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Dee's Place
A place to find Dee's Articles, Information and Opinion.


The Benefits of Legally Hunting Your Food

An article by Joe Thomas
Many people in modern society have never considered the possibility of hunting for their own food. However, with the negative environmental and welfare implications associated with the agricultural industry and with the current high cost of meat, it is becoming more of a viable option.
... Read more

 
The Power of Pee

There is no waste in nature and all the waste products of living things are used as raw materials by others. In natural ecosystems, soil organisms break down organic matter making nutrients accessible to plants. It is nature's digestive system in action. Organic gardeners recycle crop residues and animal wastes and are surrounded by organi matter free for the gathering – manures, seaweed, grass clippings, nettles, comfrey and urine.
... Read more

 
Margaret Jones - Soil & Health Pioneer

Margaret Jones is 90 years old and is proud of the fact that nobody is subsidising her health! She may be old but she is living proof that old doesn't mean you lose your faculties. There is no pillbox sitting on her bedside table. "If you believe in organics you can't believe in pharmaceuticals," she says.
... Read more

 
Magnesium - The 'Life and Death' Mineral

The death in February 2010 of Ms Natasha Harris of Invercargill, just 30 years of age, made headlines when her partner told the news media that she died as a result of her addiction to drinking coke. The Guardian headline 'Coca-Cola habit linked to New Zealander's death', was just one example of the worldwide coverage.
... Read more

 
Organic Gardening for Beginners

Congratulations, you are about to join the growing revolution of people who are digging up their lawns, sheet mulching, installing raised garden beds, and filling containers with edible plants. Over the centuries the very same planting, growing and harvesting skills you will be learning have been the basis of life..
... Read more

 
Sally Fallon was on a recent speaking tour in NZ hosted by the Weston A Price Foundation.

Dee interviewed Sally in the May/June issue of OrganicNZ. Check out Sally's Work on The Weston A Price Foundation.

 
Gardening for Planet Earth - November Newsletter 2011

A timely warning to everyone.
Email from Teacher at Milford Kindergarten, after Dee's visit.
What's Happening in My Garden.
Go ... Project Gro
and more ...
Find out more
 
Gardening for Planet Earth - October Newsletter 2011

All over the world people are searching for better ways of growing food and sustaining life.
Sheet Mulching at Murray's Bay Intermediate School.
What's Happening in My Garden.
Seeds - Learning from Nature is a Lifelong Education.
and more ...
Find out more

 
The food pyramid - A model for obesity

Food Pyramid Being overweight is not a disease; it is a symptom that things are wrong with your diet. Did you ever imagine that a young woman could kill herself by drinking coke? Join the growing band of Food Nannies, the parents that care about children's health...
Being overweight is not a disease; it is a symptom that things are wrong with your diet. Is it any wonder that in today's fast food culture when flour in biscuits, tomatoes in tomato sauce, and potatoes in chips contribute to grain, fruit and vegetable servings that many people are becoming aware that the USDA 'food pyramid' is an unsuitable model for promoting health? ... Read more

 
Great Ideas Grow Better

A green-fingered author and educator is helping people help themselves - and make the planet a better place ... Read more

 
Backyard Chooks

Chickens have been the flavour of the month for a couple of years now, but North Shore City Council regulations restrict the number of chickens I can keep in my urban garden to six, although once when I had four broody hens arranged in small runs on the back lawn ... Read more

 
Predator–prey cycles in the home garden

To help your plants survive insect pests, Dee Pigneguy shows the importance of getting to know the predators and prey in your garden, and understanding their life cycles ... Read more

 
Aitutaki Cyclone

Dee and Mike used to manage Tauono's Organic café, each year (2002-2008) for a month or so when Sonja and Tauono were overseas having a well earned holiday. Tauono died from a stroke while visiting Auckland in December 2009. Sonja and her cat Banff experienced the full force of Cyclone Pat in February 2010 and the following is part of an email she sent to us ... Read more

 
Snack Attack

Snack Food accounts for one-quarter of children's calories, so pervasive are these non-foods that moves are afoot in the United States, where February is their National Snack Food Month, to have snack food seen as a major food group ... Read more

