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365 Days a Year

This is the second in a collection of stories of people who have been inspired by the Sustainable Backyard at Hamilton Gardens, Waikato, New Zealand.  This story was first published at permaham.wordpress.com.
When I spoke to Wendy she had just been visiting the Sustainable Backyard with her grandchildren, ages 2 and 3.

“I visit about a couple times a month.  I take friends and they are inspired and they say, “I could do that, I could do that.”  I take my grand kids down all the time – the hens are their favorite part, and the adobe seat in the garden.

The Sustainable Backyard is the best part of the whole Gardens because it shows just what you can do in such a small area.  The whole systems of having bees and having hens is great. Especially the idea of mulching has been useful.

Also some of the structures they make down there out of bamboo and things you have available – shows the whole thing doesn’t have to be an expensive process.

I eat out of my garden 365 days a year.  I always have endives – endives all year round, that’s my green for my year, and I have broad beans over the winter.  Some lettuces will grow here through the winter.

There’s a fairly large percentage of people who like the idea but can’t apply it because they don’t have time.  If you’d switch off the T.V. in the evening, there might be time, but people’s reluctance to change their habits gets in the way.

I go to an organic gardening meeting once a month.  About thirty of us get together monthly to share ideas, excess seeds.  We all pay a little to cover cost of the electricity we use.

We’re stuck in the Waikato in amongst hard core chemical farmers.  I’m an ex farmer’s daughter and my father didn’t use all the chemicals.  If you talk organics and permaculture, people’s eyes glaze over.  I have 5 grown children and they all garden.”