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Soil: a Matter of Life and Death

Soil is the permeable boundary between life and death, between the Earth and the Sky. The soil beneath our feet isn't just the inert and static remains of the weathered away Earth; it's actually a vibrant and dynamic ecosystem full of minute particles of rock, water, humus, complex colonies of bacteria, webs of fungi, and a whole host of larger creatures such as worms.

Feijoa and Bluberry Muffins

It's feijoa season and they are in abundance! It's at this time of year where almost every staff room will have a bag of these juicy fruits place in the center of the table, or a visit to your aunty is not complete without leaving with a mountain of fruit sure to last you to the end of the month.

Check out this great recipe to make the most of the most of these delicious fruits.

Grow your own Soil


Douglas Adams, author of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, once remarked that “It is difficult to be sat on all day, every day, by some other creature, without forming an opinion on them. On the other hand, it is perfectly possible to sit all day, every day, on top of another creature and not have the slightest thought about them whatsoever.”

He was talking about a horse, but I'm sure that if soil was sentient, the same could be said about being stood on all day.

Growing Feijoas

Before coming to these strange and distant shores I had never even heard of Feijoas. So when I first came it was with some trepidation that I tasted some of those slightly odd looking fruit. It didn't help that the person who introduced them gave a slightly exasperating description of what they tasted like. So much so that while I understood the words, I had very little clue as to what they were on about.

Lucky Plants for the Chinese New Year

We're now more than a week into the year of the monkey, and we thought that before the lantern festival starts and before festivities end, that we should find out what plants we have that can help us enjoy a lucky year. 

Passion Fruit Fool

Passionfruit season is here! This delicious tangy fruit is not only a special sweet treat but also full of nutrients; vitamin C, vitamin A, iron and magnesium to name just a few. Passionfruit are yummy on their own but can also be used in baking and desserts. Our manager from King's Takanini cafe "Friend of the Farmer", John Palino, has a great recipe for making a Passionfruit fool.

Finger Limes

Unknown till relatively recently Finger Limes have become increasingly popular as a gourmet bush food. However a cursory description of this prickly Australian fruit tree, with their fruit full of globular juicy vesicles, doesn't really do them justice. But perhaps the fact that they're often called the caviar of citrus gives a hint of their delightful flavour.

Heroic Gardens Festival

Now in it's 20th year, the Heroic Gardens Festival is still going strong. Showcasing a stunning range of gardens across Auckland, the festival has helped provide bursts of inspiration and excitement to budding gardeners since they it first started. And it's all for a good cause.


Elegant and lightweight, the designers of the Esteras pot range have clearly found beauty in simplicity. Weighing almost nothing when empty these pots are incredibly strong, enduring, but with a refined air of sophistication.



11 Air Filtering House Plants

It's not exactly rocket science, but NASA was still interested.

As part of a clean air study, NASA put together a list of air filtering houseplants in 1989, partly with an aim to send them out of this world and use them to help clean the air on space stations. Here are 11 of our favourites.


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