Kia ora Rotorua Families.

[Thanks Rotorua for the long week that was 18-26 March. We had a blast. Learnt some new things a long the way that will feature in our next challenge installment 😀]

Firstly wow what a great positive response we've had that brings a smile to our faces with respect to new families to work with, gardens and compost bins to build, and all the cool things associated with this 'green thumbed' challenge.

Ok lets just cut to the chase... are we for real about building and completing 66 gardens to be planted out by families on March 25-26 2017, inclusive of a 2 bin compost system for families and kindergartens? Too right we are!! Actually we set ourselves a target of 40 whanau/family registrations before things went wild, the numbers blowing out to 66 forcing us to close the register.

This page has a lot of information and pictures so best viewing on either a PC or laptop.

Working bee approach
66 pallet raised gardens and compost bins need to be worked on from the moment we arrive in Rotorua. Upwards of 100+ untreated pallets will be minimally sourced to be recycled for our gardening project.

Working bee details
  • The crew of MBGP will join forces with the Rotorua team on Saturday evening of the 18th March. A lot of resources [pallets, 120 revamped wheelie bins, soil, compost, seedlings, nails] will have to be amassed in that time to start work on Sunday 19th March 2017.
  • Sunday 19th will see us setting up our 'working bee' homebase at Rotorua Youth Centre for the week. By noon [or sooner] we hope to start deconstructing pallets that are intended for raised garden beds and compost bins.
  • Raised garden sizes will be approximately 2.4m long x 1.2 wide x 250-300mm high OR 1.2m square x 250-300mm high. Families and corporates choose a size of their choice.
  • A 2 bin compost system is optional for all. Organic nutrition is a vital component for your garden soil structure and the food scraps, lawn clippings, autumn leaves, cardboard/paper, coffee grounds, manures etc collected are super ingredients that work towards enhancing your soil.
  • Placement of garden frames and compost bins will commence from Tuesday 21st March onwards. This is done to maintain a 'safe working environment' at working bee homebase [it will get really busy and cluttered with kitset gardens and compost bins]. We will have an interactive Google Map with all the families and corporates identified by a red marker on your street. We will contact you the night before that we will be delivering in your area and at what time.

  • Where to place your garden? Vegetables have an appetite for sun in order to grow well. You know your property better than we do so make a note of how the sun tracks over your backyard. Those getting 2.4 x 1.2 rectangle gardens need to think of plant shade also. Example: With your left arm bent at the elbow have it positioned parallel to your chest. This is your example garden. Now trace with your right hand the sun tracking over your garden/property from 'right to left'. With crop rotation taller plants will grow at some stage at the extreme right of your garden. Now think of shade casting of taller plants onto smaller up until the sun tracks over. The remedy to this is moving your left arm at right angles to your chest. The sun now travels across the narrow width of your arm/garden minimising shade.
    • 2.4 x 1.2 families/schools who get this garden size please place 3 water filled bottles in your backyard that inform us of the longest and shortest side of where you want your garden positioned.
    • 1.2 x 1.2 families/schools who get this garden size please place 3 water filled bottled in your backyard that inform us of where you want your garden positioned.
  • Where to place your and compost bin? In a place that will get plenty of sun even if it is up against a fence. Please place 1 water filled bottle in your backyard where you want your compost bins placed.
    It would also be really great if you mow the grass as low as possible where your garden and compost bin will be placed before we come - thanks!!

    Placement of these bottles means with your permission our 'working bee' garden crews knows exactly where to place your garden and compost bins

    <<< With 66 gardens and upwards of 130 compost bins to be placed we 100% want to achieve this during the week. Together we can make this happen. >>>
Here are some pictures of pallets being deconstructed and used for raised garden sides and compost bins. Just click the image below.

