Tips shared at open days

Down to earth . . . Brodie Dodds explains some soil and plant theory to keen new food growers at her own garden near Warepa last week. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

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A gathering of new and seasoned food gardeners attended open days at Brodie Dodds’ Kaihiku Haven gardens this month.

Seeing a growing enthusiasm to learn the skills of food production in their own backyard, Mrs Dodds offered free horticultural advice to people keen on starting or improving their own food gardens on February 11, 12 and 18.

More than 40 visitors of all ages from all parts of Otago and Southland spent an information-packed few hours exploring the many varieties of produce and growing techniques tried and recommended by Mrs Dodds.

‘‘Growing your own food doesn’t have to be on a large scale.

‘‘A simple ‘no-dig’ corner of your property planted with some seed potatoes, or a few rows of carrots can be enough to begin with.

‘‘You just need to plant the seeds, nurture with some love and water, and nature will do the rest.

‘‘It’s extremely satisfying to cook a few pots of your own potatoes and pluck your own lettuce as you need it.’’ As well as gaining new skills and techniques, participants were encouraged to share their own successes and challenges, which added to the learning experience and pushed a growing network towards bigger, community wide goals.