People can learn more about reaping the financial and health benefits of growing their own vegetables with a little help from South Library.
The library will host gardening expert Bill Brett on Monday, August 3 during a special speaker series detailing the best approach to self-sufficiency.
The Nelson gardener and author will share his tips and experience to help more people grow vegetables – year-round – in their own small backyards.
Mr Brett will also present a session at Tūranga on Sunday, 2 August dealing with garden pests and disease prevention and control while a talk at Fendalton Library on Tuesday, 4 August will focus on growing fresh fruit in a small area.
He prides himself on being self-sufficient in fruit and vegetables for 11 months of each year, and highlights the value of homegrown produce.
“I love having a year-round supply of fruit and vegetables from just a little planning,” Mr Brett says.
“You can save as much as $1000 for two people or $2000-plus for a family, and leave a very low carbon footprint.
“I also appreciate the convenience of being able to stroll through my garden and harvest a selection to suit each day’s meal and enjoy something fresh on my plate.
“For me, gardening does a lot for the soul and keeps me in touch with nature.”
Christchurch City Council Head of Libraries and Information Carolyn Robertson says that interest in self-sufficiency is “literally growing” as people rethink their post-lockdown needs.
“Our time in lockdown clearly illustrates the value in taking a fresh approach to food, and particularly healthy eating,” Ms Robertson says.
“Our three special gardening sessions, which are open to the public, aim to deliver some self-help pointers on how to plant and grow your own harvest to deliver cheaper and more accessible food.
“We have seen more interest in our self-help books and e-resources that focus on growing vegetables and fruit at home, along with open space food foraging.
“For many, growing your own food can bring some certainty in a challenging environment amid the global COVID-19 pandemic. Cultivating your own fruit and vegetable garden can certainly be very satisfying.”
A former garden division manager for Yates and Mitre 10 NZ, Mr Brett has also written a book, Garden Pest & Disease Control – Essential NZ Guide.
He has recently been awarded the Associate of Honour of the Royal NZ Institute of Horticulture.