Summit Club Adventures Beach Cleanup

Beach Cleanup at Pukerua Bay: come and help clean up our amazing stretch of coastline!

10 am – 2 pm, Saturday  24 November 2018 (ical)
Pukerua Bay Beach car park (map)

This event is organised by Kathmandu and Sustainable Coastlines, and they would like you to sign up as a volunteer here if you wish to participate.

What to bring:

  • Sturdy, closed-toe shoes that you don’t mind getting a bit muddy. This is critical for health & safety: those not wearing closed-toe shoes will not be able to participate.
  • Warm and waterproof clothes. At least one warm top layer and a rain jacket.
  • Sun hat and sunscreen.
  • Reusable water bottle (filled up and ready to go)
  • Your old or unused mobile phone to recycle. As a charity partner of the RE:MOBILE phone recycling scheme, donating your old mobile helps us raise critical funds for freshwater restoration.
  • A camera (optional). We would love to see your event photos! If you use Instagram, use the tags #loveyourwater, @kathmandugear and @sustainablecoastlines to let the world know.

Community garden progressing well

It’s been a busy month in the community garden — we’ve had three working bees and made a lot of progress.

Today we finished the first phase of planting in the garden for this year. So far, we have:

  • planted feijoa trees between part of the garden and the neighbours as a screen that will also produce delicious fruit
  • planted all the fruit trees — apples, pears, nashis and plums
  • planted the support trees around the fruit trees to provide protection and to help fix nitrogen in the soil for plant growth
  • mulched around all the trees to keep down weeds and help the soil retain water over the driest part of the year.

We still have to put in some wind breaks by the trees to protect them from the wind that comes from the northwest, which can be pretty strong at times. Of course, we’ll need to keep the grass down, but we’ve got a scythe and some keen users so we can do it without disturbing the neighbours with noisy machinery. Spring and summer will be busy with making sure the trees are OK, and well watered during the dry season. Fortunately, the council installed a tap for us when they built the access onto the site, so we have a permanent and reliable water supply.

We also have to start planting the smaller support plants, which will help accumulate minerals for the trees and build up the soil health, and we’d also like to get some berry plants in there, too. We’re trying to follow permaculture principles to create an ecosystem that has a wide range of plants, soil biota and insects that all support each other.

It looks like we have got more funding from Porirua City Council under their Village Planning programme again this year, so we’ll be able to do more planting over the next 12 months. We’ll look at establishing a different range of plants from the pipfruit trees we’ve planted so far — perhaps more stone fruit, or maybe some citrus. We can’t wait!

Marking out the garden

Today a small, keen group worked in the community garden to prepare for our working bee tomorrow to get ready for planting the fruit trees arriving this month.

The community garden is really a ‘food forest’ that will eventually include a wonderful mixture of fruit trees, berries, herbs and support trees that will grow into a self-sustaining ecosystem. We’re developing it following permaculture principles to create a diverse and integrated system that is rich in plant, insect and microbe life, and recycles nutrients and doesn’t need many inputs from us. Continue reading “Marking out the garden”

Kororā sign planting (Take 2!)

Next Thursday (14 June) at 10.30 am, Pukerua Bay School children will be planting the area around the new Kororā (Little Blue Penguin) sign on the beach, at the start of the coastal walk track. The sign is for promoting the protection and conservation of the penguins.

Come and join us!

Image CC-BY-SA courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Kororā sign planting next week

Next Wednesday (30 May) at 10.30 am, Pukerua Bay School children will be planting the area around the new Kororā (Little Blue Penguin) sign on the beach, at the start of the coastal walk track. The sign is for promoting the protection and conservation of the penguins.
Come and join us!

Image CC-BY-SA courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Working bee at the Hall

Wondrous news, the interior of the Community and School Hall is finally getting a long overdue paint! But first, we need to get rid of all the staples. Please could we have help? There will be a working bee at the hall on Sunday 6 May from 2-4pm. If you can come, please bring your own staple-removal tools, and bring your taste and good judgement, because there will be a chance to help choose the colours. Thanks in advance, from the Hall Committee and Board of Trustees.

Garden holly oak shelter belt started

We planted 30 trees today, mostly tagasaste, which fixes nitrogen and helps to improve the soil, and can later be be coppiced for firewood and sacrificial mulch. It will serve to shelter the holly oaks while they get established to form the main long-term shelter. We even managed to sneak some lavender amongst proceedings too. Many thanks to everyone who turned up to help!

Food forest garden Queen’s birthday working bee

To celebrate Her Royal Majesty’s birthday, let’s build a compost station and some raised beds after lunch on Monday.  Kick-off at 1pm on Monday 5 June (more event details here), and subject to availability we can get a few tree and nursery species in the ground too.

Things we need

  • Used pallets (7 initially)
  • Some sleeper timbers
  • Lengths of driftwood from the beach
  • Plants. Currently, donations will be gratefully accepted of the following trees and shrubs for the nursery and beginning shelter layers: tagasaste (Cytisus proliferus), holly oak (Quercus ilex), common lavender (Lavendula augustifola), and feijoa (any good variety).

It might be a bit wet to try to get a shed in place on the back of a truck, but Malcolm from PCC is keen to get the water tank sorted soon.

If you are interested in participating in the community food forest garden project, please contact Jonathan at the Residents’ Association through the Contact Us page with your email address and/or a contact phone number, so we can keep a mailing/phone list of interested folks. For instance, one of the first things we need to figure out is the best way to facilitate discussion and coordinate resources and tasks between working bees, whether that be email, Facebook, this website, a wiki, smoke signals, or some other method.

Allotment beds at Innermost Gardens, Wellington.

Food forest garden working bee!

Hi folks, it’s really happening! Let’s all catch up tomorrow at 10 am (see event details) and meet and greet. We have our garden plan (PDF) to work from, and we need to mark out where the things will go, who has access to what resources, and what we can get started with first.

Things to do

New gate and mulched grass.

The council have already mown and mulched the site for us, so that’s the first thing done from the list of tasks in the plan. Likely candidates for things we can start doing are:

  • Construct the composting station. There’s a nice easy way to build this out of used pallets.
  • Construct some initial allotment beds: 3-4 raised beds, 1.2 – 3 metres, over winter, ready for spring planting. Sleeper timbers or similar (driftwood?) required.
  • Minor earthworks, to cut 20-30 cm swale steps along contours in places. I think we’ll need a bobcat for this, or it’s a large amount of manual spade labour. We may be able to engage the council here.
  • Plant nursery trees (tagasaste, lavender) to improve the soil, fix nitrogen and shelter later tree plantings.
  • Plant some of the orchard tree species that are tolerant of wind and poor soil (feijoa, bamboo, apple varieties “Irish Peach” and “Priscilla”).

We are currently investigating the option to move one of the old shelter buildings from the closed Muri Station onto the site, to use as the potting/tool shed, and the council are willing to provide a water tank for garden and Civil Defence use.

Things to bring

  • Gumboots (required),
  • enthusiasm (required), and optionally:
  • measuring tape,
  • a spade,
  • pencil and paper,
  • any plants you’d like to donate; at this stage we only envisage planting Tagasaste (Cytisus proliferus), Lavender (Lavendula dentata), or Feijoa (Acca sellowiana), and
  • if someone could bring a drone so we can get a top-down photograph, that would be super-fantastic and help with mapping and plotting.