TTK Community Food Forest Steering Meeting Minutes October 11, 2009

Present;
 Andrew, Isabel, Joy, Dan, Bena, Sharon, Anna, Richard, Pam

Apologies; Sharon

1. Site Visits to possible Riparian sites for our Food Forest Fantastic possibilities! The two sites visited were ‘Milne Drive’ and ‘Mazengarb Reserve’.

Milne Drive This site is at the end of Milne drive where there is a culdersack and start of a walking track along Wharemauku stream. This was the smaller of the two sites but still has ample room for our beginning purposes; aprox 4000sqm in total, though not all available for our use due to council requiring access to drainage and piping etc, planting distances from residential housing and planting distances from flooding ‘zone’ of stream. Site roughly rectangular in dimension. The sites appeared to be well foot trafficked with dog walkers, horse riders (foot and bridle path opposite side of stream). Wheremauku stream and path runs from the council offices, past the site to Raumati Beach vicinity so had good potential for ‘expansion’/ replication along either course. A future bridge would benefit site / accessibility. Joy commented that the site appeared lush and was a good contender. The site was relatively flat, sloping down to the straitened, fast moving stream. Clear site, no obvious weeds i.e. grass only. South facing, but open so still plenty of North sun. Obvious water access.

Mazengarb Site A large, open site based at the end of Scaife Drive, adjacent to sporting amenities such as hockey pitch and buildings with potential community use (i.e. educational programs regarding food forest). Estimating 7,500sqm in the main area, this then follows the stream around and joins Guilford drive, where additional riparian water ways and paths have been offered (a long elongated stretch aprox 14-17m across and 500-700m long est). However it was felt that this long stretch was too low lying and maybe subject to flooding, at least the areas closest to the reserve. The main area of the reserve surrounds a pond, which is earmarked as wetland mitigation by ‘On Tract’. Therefore a large area surrounding the wetlands is not for our use, but there is potential to work with this wetland development with our FF. This is especially so as the two will merge in place due to the undulating nature of the site. Some, if not all of the existing trees may need to be retained. Site appears relatively fertile, less so further from the pond area (i.e. drier ‘scratchier’ grass. A positive is this site is closer to colleges (student involvement in FF). Not as much foot traffic at this site? Beautiful aspect and pond / recreational assoc.

Note: with the possibility of accepting any riparian site there is a major benefit and draw back; the arrangement structure is a loose one , whereby our Food Forest group becomes a ‘friend’ of the riparian site and in so doing, there is very little holding us back from getting started pretty much immediately. The down side is that this loose structure gives us no certainty that all our hard wok wont be removed and the site used fro other purposes should the council wish it. As we all know a Food Forest takes many years to mature so longevity and legal structures which ensure its perpetuity is desirable. HOWEVER the general feeling is we need to gain credibility by doing the do and we also need experience and perhaps it is best just to get started and hopefully gain more secure sites in the future.

2. Paraparaumu and Raumati Community Board Meeting Monday 19th Oct 7pm Valhalha. Bena to speak at this meeting in support of policy. Everyone to email Bena any important points to be included. As many of our group to attend as possible.

3. Site Visits Saturday 24th Oct Alisha’s 10am Dannyverk (one year old FF) and Wendy Foxton 1pm same Saturday on the way back (good example of Urban permaculture and very interested in our work on FF). HOWEVER, these meetings will be rescheduled if Gary and Emily Williams can make it down to make site assessments that day. Please keep informed! Andrew to contact G & E and let Bena (to reschedule) and group know…

4. Dean Scott QE11 Ranger Discussed propagating Eco sourced seeds from park Scar Kowhai seed or soak overnight. Manuka and Kanuka, can collect seed all year (always on tree), put in envelope and once seeds burst (tiny) can plant. Can get permit as a group (free) to eco source seeds from park (not for commercial use) Good quality seed raising mix, dampen and throw handful of seed in, lightly cover with dry mix and keep lightly watered (every few days) until germinated (may take months), prick out into small pots, once 1 foot aprox high, put into larger pots, want a good root ball established so has best chance of surviving. A two year process from seed to a small tree ready to plant. Slugs the enemy, keep shade area clean so cant harbor.

5. Action Plan

Richard: Google any other possible Riparian sites for individual visit prior to Gary and Emily site assessing.

Andrew: Contacting Gary and Emily Williams to site visit and assess sites

Bena: Meeting minutes / Agenda. Community Board Meeting talk

All: attend Community Board Meeting (see above), individual tasks as noted in last meeting minutes.

Next Meeting: who would like to host on Sunday 25th Oct?

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