This trip visits the Mahi Whenua Food Forest in the grounds of Unitec.
Mahi Whenua/ Food Forest is a community space (now crown land) and home to more than 400 species of plants and many edible and otherwise significant trees. The fertile soil and beautiful surrounds have been providing food and enjoyment for centuries to creatures and humans. Since 2011, the space has operated as a successful organic community garden and food forest, run by volunteers, in a partnership arrangement on the Unitec Institute of Technology campus at Mt Albert, Auckland. The Food Forest was established by Unitec tutors Richard Main and Brendon Hoare over 20 years ago when Unitec still offered Horticulture courses so is one of the earliest ones in New Zealand.
After the Food Forest you have options: an hour guided walk through the Arboretum (established from 1855) in the grounds of the old Asylum. The gardeners aimed to plant some of the best trees they knew, as an important part of treatment for the inmates. Penny Cliffin FRIH, RNZIH Notable Trees Trust Representative, will take members on a tour looking at some of the best trees that make up part of Auckland’s Urban Forest.
If an hours walk does not appeal, you have the option of coming along to Ellen and Ricky’s property in Sandringham and get an impression just how much you can grow on an urban lot of 685 m² if you are a Tree Cropper and love to graft. We also have five beehives, four chickens and an abundance of very small to quite large fruit trees of all sorts. The focus is on more unusual plants with a particular nod to south American plants. There’s also a DIY mushroom log corner and simple pasteurising gadget to make mushroom boxes. This is a working garden and always in progress so expect a level of projects in all stages.
This property will also be open on Monday for the post conference tour.
This Sunday afternoon trip stays relatively close to our base at Danish House and is a good choice if you intend to catch a flight home, since there is less chance of delay.