Report on Permablitz #17

Sunday September 7th was a winner. Our hosts Henk and Valerie Hoogland really looked after their hardy band of volunteers at their beautiful property on the shores of Tauranga Harbour at Tanners Point, north of Katikati.
We had a crew of 18 or so energetic permablitzers eager to learn about permaculture and we couldn’t have asked for a better day. Catherine Dunton – McLeod lead the introductions which revealed a very interesting bunch of registrants who had an array of experience that added a lot to the day. Trish then explained the design she and Catherine had prepared with Henk & Valerie for their garden.

It was a well-established garden with many fruit trees already producing when Henk and Valerie moved in four years previously. The main aim of the design was to introduce more varieties of fruiting plants, especially Berryfruit and nuts and to form a herbal ley beneath a portion of the orchard, which would be extended gradually over a period of time.


After preparing the orchard area we laid sheet mulching beneath the fruit trees starting with Lime, then followed by wet cardboard, compost, horse manure, coffee grounds etc, dry carbon material then a final layer of chip mulch. Later in the day herbs were planted into this mulch beneath the trees and herbal ley seed will to be sown throughout.

Catherine and Kat held workshops on Berryfruit and Almond planting and Rex gave a very informative talk on Yakon; its uses and how to grow it. Thank-you Rex for the Yakon seed brought to share.


The most popular job was to install a traditional North American Medicine Garden, a wish that Valerie had had for many years, to be fulfilled by us all. It was a special experience for each of us as we placed a rock within the circular space and were given its spiritual meaning.


Henk and Valerie provided us with a delicious vegetarian lunch AND Henk and Rex entertained us with some classy tunes on their ukuleles… and other unusual musical instruments.


Following lunch it was all hands to the weeding, planting, mulching, and eventually tidying up then we stood back to enjoy the results of our labour.


A special thanks goes out to Brett Soutar of Short Back ‘n’ Sides, Arborists of Waihi for the donation of mulch for the garden.

A satisfying day for all and a big thank-you to Henk and Valerie for your hospitality.