Jenny’s Garden Blog: Tackling the TPP (Tomato Potato Psyllid)

A few years ago a tiny cicada-like insect made its way to the Nelson region bent on the devastation of our potato and tomato crops.

Tomatoes affected by PsyllidChemical sprays have now been developed to help combat the TPP, but those of us preferring organic methods have fewer options.

I first noticed the infestation in our garden three summers ago. A strange sugar-like substance on the leaves and fruit (as pictured) was the give away. I tried regular spraying with neem oil and this does seem to knock them back a bit, delaying the inevitable decline of fruit size and eventual destruction of the plant. But tomatoes in our garden were still a lost cause by mid-January. Read More »

Elon Musk Announces Tesla Energy – and how we can Save the Planet

OK, sure – he’s selling a product, but this is inspiring stuff. You could be forgiven for thinking he actually wants to change the world – one battery at a time.

And in case you miss it – it’s all being open-sourced.

Read More »

Ecofind in Business South magazine

Ecofind in Business South 2015

Business South by Waterhouse Press, did a nice wee article on Ecofind this month.

Read More »

Jenny’s Garden Blog: Mulching & Melons

Melon Plant

We’ve had something of a breakthrough in the vegetable garden this season thanks to a friend who visited in the Spring expounding the virtues of mulching with fresh wood chip.

We soon managed to track down a local arborist who could supply us with a truckload of shredded willow and cherry prunings.

Steaming mulch early in composting phaseUsed as a deep mulch, sometimes with a sprinkling of blood and bone, or some old sheep manure underneath, the wood chips seem to have kept they plants warm and protected earlier in the season, and they are certainly helping to keep the soil moist through the summer.

Everything is thriving. My previous attempts at melons have yielded a few tennis-ball-sized fruits. The plant photographed has eight melons, the largest is almost the size of a rugby ball, and still not ripe!

Here’s an interesting article on using wood chip for mulching.

Green Pest Eradication Tech

Growing up with Star Wars and the promises that technology would deliver a utopian existence well before the turn of the century, I’m surprised someone hasn’t developed something like this sooner!

Although, who knows when or if it will find a viable commercial application in the near future.

When you’ve got hot lasers targeting and shooting things there are a few safety issues to work through!

Tiny Apartment Showcases Space Optimisation

‘Located in Barcelona’s hip Born district, the tiny apartment is a remodelled pigeon loft. Designed by architect Barbara Appolloni, Christian says the space was inspired by the space-saving furniture aboard boats, as well as the clean lines of a small Japanese home…’

Via littlethings.com

Fish Oil Under Scrutiny in New Research

Fish Oil Capsules
photo credit: hitthatswitch – cc

Marketers and suppliers of fish oils in New Zealand are no doubt holding strategy meetings up and down the country after the results of a study were made public a few days ago.

Researchers at the University of Auckland’s Liggins Institute tested 36 different brands of fish oil capsules and found that just three contained the concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids listed on the label. This report in the New Zealand Herald is worth a read.

The negative results, which didn’t name specific companies, will have an impact on the public perception of natural health supplements which currently lack any compulsory regulation in NZ.

As can be seen from the comments in this Stuff article, there are understandably strong opinions and feelings being expressed in the wake of the study’s findings.

Fish oil supplements are not new to controversy. The comments posted at the end of this Treehugger article make as interesting reading as the article itself: 3 things you should know about fish oil supplements

We know the interwebs are awash with information and opinions of questionable value. This makes the publication of good research all the more important.

It will be interesting to see how this new research is received and whether or not the details eventually make it into the public arena.

‘Limits to Growth’ book vindicated in light of new research – we’re nearing collapse

Scrap yard showing pile of car bodies

‘Business-as-usual’ is no longer an option.

“The 1972 book Limits to Growth, which predicted our civilisation would probably collapse some time this century, has been criticised as doomsday fantasy since it was published. […]

Research from the University of Melbourne has found the book’s forecasts are accurate, 40 years on. If we continue to track in line with the book’s scenario, expect the early stages of global collapse to start appearing soon. […]

They modelled data up to 1970, then developed a range of scenarios out to 2100, depending on whether humanity took serious action on environmental and resource issues. […]

The book’s central point, much criticised since, is that “the earth is finite” and the quest for unlimited growth in population, material goods etc would eventually lead to a crash.”

Read conclusions of recent study summarised by The Guardian and another recent research paper.

Alarm sounds for native wildlife – NZ Herald

Losing our native species is not an inevitability but a choice – and one that could hurt New Zealand in more ways than we realise, says new book.

Summer Prize Draws

We love to spread the word about forward thinking businesses making NZ greener and smarter. And what better way for people to learn about great products than to actually have them!

We’re partnering with sustainable Kiwi businesses to give you the opportunity to win some great prizes.

January 2015 Prize Draw

Congratulations to the January prize draw winner – Kathryn Morpeth of Living Green!
Details of this month’s draw coming shortly.

To Celebrate Summer 2014-2015 we’re offering a fantastic prize pack from Pouch Products that will help you reduce plastic bag use and live more sustainably.

