Sustainable Dunedin City

Looking to Dunedin's Future

Browsing Posts published in January, 2015

How time flies, hard to believe it is nearly the end of December already!  We have been perservering with our shed foundations and now have the wooden frame pegged in place  and the site dug out to level the area.  We collected 2 cubic meters of metal chips and had great fun with our kids driving across the field last weekend to deliver and pour them into the framing!  Our next step is lining and reinforcing the foundations and pouring the concrete.  It looks like we will finish this in the new year and then we will be ready for a working bee to construct our shed!

Please find attached photos of the developing site and one of our giant cauliflower just for fun J *


Naomi and Bex

26 December 2014


* Unfortunately these 3 photos couldn’t be uploaded.  We’ll try in another format soon.

December has been a busy month for Volunteering Otago, preparing for the January Free School Holiday Programme’s Big Green Challenge workshops.    I have met with Andrew Bowen to discuss exciting possibilities for our programmes to work together, providing opportunities for young people to explore sustainable waste management solutions as well as many other issues through technology.  Challenges to this going forward are finding suitable time for technology workshops and sharing staff to supervise activities.  With some more planning this looks like a great possible collaboration for the April 2015 school holidays.

Amanda Reid of Otago Presbyterian Support has been a huge help in supporting the January preserves workshops; recruiting volunteer facilitators, and searching for fruits and vegetables to preserve.  Annika Korsten of the Malcam Trust and Dunedin Food Harvesting Group continues to support Volunteering Otago’s projects and will lead one of the four January workshops.  Pip Wood, Manager of Foodshare, has generously offered a donation of apples and vegetables for preserves and pickling.

The most exciting aspect of being a part of the Big Green Challenge this year is the opportunity to network and collaborate with other grant recipients who are similarly passionate about building a sustainable Dunedin.  Heike Cebulla, Teacher and Enviroschools Leader at Queens High School, and I met in the Queens High School garden this week to prime planting boxes for volunteers to harvest and plant in January.  As Volunteering Otago delivers volunteer programmes at Queens High School during school terms, this is a great partnership to sustain progress in the Queens’ garden throughout the year.

Thank you to Fran Bolgar for your constant support and introducing Volunteering Otago to fantastic community partners!

Heather Moore

23 December 2014


Heike (QUACK) showing the garden beds that Volunteering Otago will be planting over the school holidays



Some of QUACK’s veges which Volunteering Otago will be tending


VO 3

QUACK’s blackcurrants which Volunteering Otago will be harvesting




Just want to let you know where we’re at with things. We have just sent our application off to become a registered Trust. Phew, that was a long time coming with busy people involved.
The email I just received told me that it will take about 10 weeks!!! to get us set up as a Trust, due to back log and Christmas holidays. That’s going to put us at the end of Feb.
I’m working with Parks and Recreation Services at the DCC to get a less formal agreement signed so we can start some work and use some of the money to pay the lease. However we have a bank acc but can’t use it until they have the Trust Deed and all Trustees are set up on the account.
We can do some soil testing and hopefully pay the lease on the DCC land and get started on water installation.
Anna Hughes
16 December 2014

CCH Dec 6

Whanau proud as!


CCH Dec1

Herbs in planter


CCH Dec 2

The BGC planters out the front


CCH Dec 3

Making a tyre garden


CCH Dec 4

Plants including climbing beans & cavalo nero


CCH Dec 5

Seedlings happily settled into their planter bed


CCH Dec 7

The planter beds on display 🙂


CCH Dec 8

The tyre garden getting planted


CCH Dec 9

Whanau taking a break


CCH Dec 10

The big picture!


CCH Dec 11

The planter boxes looking full


CCH Dec 12

The long view – from the hall looking out to the street


All photos sent in by Lisa Lindsay, 15 December 2014

Danny and I added a new brood box on Thursday.   This is a good indication, that so far so good.    The bees are looking really good.  And it was a joy to hang out with them for a bit.
The Rata trees around us are in bloom, and thankfully, there have been some nice days for the bees to buzz about and it looks like the flowers on the rata are their favorite foraging flower right now.  So at least the bees aren’t having to go very far at all on the not so sunny, calm, and warm days.
There are also healthy numbers of different kinds of bumble bees in our garden as well, they seem to be foraging from a much broader spectrum of plants at the moment, with or without lots of heat and along with the cooler temperatures.
Our cool and wet spring has slowed everything down though, considerably.   The honey bees haven’t been able to get out and about as much as normal (but it wasn’t normal last Spring either),  although our bees are doing fine, and there is enough for them to forage from,  this is not a bumper year for honey production.  Not that we are looking at honey supplies for ourselves, what this is though is an indication of environmental conditions, and whether growing food, or taking care of bees, temperature and sunshine have a great deal to play in flower production and the timing of flower production,  the temperature, and light, and so all that has a significant role to play in the bee’s life.     Some of the producers we buy from at the Farmer’s Market have less than they usually do at this time of year because of weather conditions also.
I saw in a report in the Otago Times that some of the beekeepers in Central Otago have been feeding their bees sugar because there is nothing for them to forage on (eeks, its spring, this is not good).    Normally in the beekeeping world, this time of year would be called “the nectar flow”.  The nectar flow is not quite happening full on right now because of weather conditions for both the bees and the flowers.  The beekeeper interviewed in the Otago Times said the honey bees are usually gathering from clover at this time of year, but its not warm enough for the clover to release its nectar.  I can’t remember or not if I mentioned the email I received from someone in Tamworth, NSW who was enquiring about the bees here because he said that the drought was so severe there, that they had no flowers so their beekeepers were feeding their bees sugar as well jsut to keep them alive.  (sugar does not make for good health or good honey so I understood how severe the hot dry weather in this part of Australia must be, last year their wax was melting because it was too hot)
This is one demonstration of how how a degree in temperature can make a huge difference, and  why ‘unusual weather patterns’ can have a significant effect on food production,  why its important to think about ‘resilience’ and why it’s a good thing for those of us who can, support the bees and be acting upon what we can in building a sustainable world together.
Caroline Davies
15 December 2014

The project in two parts is well underway. The development of a scale model for the North Dunedin Shed Gardens is taking shape. Students have been building the base and preparing for the design of the garden elements. The community stakeholders will be meeting with them in December to present these ideas. The students will take these ideas and translate them into scale models.

The second aspect of the project is around the development of a green waste management system. We have been in contact with Volunteering Otago and will collaborate together on this. Their project is making preserves, and then with the waste, the development of a green waste system to take it and convert it into compost. This collaboration will take place in the first week of the January school holidays.

Photographs will be forwarded shortly.

Andrew Bowen

16 December 2014

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