ara Kuaka St
17 and 42 Ngarara Rd

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Edible Backyard Open Day

Edible Backyard Open Day, Ohau, 29 January 2011 – 30 January 2011, 9.30am - 12.30pm. $25.

Find your edible gardening inspiration at Edible Backyard! See Kath Irvine's summer garden in action - look at what's worked and what hasn't. Learn what to be doing at this time of year to keep your food gardens in full production and top health. See my preparations for the autumn food garden.

I'll take you on a tour of the orchard, potager, vegie beds, chooks and subtropicals - get the chance to ask your burning questions!

Enjoy a yummy edible backyard morning tea... Then go for a healing herbs and weeds walk with Ali - learn about the healing power of summer herbs and how to dry and store them for winter use.

Limited numbers. Booking is essential.

Macrocarpa seed trays and sleepers for sale. Heritage seedlings and seeds for sale.