Checking the Beehive in Early Spring – with Peter Grimes

Every so often I get excited with the thought of someday becoming a beekeeper. I haven’t quite got my life to a place where I can do it yet – but I’m confident it will happen. And I’m not alone. There are many reasons why more people are choosing to have a few hives in their large back garden or in a nearby paddock. Sweet nutritious honey, wax for candles and other uses, bees for pollination of our fruit trees and flowers – great products for us – and with declining populations of bees worldwide, this is a hobby that will benefit the wider natural environment. So long as you are not allergic to bee stings and you have somewhere to put your hives, there are few reasons for not taking up this fascinating hobby.

To help you decide if beekeeping is for you, I recommend you join an experienced beekeeper for a day, preferably several times throughout the year.

Join me in my visit to Hampshire, in the south of England. It’s home to Peter Grimes, beekeeper, who has kept bees here for over 18 years. For Peter, the happiness of his bees and the part they play in contributing to biodiversity is paramount. Of course he also enjoys their honey! Peter has made, what is still a passionate hobby, into a small and developing business rehoming unwanted bee colonies and selling his bee products.

This show was recorded in early March 2017, which is early spring in England, a time of snowdrops and budding daffodils. I join Peter as he does an early spring check of his hives to see how they have fared over the cold winter.

To listen to this programme about CHECKING THE BEEHIVES IN EARLY SPRING please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=7b5334f1-999d-4f3a-895d-aaf7336b749d

(If you want to listen to this show and the link is not working – please let me know! We endeavour to re-air our older popular shows on request.)

For more information –

This show was originally broadcast on the 7th Septmber 2017 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

Peter Grimes checking the hives in early spring.

Peter has several small colonies in different places.

This tool is very handy for removing combs stuck to the walls of the hive.

Spot the queen!

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Managing Setbacks in Urban Restoration – with Hendrik Koch

With more than 50% of New Zealanders living in cities, and cities encroaching on rural and wild spaces, incorporating nature into our urban design is becoming increasingly important. Indeed, nature can ameliorate many of our urban problems. Trees and green space reduce stormwater run off. And they reduce the temperatures in concrete dominated cityscapes. Just as important, spending time in nature make us happier. Nature improves the mental and physical health of us and our children.

And of course we have a duty to make space for the other species we share this planet with.

My guest on this show is Hendrik Koch, Activities Coordinator with The Dunedin Environment Centre Trust. Hendrik has a background in successful urban restoration particularly in the Kaikorai Valley area of Dunedin. If you have been to the Shetland Street Communtity Gardens or to the Kaikorai Wetland Reserve across the road you will know what a special place this area has become. I loved it so much, I used to run the sustainable living field trips there for the SLP class participants.

Unfortunately there has been a big setback, with a new sewerage renewal project that is going to impinge significantly on the area. I asked Hendrik to tell me more.

This show was recorded on the 15th June 2017

To listen to this programme about MANAGING SETBACKS IN URBAN RESTORATION please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=61821466-3b68-499c-ac3a-66d20535a003

(If you want to listen to this show and the link is not working – please let me know! We endeavour to re-air our older popular shows on request.)

This show was originally broadcast on the 6th July 2017 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

Hendrik Koch, Activities Coordinator with the Dunedin Environment Centre Trust (DECT)

 

Look out for the bridge leading to the community gardens

The Kaikorai Common Reserve is just across the road from the community gardens – on Shetland Street

Starting a Community Garden in Dunedin – with Lynn Vare

Dalmore Reserve Community Garden – better known as the Dalmore Reserve Bandit Gardeners is one of the newer community gardens to pop up in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Every community garden of course is run a little differently depending on the desires of the people putting in the work as well as the needs of the wider community. If you are thinking of starting up a community garden, or getting involved with one, then today’s show should provide you with good food for thought!

In early June 2017, I spoke (via internet) to my guest Lynn Vare, resident of Dalmore in Dunedin, and Librarian at Otago Boys High School. Lynn is currently leading the Bandits, following the considerable achievements of founder Kelley Allen.

