Sunday, April 1, 2007

Tilth Newsletter April 2007

It seems right, that now in autumn, with the quinces, peaches and apples ripening, that we let you know some of the things that have come to fruition within our branch.

Our Vision
In February we held a visioning workshop at Lyttelton, which was very successful. The meeting was a lot of fun and a tremendous input from all attendants. First in over 60 years, a Visioning Quest! Matt Morris, Branch President asked: “Where do we fit in and where do we go? What are we trying to achieve? The goal of the meeting was to develop a vision statement. At the end the following statement was decided:

‘We are the custodians of sustainable growing systems for healthy, affordable, accessible food for our community and future generations.’

A warm thanks to all participants. The committee has agreed to hold a follow-up workshop, on action-planning, to be held in conjunction with this year's AGM (date to be finalised!)

Another project our committee has slowly been working on is re-establishing our branch library, which was once an essential component of our branch. Although there is some work to do, Project Port Lyttelton has agreed to host the library in the Marriot Building, St David’s Street, where we held the visioning meeting.

Furthermore, long-term committee member Donn Hampton has agreed to be branch librarian. This is great as it means energy will be focussed on this resource.

We have also continued with some overdue housekeeping. Part of this has been a reorganisation of our committee, so, for your information, it now looks like this:

President, Matt Morris
Membership Secretary, Mia Colberts
Treasurer, Melanie Morris
Librarian, Donn Hampton
Immediate Past President, Annmarie Banchy
Committee Member (and National Co-Chair), Holger Kahl

We will be holding an action-planning meeting in conjunction with our AGM this year, but in the meantime, if you have any thoughts about where you’d like the branch to go, please let us know.

Do you want a corporation in another country deciding what supplements, drugs and medical devices can and cannot be sold in New Zealand?
The Therapeutic Products & Medicines Bill is being considered in parliament RIGHT NOW to regulate ALL therapeutic products in NZ as drugs under the management of an Australian run corporation ANZTPA - an amalgamation of the TGA & MedSafe. We understand
New Zealand will be allowed one vote to Australia four.

The ANZTPA are not accountable to YOU, NZ parliament or “the Crown” therefore will not be able to be voted out by successive governments. Our Sovereign Rights are about to be sold to an Australian bully who is pushing the law to be passed in time for their next election. In NZ 1000’s of supplements and remedies will become illegal to sell overnight. Herbal ingredients for Maori, Chinese and Ayurevedic Medicine may disappear off the market.
Supplements that remain are expected to rise in price by as much as 100% because of high compliance and registrations costs.

Harvest time or Ngahuru
Ngahuru is the old Maori word for ten and means the crop lifting tenth month or Kumara harvest. This is a wonderful time of the year to see the fruit of our labour, but before you start harvesting ask yourself if by doing so, will you get the best benefit from all the vitamins and nutrients of your vegetables?

Did you know?
That fresh vegetables can lose up to 10% of their minerals and one quarter of their vitamin C when left in the refrigerator for just one day, and up to half in five days? For long term storage, freezing is the best option, but remember to blanch them first to hold high vitamin A levels.
However the best option is to leave your brassicas in the ground until needed and cut only the amount required, leaving the rest growing. Place a leaf over the cut portion and when you make the next cut you will just need to trim the edge that was exposed to the air. This was a tip from the Good Gardeners’ Association Newsletter, which I like to share with you.