Hand on heart the crew of MBGP are overwhelmed with the volunteer response in Rotorua. Te Rangikaheke Kiripatea has once again done a teriffic job crusading for this fantastic cause. We'd like to thank each and every one of you even before a pallet has been deconstructed. We know that there is 'no i' in TEAM. We hope that we can energetically learn off each other and work safely within our means and have a great time.
Memories will be created and from the Ngongataha Community Garden build I can always remember Bernie saying during a meal "wouldn't it be good if you had a drone to take aerial photographs?".
Mega Thursday [23rd March 2017]
66 family and kindergarten gardens spread across Rotorua has meant strategising how to make it all happen in the most efficient and practical way. Our interactive map found here clearly shows a high concentration of family homes in and around the Western Heights area. The TEAM will focus on delivering topsoil to these placed gardens on Thursday 23rd March, 2017.

Families please make sure this is 'doable for us'. There will be NO special trips to accommodate if we place your garden either Mon-Wed and can't place soil on the Thursday. Momentum is key here and just because it is FREE, please don't abuse our combined community good will.

Be a TEAM player with us all...
working bees
Saturday March 25th - Sunday March 26th MBGP Rotorua Challenge.
  • Start time: 8am
  • Finish time: 4.30pm [MBGP crew will continue to daylight end]
If the TEAM has a 'super working bee effort' during the week placing close to or all 60 family gardens and compost bins, then Saturday/Sunday focus is on filling with mixed topsoil/compost and planting. This in itself will take some doing. Families have to be involved in the moving of soil and compost.
Planting of seedlings will be left to families. Family planting is pivotal for making a connection with your garden.

We will share more information when it comes to hand regarding how many trailers, wheelbarrows, shovels, rakes, square mouth shovels we get. Minimally 60 cubic metres has to be delivered.

Sunday 26th
Our plan is to complete the gardens as quickly and safely as possible before returning to Rotorua Youth Centre for a comprehensive clean-up.
working bees
rotorua youth centre
The TEAM of MBGP wishes to thank Rotorua Youth Centre [RYC] for hosting our activities for this 'epic' community gardening challenge.

We asked RYC Veena Kameta to inject some words for their supportive contribution.
The Rotorua Youth Centre is pleased to be a part of the My Backyard Garden Project. Our goal is to support communities, organisations and networks achieve having their own gardens in their home.

This year 60 families will have that opportunity. Our facilities have the capacity to host many projects, we currently have 4 large scale raised bed gardens, where we source vegetables and herbs for our cooking programmes, volunteers, groups, individuals to harvest from.

We know this will be a success and thank the MBYG team for choosing us to launch this project from.
Rotorua Youth Centre garden photos - click here

Where is Rotorua Youth Centre?
What does NFii, SWYS and BGGF stand for?
In context to what we are trying to achieve with building Rotorua family gardens each of the acronyms above work in partnership with each other.
Friendlies on the ground
The definition of the above is if you like what we're about please share us with family and friends inclusive of those who are business bosses who may want to positively join us all as well. You can share us using the icons on the left of your monitor/device... BIG thanks

We'd love to repeat what we're doing in a few other cities like Hamilton and Tauranga so every little bit counts.
Gardening is about networking with families and community and just doing it and making it happen!

We grow for:
  • health and nutrition > love sharing healthy nutritious organic vegetables > fitness > improving soil nutrition > reducing landfill by using recycled materials - negative carbon footprint > we love to share skills and knowledge... especially with youngsters > it's an essential life skill that many overlook its merits - dependency on fruit and vege store (produce laced with residue chemicals) > network building a vibrant vege gardening community > green thumb sense of organic achievement > we like to have our hands in Mother Earth
  • wordle interpretation - click here
Like our gardens this website will change with content.
  • This community garden build was in Ngongataha - Rotorua, December 7th - 11th 2016.
  • Being invited to the last Rotorua Local Food Hub group meeting we networked with Healthy Families Rotorua to sow the MBGP seed... and as I type 66 gardens later was a great result.
finished garden

To view different angles - click here

Great web pages to visit [all links open in new tab]

Top 15 Fastest Growing Veggies || Companion Planting || 25 Pallet Garden Ideas || DIY Compost || Top 20 Tips || Organic Vege Glossary || Pod Gardening NZ || Food is Free || NZ Vege Gardeners || Food is Free Aotearoa

We would like to thank these brands for their support.
  • mix it live tv
  • rotorua youth centre
'know what you grow'