Libraries  |  27 Jul 2020

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.

Check out the times and dates for the Bill Brett talks at Christchurch City Libraries.