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Smart gardening gaining popularity

Smart gardening gaining popularity
April 26, 2006

More and more North Shore City residents are switching on to the benefits of smart gardening.

This year’s North Shore Home and Garden Show has sparked new interest in composting and worm farming, and the North Shore City Council is increasing the number of free courses it runs to keep pace, says community waste prevention officer, Sarah Cole.

“There’s a growing awareness of the need to put our kitchen and garden organics to better use, and a desire to learn ways to be more sustainable at home,”says Ms Cole.

The council’s ‘Create Your Own Eden’ courses are offered in conjunction with community groups including the Kaipatiki Project in Birkdale, and are also available in Chinese, Korean and now Arabic.

All attendees at the courses receive a free compost bin or worm farm, along with a benchtop bin to collect kitchen food scraps. Discount vouchers for the purchase of compost bins and worm farms, and worms, are also available from the council, as are handy ‘how to’ guides.

International Composting Awareness Week runs from May 7 – 13, and the council is encouraging people to give smart gardening a try.

Between 40 and 60 per cent of the contents of the average North Shore rubbish bag is organic waste, which when sent to landfill creates ‘greenhouse emissions’.

But Sarah Cole says smart gardening is easy and offers many benefits.

“Re-using our kitchen and garden organics means we’re not burning it, causing air pollution; burying it in our landfills; or putting it down the waste disposal and into our sewer system. It reduces the need for fertilisers and pesticides, and time spent watering, weeding and maintaining the garden.”

And you don’t have to have a garden to be a smart gardener, she says.

“Worm farms don’t need much space and are ideal for apartments, terraced houses and small backyards.”

Those too busy to compost or worm farm can drop off their garden organics at the local transfer station or have it collected.

People wanting to know more about composting and worm farming, attending the free courses, or obtaining vouchers or a composting guide, should contact North Shore City Council’s 24/7 call centre, Actionline on 486 8600.

ENDS

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