Aspenleigh visit and Pot Luck
Saturday 6 June 10AM
Han & Jane, Aspenleigh Road, Matangi, Hamilton
Garden is 7 yrs old, about 2000 trees planted, fruit & nuts, shelter, privacy and firewood. Large vege garden, solar power.
This is from Han:
“Our property is about 1 ha in size and is best classified as a large urban garden. We have planted trees and shrubs for privacy, our pleasure and to produce sufficient trees and nuts for our own consumption and also to give to friends and family.
We moved onto the property in March 2007 and there was not a single tree on the property, it was a paddock being grazed by cows. We started planting out predominantly native trees in one corner of the property to form a little grove with a walking track through it. Preventing the grass from swamping the young trees was a major job for the first 3-4 years. At the start we also planted our fruit and nut trees, approximately 70-80 of them (standard trees like apples, pears, plums, lemon, orange, mandarin, peach, nectarine, persimmon, olives, hazelnuts, walnut, pinenuts, feijoas etc). The fruit and nut trees are fenced and part of the run for approximately 30 chickens. We also have a couple of bee hives and the honey is in pretty high demand, maybe because we have a fair number of Manuka shrubs. The biggest problem is cracking nuts, the almond tree produces a couple of thousand nuts as do the pine nut trees and we need a mechanical cracker to get the kernels out.
About 6 years ago we planted around 20 Eucalyptus trees for firewood, they are the coppicing kind and should provide us with firewood in perpetuity from next year on. About 5 years ago we have planted a few Pine trees also for firewood, have since expanded the area in trees and shrubs and last Spring we planted Pecan trees. We still have some areas where we can plant additional trees. In the past 8 years we have planted approximately 2,000 trees and shrubs, not all of them have survived but there are plenty that have. Apart from trees and shrubs we have an extensive vegetable garden, providing us with most vegetables we need for the year, we preserve our Summer excess, juice the excess apples and freeze it for use during the rest of the year. We also have 40-50 berry fruit shrubs, Field mushrooms grow aplenty during March and early April, especially after a dry Summer.
The whole garden was set up with the aim of being almost completely self-sufficient in fruit and vegetables all year round by the time retirement comes around (hopefully no more than 9 years away). The aim is to by then live ‘The Good Life’, inspired by the 1970s TV show.
We have also installed photo voltaic panels on the roof and they reduce our power requirement from the grid considerably. There is also a two bedroom cottage on the land which we are preparing to rent out as a bed and breakfast option (we haven’t gotten our head around it yet).”
Could all attendees bring their nut crackers to this field day. One of the focus is to crack nuts and we will have a discussion on the merits of various crackers. We will also be having a branch pot luck on this day.