Whether it be earthquakes, storms, rising sea levels or a global oil shortage, there is always a risk that outside factors could adversely impact the way we live. The best we can do is be prepared. Resilience refers to the ability of individuals and communities to hold together and maintain their ability to function in the face of shocks from the outside.

More information here


A system of agricultural and social design principles centered around simulating or directly utilizing the patterns and features observed in natural ecosystem.


This is why we are using it at BURPP.


Permaculture Profiles

A small library of important players in urban permaculture, extolling the benefits of various plants and the roles they play. Includes recipes and instructions for making herbal preparations. Also includes profiles for major influencers in permaculture and references for further reading.

Dive in here to see who’s who!


Comfrey: Permaculture Profile

Symphytum spp. Boraginacaea family Comfrey is the queen of permaculture plants, and is a powerhouse in the permaculture garden – attracting pollinators and beneficial insects, providing medicinal value, and enriching soil with nutrients.   Varieties and Cultivars There are several different varieties including Symphytim officinale (medicinal comfrey), S. ibericum (dwarf comfrey) and S. uplandicum (Russian comfrey). Sizes of these vary. ‘Bocking 14’ is a sterile variety of Russian Comfrey and so is worth considering if you want to plant comfrey in discrete areas in a small garden and not…

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Urban Chickens

Urban Chickens They’re here! The eagles have landed!! After many years of dreaming about owning chickens (and far too many months building a coop), we are now the proud parents of three beautiful ladies. And not only have these chooks found us, but they’ve found a home in the coolest little suburb in Wellington. So please welcome our three lovely hyline pullets, procured pre-teen at 13 weeks, and (we like to think) saved from a life in a cage. We’ve …

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Elderflower Cordial

It’s elderflower season! Now is the time to harvest flower heads to make delicious elderflower cordial. I did exactly that last weekend when I discovered a tree laden with blossom at a friend’s small holding in Greytown. Elder is such an amazingly useful tree, providing fruit and flowers that have medicinal benefits as well being a tasty ingredient in cordial, syrup and even champagne. I’ve harvested the berries in autumn to make a delicious and nutritious cough and chest tonic.…

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Building Soil

Our plan for the next couple of years to the set up a row of vegetable beds running east-west in the back garden and surround this with a bee-friendly perennial herb garden. However, most of our garden is currently grassed, and the compacted clay is not ideal for intensive growing. Therefore we need to look at building soil and creating an environment that will encourage healthy soil life necessary for plants to grow. Complex Ecosystem A single tablespoon of earth…

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Tennants Wanted

TO LET 1st floor studio apartment with enclosed garden and full  board. Accommodations boast good natural lighting and are tastefully decorated. Perched within a fine neighbourhood, with exceptional views. Would suit a small brood of females (2-3). No males, sorry. Available immediately. We are hoping would-be tenants will soon be flocking to see this wee gem.      

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Tree in the Corner

There is a massive tree in the north-west corner of the front garden. Right in the corner, jammed up hard against the corner of the fence in such a way that it must have been planted there well before the fence was erected. In fact, the tree is so large it must be a similar vintage to our 1930s house. I’m not even sure what species the tree in the  corner is. It’s certainly native, possibly from the Myrtle family.…

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Herb Seeds!

What did I do during the cold dark weeks of winter? Buy seeds of course! And I recently indulged myself as I started making plans for a Medicinal Herb Garden that would also double as the bee border around my veggie beds. The idea here is to plant up a calendar year of constantly flowering plants for bees to forage on through all the seasons, to keep them coming back and pollinating my fruiting crops. I found a neat wee…

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Building Chicken Coopery – a story in pictures

Since before we even had a plan, chickens were in the plan. And for some unexplained reason I felt the that it was my compelling duty to personally provide a hand-built shelter for planned chooks. This sense of duty persisted, despite my complete lack of joinery experience and not having ever built anything with wood before. To be fair, I do have some experience with working with wood, but it is more reductive than constructive and limited to carving spoons.…

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Fruit Tree Guilds

Since planting the fruit trees I’ve been investigating what I could use to under-plant them that will be beneficial to the them, but also might serve other purposes, such as providing resources for us. In permaculture, these kinds of associations are known as plants guilds. This post talks about the considerations I took is designing fruit tree guilds for my apples and pears. Guilds are like next-level companion planting, with a twist. A guild is a grouping a plants, trees, animals, insects and…

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Planting Fruit Trees

I made some great progress in the garden on a glorious winter’s day. The second installment of the fruit tree order arrived a month earlier than expected. Deciduous fruit trees usually come bare rooted, which means they need to be planted again fairly quickly. I still had a small mountain of agapanthus to dig out, and I really wasn’t prepared to be planting fruit trees. It was a bit of a scramble but luckily I was able to call on…

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