Magic Rocked @ Woodside!

Riverpark-Action-Group-Magic-Rocks-@Woodside-efWe were delighted to welcome so many friends and neighbours to our free event yesterday. We were celebrating Neighbours Day Aotearoa 2018 as well as being part of the EcoWest Festival 2018.

NeighboursDay2018Our theme for the day Magic Rocks@Woodside was a great success with 27 children managing to find painted rocks in return for a prize. In keeping with EcoWest and Woodside Community Garden, our prizes were garden-orientated with each child receiving a tool belt with garden tools along with either a packet of Sunflower seeds (courtesy of Yates NZ) or a LittleGarden (courtesy of New World). They also had the chance to paint their own rock to take away and we hope some of those rocks will later be hidden in parks as part of Westie Rocks! Nicole was in charge of the rock hunt and prize-giving as keeping an eye on the painting activities, which proved challenging at times while being a lot of fun! She also took lovely photos of all of our winners – see below…


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Sausages donated by Tegel NZ and falafels (vegan/vegetarian option) were expertly cooked by Olga on our new portable barbeque, its first outing, purchased with funding from the Community Organisation Grants Scheme (COGS). Woodside Community Garden volunteer and herb expert Karyn provided her signature rhubarb tea, using rhubarb from the garden with complementary fresh herbs from the garden added on the day by Gilles. It was good to see Henderson-Massey Local Board members Shane Henderson (Chair) and Brenda Brady making the effort to come and meet locals.


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This year, we decided it would be great to have some music down at the park during the event so Olga organised for Lauren Collins to sing for us. It really added to the atmosphere and everyone really enjoyed it. Kids blowing bubbles in the sunshine added a bit of stagecraft to the scene… Check out Lauren’s YouTube channel, link below.


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Laszlo with the raffle prize

We held a free raffle for adults with Monique our prime mover in handing out tickets (one per person). The prize was a lime tree, green string bag, 2 bottles of Yates fertilizer spray (one for citrus) donated by Yates, a New Zealand calendar and a large plastic tub (to take it all away in!). The raffle was won by Helen and was picked up from Monique by her son Laszlo yesterday afternoon (photo at right). Congratulations Helen and happy gardening!

We’d like to extend a big thank you to the following who made our event possible; Henderson-Massey Local Board/Community Waitakere (Neighbours Day grant of $200), Yates NZ (Sunflower seeds and 2 x Yates spray guns), Tegel NZ (chicken sausages). We would also like to thank Nova for coming along prepared to provide Storytime for the children though the attraction of finding and painting rocks proved a little too exciting for most.

Special thanks to Sinead from Auckland Council for organising the essential portaloo for the day from Park and Maintenance Services (Ian). We couldn’t have managed without one. Plus all of the volunteers and friends who helped with set-up and break-down. Thanks guys!


Hear and see more from Lauren Collins on her YouTube channel…



Massey Matters Fund award – $1000!

We recently received notification from Massey Matters that our application for funding for a mulcher/shredder for Woodside Community Garden has been successful. This is something that we have wanted for quite a while as we have lots of grass material/woody weeds that we are unable to compost efficiently. The mulcher will allow us to cut up such material into smaller chunks so that it will break down quicker. We’ve just created some new compost bays for our hot compost – see photo below. Once we get the mulcher, we will shred everything from the first bay into the second one and then once it’s breaking down more, we can move it into the third one. We are always in need of more compost than we can make with our other traditional 3 bin system.



Volunteers raise funds for garden

Members of the Riverpark Action Group (and their family members!) along with Woodside Community Garden volunteers gave up some of their free time last weekend to raise funds for the garden by running a sausage sizzle at Mitre 10 MEGA Henderson. The event was a success as we made a profit of $411.80 for the garden. We’d like to thank Mitre 10 for giving us the opportunity to participate and for providing the BBQ and gas. Thanks go to everyone who bought a sausage from us. It is very much appreciated!



Our fruit trees thank you EcoMatters!

We are delighted to report that EcoMatters Environment Trust has awarded us Love Your Neighbourhood funding which is allowing us to run a pruning workshop at the Trees for Babies orchard which is adjacent to the Woodside Community Garden. We’ll also be buying some plants for the orchard and stakes to support the trees. We’re really happy to get this support and it seems appropriate as the tree planting was carried out in 2011 through Keep Waitakere Beautiful which is now part of EcoMatters. We’ll report more on the workshop and funding on the Woodside Community Garden site.

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Neighbours’ day event 1 April 2017

We held our event at Woodside Community Garden on April Fools Day. “Neighbours getting to know neighbours” was the general theme for the day. We were delighted with how many people came along to enjoy the day.

We had advice from Sport Waitakere on how to host a healthy BBQ and did our best to source healthy sausages, including vegetarian for the day. Massey Matters lent us giant jenga and connect4 and we also had a swingball set and balls for kids to entertain themselves. Our creek was a great draw-card though most children only waded in the water as it was a bit chilly for swimming even though the sun was shining! Mike’s plaster frogs and seahorses were painted up beautifully using Resene test pots, some of which we obtained free during a recent promotion. Others were sourced from friends and colleagues. Our two gourds that we grew last season and dried out in sawdust over many months, were painted by two of the girls who were delighted to take them home. The gourds still have the seeds in them so can be used as musical instruments like maraccas… After seeing them painted, we were all inspired to grow them again as we now know how we can dry them after having had many failures as they rotted instead of drying.

Nicole’s lemon balm syrup was very tasty and Selina’s natural ginger-ale was also a great hit. The ginger-ale recipe came from a giant book from the Australian Women’s Weekly. Nicole’s syrup was an adaptation of one that she found online.

Thanks to Community Waitakere/Henderson-Massey Local Board for the $200 funding that made it possible to hold the event. Grateful thanks also to Huw from Auckland Council for organising the portaloo at short notice…

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Neighbours Event – Saturday 1 April – 11am -1pm

We were fortunate to be awarded $200 by the Henderson-Massey Local Board after applying recently for support for a Neighbours Day event. There were so many things happening on the official weekend (25-26 March) that we have decided to postpone our event to the following Saturday. We will be having games, colouring-in and painting for the kids. We also plan to plant some seeds and seedlings in the garden. All welcome!

working beeFree gardening tool kit for the first 30 children who come along. See our model Lois below wearing one…


Fruit trees get a funding boost

We were delighted to be awarded $500 by the Henderson-Massey Local Board after applying for funding to support the Keep Waitakere Beautiful fruit trees that were planted adjacent to the Woodside Community Garden in 2011. Most of the trees have survived though there have been a few casualties. Two of the avocado trees and one banana palm succumbed to the frosty weather that we get sometimes and several of the feijoa trees and one plum tree were annihilated by the lawn mowing team.

The document attached Woodside Res 1 Final is the original council plan. We’ve added a few Abyssinian banana palms to the mix.

However, we’ve recently agreed a plan with Huw Hill-Male from Parks West. He has suggested allowing grass to grow between the trees and encouraging beneficial plants to flourish which will have the effect of encouraging our beneficial insects, providing important trace elements to the soil and preventing further damage to the trees. We expect that it will also look very attractive, which will be an added bonus.

So, thank you Henderson-Massey Local Board for the funding.


Check out the garden site for more news on this…


Keep Waitakere Beautiful Fruit Trees – Woodside Reserve – planted in 2011