 
Feed Me Right Courses

Dee is known for her inspirational edible gardening and "feed me right courses" says Jackie Russel of the Howick and Pakuranga Times ... Read more

 
Natures Techno Tricks in Action

  • Natures Techno Tricks in Action
  • Natures Techno Tricks in Action
  • Natures Techno Tricks in Action
Our 4 year old children used the information they "read" to learn about wasp nests. They then made their own nest using the shape and 'stamped' the interlocking shapes. They then cut around their nest and displayed their work on the wall.
This all fits with the Early childhood Curriculum Te Whariki Communication & Exploration Goal. Finding information and using it to build their knowledge and understanding of the natural world.
Cathy

 
Introducing Arocatus rusticus The Swan Plant Seed Bug

  • Arocatus Rusticus
It was a beautiful sunny afternoon and while examining a swan plant that had reached 2 metres, tiny flashes of red caught my eye.
On closer examination I saw the tightly clustered swan plant seeds were crawling with tiny red insects that I had never seen before. Photographs being the best method of identification, Mike was quickly on hand to photograph the evidence.
After capturing the insects and placing them in a large jar, complete with foliage and seeds, I rang Landcare Research. An email complete with photographs was sent to Leonie Clunie.
Her reply:
"These insects are the immature stage of Arocatus rusticus, an Australian bug. Common name is swan plant seed bug, as that is where it's usually found. Also found on a NZ plant Parsonsia and Tweedia. Hibernates under bark and under old leaves of cabbage trees. These nymphs don't have fully developed wings yet. In adults, grey wings cover the red body and you only see a red flash as they launch into flight."

I will be watching with interest to see if we can photograph the adults when they develop. But if any of you have seen this insect and would like to share some of your photos, just send me an email.
Dee

 
Sonja's Kitchen

  • Sonyas Kitchen
  • Sonyas Kitchen
  • Sonyas Kitchen
  • Sonyas Kitchen
With my expertise in cooking and growing food organically and Mike's ability to repair and fix things we were the perfect couple to manage Tauono's Organic garden Cafe between 2001-2008 on Aitutaki, the quintessential tropical island.

Experimenting with new recipes, gathering food from the plantations, tending the cafe garden and cooking with island food was an absolute delight. Visitors loved the abundant tropical produce and the unique island-based cuisine which offered healthier alternatives to the highly refined and imported processed food. I knew that Aitutaki and Sonja's cuisine needed to be shared with people unable to sit in the garden and savour the food, the flavours, the colours and the warm tropical air.

So I teamed up with Sonja to bring these delicious island flavours to your kitchen. Now, let Sonja's Kitchen inspire you to create many delectable dishes that visitors have enjoyed at Tauono's Organic Garden Cafe on Aitutaki.

Now available.

Click to have a sneak peek
Click to order your copy

 
Storylines Auckland Family Day - August 2011

  • Insect head
  • Insect head
The Storylines Festival of New Zealand Children's Writers and Illustrators has been a highlight of many families' calendars since 1993.
The festival – particularly the Free Family Days around the country – give children (and adults!) a chance to meet their literary heroes - authors, illustrators, storytellers or book characters.
While visiting Dee at Factopia, and using the masks many children discovered some of nature's clever technology and experienced the world of insect eyes..
If you would like Dee to bring her insect heads to your school to show you just how insects see please contact her.

 
Fruit Tree Pruning with Rob Velseboer

Why Prune?
We prune to prevent disease, damage and manage size.

Robs Fruit Tree Tips
• Buy Fruit Trees from a reputable source
• You want a 'pickable' height for your section. This may be dwarf root stock.
• Prune for mowing and for air movement in and around the tree.

Learn more about pruning

 
Stephanie Bowman

Kia ora koutou, Many of you will have met Stephanie Bowman when she was in New Zealand and helped make the wonderful eel tapestry. Velvet is now on the move check out her blog to see when will it be coming to your location.

Stephanie Bowman's Blog

 
Croydon West Primary School

While in Melbourne recently, Dee visited the Croydon West Primary School. Ruth Bode, the Sustainable Future's Teacher and her pupils showed Dee around their amazing school garden.

 
Testimonials