Matai Garden GroupGreener neighbours from Gavin Road, Fincham Road and Matai Road have been given the go ahead by the Paraparaumu and Raumati Community Board to build a community garden.  The garden site is situated in the sheltered far corner of the Matai Road reserve, next to the Arts Society building (see location map).  It will be planted with a variety of vegetables and herbs in raised beds, with plenty of room in the 180 square metre section for fruit trees and future garden developments, including compost bins and barrels for rainwater catchment off the Arts Society roof. The garden will grow fresh vegetables for the neighbours but also provides an opportunity for the community to come together, learn new skills, build resilience and become more sustainable.  Excess produce will be available to non-members and to local organisations such as food banks.

First meetingMembers from 20 households have attended initial meetings to establish the garden so far and the group now needs donations of fence posts, tools, long boards (200cm x 50cm) and soil or materials to make soil in the raised beds (compost, fertiliser, newspaper, straw).  With plans to build the beds in the next month, any donations of green crop seeds or seedlings would also be gratefully accepted (beans, lupins, mustard, peas).  Closer to spring, people can also bring along seedlings for the garden ready for spring planting.  Anyone out there with skills in woodcraft, composting, landscape gardening or general handyman skills would also be very appreciated.

For more information, visit                               or contact Yvonne P: 04 9044798 or E:

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Green Neighbours at the Kāpiti Sustainable Home & Garden Show

Better late than never – Thanks to all the wonderful Green Neighbourhood volunteers who helped out at the Kāpiti Sustainable Home & Garden Show – Emma, Hilary, Heather and Yvonne from the Matai group in Raumati and Tina, Louise, Jayne, Paul, Jason, Lesley, Esther and Jan from Paekākāriki.

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Finished pack palaceThe tent looked great with heaps of produce from our gardeners (pictured), a recycled tyre compost bin, ecocleaners, a reusable bike and thanks to Lesley for her cool poster on how the EcoDesign Advisor helped warm up a renovated room in her home. There was also a cool pallet compost bin made by local builder John Wraight – thanks John!

There were plenty of visitors to talk to and we still had time to play the ukelele, drink silverbeet smoothies and check out these cool microgreen caterpillars made by kids who visited the tent.  Thanks to the irrepressible Diane Turner for materials and instructions.

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How we installed a WREMO rain barrel

Having mapped the emergency resources in our neighbourhood as part of get Ready Week 2014, my neighbours Heather and John thought it was high time they had some water stored around their property, just in case. The Wellington Regional Emergency Management Office (WREMO) are selling 200 litre rain barrels through the Council office for $105, so Heather bought one for John’s birthday, and a few months later during the long January dry, I gave John a hand to install it.

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Gavin/Matai/Fincham party in Matai Reserve

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  With the endlessly hot dry weather, it was high time that the neighbours in Gavin, Fincham and Matai Roads got together. Super organisers Yvonne and Loretta pulled things together, making the great call to hold it in Matai Road … Continue reading

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Rethink and win

Who’d like to win a set of three reusable produce bags, courtesy of Rethink? Share your best tip for avoiding single-use plastic in the comments below and we’ll include the top responses in the next issue of On To It. Continue reading

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