Small Space Gardening – with Kay Baxter

I did my Permaculture Design Course at the Koanga Institute in Hawkes Bay in February. It was a wonderful learning experience and while I was there I was very fortunate to interview Kay Baxter for the radio show. Among many projects, Kay and her team are  conducting an ‘experiment’ to see if they can produce enough food to feed a family a balanced diet on a 200m2 ‘garden’. In this small plot they have over 30 different species or varieties of fruit, as well as hens, rabbits, a topbar beehive, lawnmowing guinea pigs, and variety of vegetables some of which are dual purpose carbon crops for the compost. As much as possible they are trying to close the loop and reduce overheads so that the garden could provide for a family of four on a limited budget. For example, the rabbits are fed tree lucerne (tagasaste) instead of grains, and they hope to feed the hens on a combination of invertebrates from the deep litter system and perhaps purpose bred fly larvae.

You can listen to the PODCAST on Small Space Gardening with Kay. Please contact Maureen on

Kay points out some of the vegetative layers within a fruit guild

Koanga Trip Feb 2014 191

I check out the bees in the topbar beehive

Koanga Trip Feb 2014 246

The hen house in the experimental garden has a deep litter system that takes food waste and helps create a rich diversity of invertebrates for the hens to eat

Koanga Trip Feb 2014 240

Potatoes grow vertically using stacking cubes of timber to maximise use of space

Koanga Trip Feb 2014 252

The guinea pig hutch is moved daily along the paths within the garden. The paths have been planted with a herbal ley including clover and other plants delicious and healthy for guinea pigs.

Koanga Trip Feb 2014 261

A living shelter of fruit tree espalliered – providing shelter for the rabbits and fruit for the family.


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