For those of you who want to try and grow a few vegetables but are truly frightened about huge expanses of dirt that you know will grow weeds, you are now able to take a small area of the raised mounds in the Slow Food’s plot at the Ranui Community Garden to gradually learn how to grow your food.

This plot has all day sun. There are no trees to shade the plants. It is the perfect place to produce masses of vegetables.

I now have three freezers full of broad beans, green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini and garlic, not to mention a large kitchen shelf with sauerkraut, preserved eggplant, lacto-fermented zucchini and cabbage, preserved artichokes, pickled vegetables, green beans preserved in brine, dried tomatoes in oil and all my preserved fruit.  And I hardly bought a vegetable all summer. Plus we use the vegetables for our cooking classes at the Ranui Community House.


For those of you who would like to try but don’t know the first thing about how to grow things, there are classes for you too.  The next one is on Saturday the 16th May – “Grow Your Own Vegetables” – from 10am till 2pm in at my house Ranui. I think it will cost around $40. You will need to book by phoning 833 6280 and you will be given directions and a list of things to bring – gumboots and lunch etc.


I am always happy to help Slow Foodies who take a part of the plot, but I am not readily available through out the week to spend time with people. This class gives you a good set of notes, which we go through thoroughly during the day, so you understand the basics of organic gardening and you will be taught how to raise plants from seed, how to transplant seedlings so they survive, how to prepare a piece of dirt for planting and you will go away with a few plants as well.


Karen Perri

 Below are some photos of the Slow Food Waitakere plot. Karen and Nick did a lot of weeding and raised the beds, and there is space for more planting.