I’m keen to find out some of the essentials for getting a community garden up and running here in Dunedin. What were some of the challenges faced by this Community garden? What have been some of the expected and unexpected rewards? And what motivates Lynn to commit her energy and efforts to making this garden a success.

To listen to this programme about The Community Garden at Dalmore Reserve please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=5e759e87-a96a-4037-abf9-ec61131769f8

(If you want to listen to this show and the link is not working – please let me know! We endeavour to re-air our older popular shows on request.)

For more information –

  • On facebook – Dalmore Reserve Bandit Gardeners
  • Email – Gardenersdalmorecommunitygarden@gmail.com

This show was recorded on the 2nd June 2017 and originally broadcast on the 8th June 2017 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

Lynn Vare, currently leading activities at the Dalmore Reserve Community Garden.

Dalmore Reserve – site of the Bandit’s Dalmore Resesrve Community Garden

Flowers have been planted to attract beneficial pollinators

Healthy spray free veges growing. Views of Dunedin Harbour in the background

All this plant profusion requires some work! Everyone is a volunteer at the Dalmore Community Gardens

And of course everyone efforts are rewarded with fantastic produce to share among volunteers.

Protecting the Old Irish Goat – with Joe and Helen

All goats are great! But the Old Irish Goat is particulary special. It is the original landrace breed of goat in Ireland, believed now through genetic testing to go back to the times of neolithic people in Ireland.

The Old Irish Goat Society has been formed to protect it. In June while hitching round the west coast of Ireland, I went in search of this wonderful goat. I was not disappointed!

In Westport in Co. Mayo, I met with Joe O’Grady who is in charge of day to day husbandry for the main captive breeding population. I then went to Mulranny where the Old Irish Goat Society has its headquarters and shop. I spoke with volunteer Helen Walker there.

Join me as I find out more about this wonderful breed, why it is important to our sustainability and resilience, and how important it is that we do more to protect it.

To listen to this programme about PROTECTING THE OLD IRISH GOAT please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=1b8a8337-fd6e-4d74-b79d-ba64fe16a5be

(If you want to listen to this show and the link is not working – please let me know! We endeavour to re-air our older popular shows on request.)

This show was originally broadcast on the 27th July 2017 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

For more information

One of the magnificant Old Irish Goats I saw that is part of a breeding programme to assist this landrace breed.

Joe O’Grady who is in charge of day to day husbandry for the goats kept in Westport in Co Mayo.

Helen Walker, Volunteer, with the Old Irish Goat Society – at the Craft Shop in Mulranny

Craft and Information Centre for the Old Irish Goat Society at Mulranny

Mulranny is a picturesque small community. In the hills around Mulranny, Old Irish Goats have been found that are not contaminated with more modern breeds.

Its breeding season for the Old Irish Goats

 

Permaculture in Ireland – with Suzie Cahn

During my year living here in Ireland, I’ve discovered that there  is a energetic and growing interest in Permaculture in this country.

For those of you not familiar with the term– permaculture is a design system for food production (and more) based on ecological principles observed in nature.

The Permaculture Ireland facebook page buzzes daily with postings of questions, information and discussions among its members. To find out more about permaculture in Ireland I have come to Wicklow to visit Suzie Cahn, an experienced and popular Permaculture Design Teacher in this country.

This show was recorded in May 2017.

To listen to this programme about PERMACULTURE IN IRELAND please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=c48d0c61-992a-4f66-89ca-a9f14acee5e3

(If you want to listen to this show and the link is not working – please let me know! We endeavour to re-air our older popular shows on request.)

For more information –

  • Join the active Permaculture in Ireland Facebook page – Permaculture Ireland
  • Suzie and Mike Cahn run Carraig Dulra, an educational permaculture property on the hills of Wicklow. Go to http://www.dulra.org/

This show was originally broadcast on the 29th June 2017 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

 

Suzie Cahn, Permaculture Design Teacher, at Carraig Dulra, Wicklow, Ireland

The Classroom for PDC courses and workshops at Carraig Dulra

The re-used glasshouse that extends the growing season here.