Pouch Products produce hand-made, eco-friendly alternatives to the plastic and paper bags offered at supermarkets, retail stores and markets.

Pouch Products Prize Pack

Pouch Products Prize Pack - Grocery Pouch and Produce Pouches in action.Pouch Products Prize Pack This prize pack (with a retail value of $22.50) consists of a Grocery Pouch and a two pack of Produce Pouches.

Prize winners will be able to choose from available colours/designs on the Pouch Products website, prize packs will be couriered to the winners by Pouch Products.

This promotion starts December 20 2014 and runs till January 31 2015.

How to Enter

There are a few different ways to enter!
1. Create a listing on Ecofind or update your current listing.
2. Share your favourite ‘Eco Tip’ in our new section for sharing tips and idea for green, sustainable & thrifty living. Eco Tips need to be original – we’d love to hear about things you’ve learned from your own experience – and accompanied by a good quality photo that you own.
3. If you’re not already on our mailing list, subscribe to the Newsletter.

Only New Zealand residents are eligible to go into the draw. Each of these options is opt-in via check boxes on the respective forms.

Facebook and Twitter

We will be in touch with the winner who will also be announced on Twitter, Facebook & Google+. If you haven’t liked our Facebook page yet, why not do it now! You can also follow the action on Twitter.

Pouch Products produce bags

Produce Pouches

Prize Draw Terms and Conditions

1. “Ecofind Summer Prize Draw” Official Rules
These official rules (the “Rules”) apply to prize draws (the “Promotion”) conducted by Ecofind (the “Promoter”) on www.ecofind.co.nz and advertised on our various platforms and should be read in conjunction with the website Terms and Conditions.

2. Rules
Information on the prizes and how to enter form part of these Rules. By entering into this Promotion, all entrants will be deemed to have read, accepted and agreed to be bound by these Rules.

3. The Promoter reserves the right at its discretion to modify the terms of the Promotion and in the event that it is not able to be conducted as anticipated due to any cause, to suspend or cancel the Promotion as appropriate. Entrants are encouraged to check for any updates which will be posted here.

4. This Prize Draw commences at 6am on December 20, 2014. Entries close at 12pm (midnight) January 31 2015.

5. Prize draws will be conducted at a date and time to be determined by Ecofind. No correspondence will be entered into regarding the results of any prize draws.

6. Entrants in the Promotion must be Permanent New Zealand residents. Proof of residency status may be required prior to prizes being awarded to Promotion winners. Prizes will be sent to NZ addresses only.

7. The value of the prizes are accurate at the date of commencement of the Promotion. The Promoter accepts no responsibility for any variation in the value of the prizes after that date. The prizes cannot be transferred, exchanged or redeemed for cash. The Promoter retains the right to substitute any prize with a prize of equal or greater value.

8. Any winner takes the prize at his/her own risk and indemnifies the Promoter in respect of any claim for any accident, injury, property damage or loss of life that may occur in connection with any prize.

9. No responsibility will be taken by the Promoter for lost or misdirected entries. The Promoter is not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, caused by any technical or human error that may occur in the course of the administration of this competition. The Promoter may refuse any entry in its sole discretion and reserves the right to determine the eligibility and authenticity of entries.

10. Only one entry per person per entry method is permitted, except in the case of ‘Eco Tips’, where up to three entries can be submitted.

11. Winners will be informed by email and their names may be published on the Ecofind site, in our Newsletter, on our Twitter account and Facebook page and other social media platforms.

12. To claim the prize, each winner must confirm receipt of notification within 15 days of notification by the Promoter. If a winner does not respond in that time period, their prize may be forfeited. The Promotion winner must allow their name to be published in order to claim the prize.

Types of Pouch Products bags

Ecofind Summer Prize Draw with Pouch Products

Congratulations to our December 2014 Summer Prize Draw winner – Richard Innes!

And thanks to Pouch Products for the fantastic prize pack consisting of two Produce Pouches and a stylish Grocery Pouch.

We think Pouch Products are such a great idea, we’d like to give you another chance to win some…

So we’re running another draw with Pouch Products in January!

Stay tuned – details coming soon.

Pouch Products produce bags

Produce Pouches

Ecofest 2014 featuring Nelson Growables

16 November 2014, Founders Heritage Park, Nelson
10am – 5pm

Nelson Ecofest 2014

Ecofest combines the best of the Home and Garden show with a green conscience and practical solutions for people seeking a sustainable future.

Whether you are looking to live more sustainably either from the land or on the land, you will find that this year’s event has a broader range of products, services and gardening innovations which provide practical solutions for living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.

Whether you are wanting to grow more of your own food, save money on power bills or build an eco-friendly home, Ecofest Nelson, featuring Nelson Growables will have a range of stallholders and educational talks offering practical ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

www.ecofestnelsontasman.co.nz

Programme:

GROWABLES GARDEN TOUR – SUN 2 NOVEMBER, 9am – 3pm

ECOFEST ECO HOME TOUR – SUN 9 NOVEMBER

ECOFEST & GROWABLES WORKSHOPS – AT ECOFEST 16 NOVEMBER, FOUNDERS HERITAGE PARK