If there is one thing Ra McRostie is passionate about, it is permaculture.
The Waitaki Community Gardens site and volunteer co-ordinator has created a Seed to Table permaculture course, to share her knowledge with her community.
After hosting two mid-week courses at the gardens last year, Ms McRostie decided to move the next month’s course to a Saturday to benefit a wider “cross section of the community”.
The course involved three sessions where participants would learn to grow their own food, improve their soil, and design a functional, abundant and beautiful garden.
“It’s an incredibly wonderful time of year to do it. The community gardens are just bursting at the seams with beauty and abundance. It’s a pretty gorgeous classroom,” Ms McRostie said.
Soil health was important and was the root of all good gardens, she said.
“If your soil’s not healthy, nothing will work. It’s an opportunity to really grow your awareness about balanced, healthy soil.”
The course offered hands-on experience, and there were also paper resources to take home to continue learning about permaculture.
“The beauty of permaculture is it’s a whole system way of thinking – it’s farming, land management and design that emulates nature and the way nature lays things together, because we know, if given the chance, natures lays things in complete perfection.
“I love it, I’m very, very inspired.”
She created the course to share her knowledge and empower the community with the information after last year’s lockdown.
“I know after lockdown there was a lot of people that were made quite vulnerable and they were made aware that they need to be able to look after themselves better.”
It was completing her permaculture design certificate that gave her the final push to create the course.
“That course of study affirmed a lot of things I was aware of, and just really inspired me with its antastically holistic approach, and to garden well you need to acknowledge your equitable place among the non-human beings in the garden too.
“Then you understand your part, rather than trying to force nature to your will, which ends in too much work, too much waste, and really never good results.”
The community gardens were a busy place this time of the year, with their working bees on Monday and Wednesday from 10am to 12pm, and its organic vegetable market was running each Thursday from 2pm to 4pm.
“Everything’s picked on the day.”
Seed to Table permaculture course
When: February 13, 20 and 27, from 9am to 12pm
Where: Waitaki Community Gardens
Bookings are essential. Contact Ra McRostie 021 115-4884