233: Colin Walker on Gardening with Ecology at its Heart
Focusing on a larger picture to understand how to effectively grow a good garden.
In this podcast: Part one of two with Colin Walker, a long-time gardener and educator from New Zealand, who helps explain a gardening concept that brings the world into focus while looking at the garden bed. The decades of experience and know-how are evident in this conversation about how an ecology-centered viewpoint is so important to successful gardening.
Colin grew up in a rural community near Auckland, New Zealand, learning the basics of growing by helping his grandfather maintain a small flower market garden. Much later, he helped to establish the Permaculture Institute of New Zealand. In the 1980s and 90s, he spent time in the US, Australia, Ireland, and England. Returning home, he learned about the principles of ecology-centered design from Dennis Scott, an innovative designer, landscape architect, and resource management consultant
Colin’s focus then turned to the conservation of traditional/heirloom food plants in New Zealand. He spent 16 years supporting local and national seed preservation initiatives by practical "growing out" hundreds of seed lines, managing research projects, running internship programmes, and taking on advisory and advocacy roles for this issue with independent & government organizations.
In 2010, he returned to Northland to create a long-term home for him, his wife, and five sons. With six years of research and experimentation completed, investigating from an ecology perspective the essential elements needed (and how to practically work with them!) to guarantee that the food we grow is actually nutrient-rich, Colin’s ready to share results!
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/kiwi for more information and links on this podcast and to find our other great guests.