One of the gardens

Dunedin’s Inner City Perennial Polyculture Garden – with guest Rory Harding

Welcome Auckland listeners! If you are checking out this website and you are from Auckland, you can now listen to Eco Living in Action  on your Auckland radio community radio station  Planet FM on 104.6FM, How fantastic is that!

Of course we have all kinds of fantastic and sustainable things happening here in Dunedin! The George Street Orchard is one of them. It is an inner city food producing garden designed and tended by gardener Rory Harding. Rory uses polyculture practices in which perennial and self-seeding annuals predominate. There are no monocultural rows of plants here! The garden is inspiring and its focus and design is pioneering. Eight years in the making, it is now a fluorishing productive and intergrated system. Looking at the photos on Rory’s website, I think this must be one of the best small space temperate polyculture gardens in New Zealand. It’s simply fantastic!

On this  show I spoke to Rory Harding to find out what produce he has gathered and enjoyed this Autumn, and what he is preserving as excess.  The city environment with its concrete and tarmac provides a warmer microclimate suitable for species that usually do not grow so far south. With this in mind, Rory is adventurous in his species choices! His garden is always changing with new and interesting species being grown.

Listen in to find out what Rory has been learning from his garden this year. This show was recorded on the 5th May 2017.

To listen to this programme about Inner City Perennial Polyculture Gardening please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=81f14f87-b93b-4ed2-b1bf-1487a7c00387

(If you want to listen to this show and the link is not working – please let me know! We endeavour to re-air our older popular shows on request.)

To listen to recent Eco Living in Action radio shows on the Otago Access Radio Website go to http://www.accessradio.org/ProgrammePage.aspx?PID=d6c5fa93-1644-4811-acef-71386373b70a

For more information –

This show was originally broadcast on the 25th May 2017 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

Rory Harding, creator of George Street Orchard inner city polyculture

Hardy Kiwi fruit. Photo taken from George Street Orchard website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rory Harding, creator of George Street Orchard inner city polyculture

 

For more photos go to https://georgestreetorchard.com/

 

Growing Organically with Polytunnels – with guest Hans Wieland, Co Leitrim

One of the more useful uses of petroleum is to make polytunnels! The advantages they brings to organic growing are substantial for those of us living in a temperate climate.

In March I spoke with Hans Wieland, Training and Marketing Manager at The Organic Centre in Co. Leitrim. Hans is both passionate and knowledgeable about polytunnels. In this show, Hans shares what we can do with polytunnels to enhance our organic growing capabilities, what design features we should look out for, and how to use them to best effect – from watering to soil amendment to aeration.

In this show recorded on 31st March 2017, I chat with Hans Wieland, Training and Marketing Manager, at The Organic Centre about  Growing Organically in a Polytunnel. Warning – you are likely to go out and buy a polytunnel if you listen to this show 🙂

 To listen to this programme about Growing Organically in a Polytunnel please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=565a562a-bb7c-47f4-ba26-4438b92a93f3.

(If you want to listen to this show and the link is not working – please let me know! We endeavour to re-air our older popular shows on request.)

To listen to recent Eco Living in Action radio shows on the Otago Access Radio Website go to http://www.accessradio.org/ProgrammePage.aspx?PID=d6c5fa93-1644-4811-acef-71386373b70a

For more information –

  • About The Organic Centre, go to www.organiccentre.ie, or ring the centre at 00353-(0)71-98-54338. The Organic Centre is located near the village of Rossinver in Co Leitrim. Note that the centre is open from 18th February to 12th November in 2017. Open 10am-5pm Tuesday through to Sunday.

This show was originally broadcast on the 18th May 2017 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

Hans Wieland by one of the many polytunnels at The Organic Centre, Co. Leitrim. This is one of their smaller ones. But still too big to fit in my garden unfortunately!

A greenhouse should have good ventilation. This geodesic dome with no vents high up and small single door is poor in design, says Hans

Another of the nine polytunnels at The Organic Centre. Each polytunnel offers a different focus and learning opportunity, as well as crop layout, for students and visitors to see.

 

Here – a small polytunnel inside a big polytunnel! Is this how new polytunnels are born? 🙂

This large polytunnel has a wide design, providing plenty of horizontal space without being too tall.