We aspire to be a source of knowledge for others who want to start their own community gardens.
We have outlined below some features of our garden, as well as planned projects, and work that we have done in the past that has enabled us to turn an old bowling green and marching field into a thriving garden and community space.
The number of garden helpers at Innermost has recently been significantly boosted with the introduction of two bee hives from the Beeple Collective.
This is a collaborative project, sponsored by Z Energy and supported by Wellington City Council, with a gifted amount of honey going to the Homeless Women's Shelter, and bees helping to pollinate the food of Mt Victoria.
Yeah Nah - a living sculpture
Yeah Nah, is a rammed earth living sculpture by Grant Lyon . It has paramagnetic rock dust and ferromagnetic sand which have been applied in strips to increase the speed and amount of electrical flow through the soil, which should help the soil and grass create quicker chemical reactions. This is based on an ancient healing technique involving lodestones, which magne-sleep mattresses are based on today.
The grass has also been seeded with mycorrhizal fungi which have a symbiotic relationship with most plants, attaching themselves to root tips and providing increased water and nutrient capabilities in return for carbohydrates produced by the plant via photosynthesis.
Children's Play Area
Innermost is a haven in one of Wellington's inner suburbs which makes it a destination for many local families and city visitors. To encourage more people to linger and enjoy our space, we have developed some garden beds that are specifically for our youngest visitors. There is dedicated garden space for our local creche, and that school holiday programme that uses our grounds, and we're in the process of building a willow tunnel to create interest and intrigue.
Charles Plimmer Hall
Charles Plimmer Hall at Innermost Gardens is used by a wide range of community groups. It is currently fully booked by regular users and we do not rent it to casual or one-off users.
Native Swamp Project
As part of our Food Forest plans, we planted the first stage of the native swamp project in winter 2018. Next up will be a sub-tropical area in the sunniest corner of the site.
Both of these projects are a part of our overall plan for developing a Food Forest at Innermost.
Our grand plan is to develop a Food Forest at Innermost, turning the turf into trees to serve the food and biodiversity needs of the community. Click here to download the full plans that we have developed through consultation and community workshops in 2013, which continue to be the blueprint that drives development today..
So how does one convert a compacted bowling green into a thriving annuals bed without breaking one's back in the process. We've experimented with cardboard, coffee sacks, and underfloor plastic in conjunction with orchard under-story seed mixes to revitalize urban soils.
Urban soils are typically compacted, chemically damaged, and relatively devoid of life. Innermost Gardens is no different having had DDT applied to the turf for many years before it became a garden. We are testing the use of mycellium (oyster mushrooms) to bio-degrade toxins and invite life back into our soils.
Comfrey has the potential to improve the livelihoods of millions of subsistence farmers worldwide as a ‘Keystone’ design element in agriculture practice to facilitate social, environmental and economic benefits; this project seeks to qualify that potential. It can produce nearly twenty times more protein per unit area per season than Soya Beans whilst improving soil quality. Though application of its significant potential as a protein source for food production is undermined by the presence of naturally occurring toxins, found in many plants including green potatoes, and conjecture around what levels present a health risk to those who consume comfrey. More research is needed and two areas in particular require investigation to realise the potential of comfrey. Specifically we seek to apply modern methods to test the hypothesis that by simply ‘wilting’ comfrey for a period of time these toxins can be degraded thereby ensuring the safety of comfrey herbage to animals and humans. This is the main focus of the initial work proposed. The hypothesis that natural variation in PA expression in comfrey, together with, or traditional plant breeding, can result in strains of comfrey with low levels of toxicity