How can I make my garden truly circular?

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

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 eat. This will often also save on space in your fridge.
  2. If you have a herb garden, then pick herbs to use in teas, and dry some to use all year round. Commercial herbal tea blends often have a few extra ingredients in them to add a little extra flavour or colour, so if you find it hard to stop them altogether, I suggest a gentle transition towards home grown tea by blending a herbal tea bag with a sprig of fresh mint, lemon balm or lemon verbena. Kawakawa is also really yummy, and so pretty floating in a mug.
  3. Start a worm farm. You can make your own in-ground worm farm with a suitable container (for ideas, have a look at this online course)
  4. Take a good look at your compost system: is it working optimally? If there’s any garden waste leaving your property, then there’s a good chance you have room for refining things. Here’s another article about managing your garden waste.
  5. Do you have trees that drop their leaves? Lucky you! Bag these up each year to make leaf mould, and one day you’ll have the very best mulch for your garden in the heat of summer. It’s also a lovely component for home made potting mix and impossible to buy in New Zealand.

Once you get your composting optimised and you’re making plenty of soil, then you’ll soon reach the stage where you don’t need to purchase any potting mix or seed raising mix in plastic bags. Hey presto — more packaging cut out of our collective waste stream, and another piece of your hyper local circular system activated.

Katrina’s workshops inspired me to look at gardening in a completely new way. I have made friends with weeds (and other gardeners), discovered hot composting and developed new skills and a love for gardening again and it shows in my bountiful garden. Highly recommend.

If you need any help with points 1–5 above, then don’t hesitate to get in touch over at Blue Borage, home composting, edible gardening and biodynamics are my favourite topics in the world.

Good luck making your space truly circular,

Ideas for innovative edible gardening solutions using biodynamic methods to make ‘soil with soul’ is what New Zealand needs right now. For tips, advice and online courses go to or get in touch by email at

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

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store