The Biodynamic Cow Pat Pit Preparation

I’m interested in exploring biodynamics in my gardening, where should I begin?
-from a Blue Borage Instagram follower

I think depending on who you ask, you could get dozens of answers to this question.

I have a handful of responses, depending on the kind of person I’m talking to, if I’ve seen their garden and had a chance to feel for myself what I would do next. It’s a tricky question to answer, as I feel like people sometimes want to simplify a way of life that is incredibly deep and complex.

Some possible…

Summer is coming to an end and here in Auckland we are limited with our water — please attach a trigger nozzle to your garden hose so that you don’t waste a single drop.

I’m getting asked this question: “What’s the priority in the garden right now?”

My tips are primarily to protect the soil — it sounds counterintuitive, but I’m advising to leave the weeds in place until you have good strong plants to replace them.

What can you use as mulch? Have you got nicely aged leaves you can use to protect your soil? I’ve been putting some…

As a biodynamic gardener, I’ve been buying moon calendars for a decade now. To start with, it was out of curiosity — the description of all the planetary movements was fascinating, and I wanted to align my planting with a larger ecosystem than what was immediately visible to me.

It’s a nice idea, but in real life I found it challenging. I would hold off on making compost or planting seeds, only to reach the ‘perfect’ time and find the weather suddenly turned bad: nobody wants to make compost in a thunderstorm, right?

I attended a gardening workshop where I…

Why oh why is the gardening industry taking so long to eradicate single use plastic from their products?

While we home gardeners wait for a free flow soil solution that’s perfectly suited to people with small spaces, one avenue to explore is making your own potting mix and seed raising mix.

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2021 recipe for Blue Borage seed raising mix

Once you get started, it’s a lot of fun, and not that complicated. One of my favourite books as a kid was ‘George’s Marvellous Medicine’ by Roald Dahl, and I sometimes look at a box of delicious looking seedlings and sigh with exasperation that I’ll never know EXACTLY what…

The circular economy is one of the buzz words among conscious consumers: how can we be less wasteful, and instead create loops where our resources are better used?

The essential concept at the heart of the circular economy is to ensure we can unmake everything we make.
Ministry for the Environment, New Zealand

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Home compost: the best way to manage household waste.

What better place to begin than with our own home, including the kitchen and garden?

Here are some good starting places:

  1. Start growing some of your own food: it’ll reduce so much packaging, as you can just wander through the garden and pick what you want to…

Here’s a novel approach to designing your garden…

Start by analysing your diet — what you love to eat, what you love to cook, and what you would love to be able to nibble on right outside your kitchen door.

For me, the go-to favourite is raspberries, possibly from childhood memories of going to a raspberry farm, and then having home-made raspberry jam in the pantry.

Too often when I meet with clients to get more edibles into their garden, they have been reading gardening magazines, collecting ideas on Pinterest, or filling their bookshelves with inspiration — but not taking…

Where oh where did this belief come from?

I too once believed that the weeds were a nuisance, and used to hide them in the corners of gardens wherever I lived: if I had a compost bin, it was only for food scraps.

I remember showing my landlady the beautiful soil I was building in one of these hidden corners (she was a gardener) back in 2007 in Hamilton, and she was impressed by the humus I was creating. …

The Workplace Edible Garden could very well be a key to food resilience in 2021. It’s the best way to set up a regular crop swap, seed swap, recipe swap — or perhaps a microgreen growing challenge for the sporty and competitive workplace?

Great idea, but how would it work?

That’ll depend on your workplace dynamics, but here are two initial ideas to take to your next staff meeting:

Option 1

Call Blue Borage in for a mobile workshop — in five weeks, you will get lessons on: seed sowing, making potting mix, growing microgreens, composting, worm farming, herb gardening…

I love getting these sorts of questions in my Instagram Direct Messages. This one came from ‘Mr Declutter’, who lives locally to me. He’d done a heap of weeding, and was worried that the soil he’d uncovered in his new garden had no life.

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Mr Declutter gets a new garden, but the soil is dry and lifeless. Where should he start work?

What would your first course of action be?

Here’s what I sent him:

“The next task is multi-pronged… heal the soil, cover the soil, bring in LIFE, and grow something you look forward to eating enough to get out and talk to it each day.

Biodynamic CPP treatment to heal the soil, or at the very…

Who remembers the start of lockdown 2020? I think my last shopping trip before the shops shut was a quick trip out to buy frost cloth and gumboots — I suspected it could be a long winter, and I’d need more fresh food in the garden if the shops ran out of produce.

I’ll never forget the sickening feeling in my stomach to see the shelves of vegetable seedlings empty. It was a reminder of how precarious our food system is — and not just the FOOD system, but also the GARDENING industry.

March 2020: when the shops ran out of vegetable plants right before lockdown began.
March 2020: when the shops ran out of vegetable plants right before lockdown began.
My local garden centre in March 2020: no vegetable plants left

That trip to my local hardware store…

Katrina Wolff

Compost Coach based in Titirangi, West Auckland, New Zealand. Using biodynamics to help home gardeners make top quality soil.

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