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Fertiliser Recipe’s at the end of this post! Keep Reading…

This journey of learning to grow nutrient dense food we’re on has been partly possible for us through the mentorship of Grant at Environmental Fertilisers.

Grant already had a background working with mainstream fertiliser before becoming disillusioned and researching other options. He attended all of Ardern Anderson’s early workshops in NZ and has since been a student of many others following the principles of Dr Carey Reams.

Grant is a driven scientist who will go to any lengths to do the best job possible, to support farmers on a large scale, regenerate the land and produce healthy food for people. He is doing incredible work and getting amazing results.

I learned to grow nutrient dense food using Grant’s fertiliser mixes, and initially was very reluctant to promote them because we’d always had a policy of not doing that.

I trialled several other companies fertiliser over the past years however and came to the clear conclusion that Environmental Fertilisers mixes are the absolute best I have ever found if you are on this journey of seriously learning to grow nutrient dense food., and it became difficult for me to talk bout how to grow nutrient dense food with out being able to recommend fertiliser, as that is the only fast way to do it I know of.

I decided a few years ago to not only recommend their fertiliser but also sell it which meant bringing ½ ton bags here repacking it and couriering around NZ. That was very successful but now that Grant is repacking into Home Gardener size bags it is not sensible for us to do it any more.

We’ve been working hard to find a shape that meant we had our research sponsored because it all takes time and money, and Grant at EF has offered to give Koanga a % of the retail price for all the fertilser sales they make that come through us.

This could be critical for us in terms of allowing us to continue this work. EF products can now be purchased online. If you take the time to go through the other process of calling or e-mailing EF with your order directly and mention Koanga, then Koanga will benefit.

We’re hoping that you will all support us here and get your friends to do so as well.

Our soils are in far worse condition than most of us realize, and in a home garden situation where many of us may even have toxic soils , we are faced with needing expert advice and support.

Environmental Fertilisers offer:

  1. The only Reams soil tests available in NZ
  2. Way the best range of fertiliser suitable for actually growing soil health and plant health I know of
  3. An advisory service that is really useful for home gardeners

All of this costs, but the costs are very reasonable and the returns are huge.  What is the real cost of degeneration of the earth soil, our food and our health. When you spend the money and get the minerals right production and brix go up exponentially over time.

When you step into this journey you see that most other readily available fertilisers actually makes things worse in the medium long term, giving short term results that are not nutrient dense, you can test this with a refractometer. Check it out for yourself!! Actually food grown with soluble nitrogen, rather than calcium and phosphorous, is low level carcinogenic as nitrates concentrate in the food, and do not carry other minerals into the photosynthesis process.

We must begin with the earth.

If you’re into learning to grow nutrient dense food, and are keen to buy fertiliser designed to support that process then please mention Koanga when purchasing, it will help us help you and many others re enter the process of co evolution that is essential for a vibrant regenerative future.

Environmetal Fertilisers Website listing products available to home gardeners

EF Purchasing Details
Phone number to order: (07) 867-6737 or 0800 867-6737
To order by e-mail: you need to do this through the contact section on their website
To BuyNow: through click here through to TradeMe 

REMEMBER TO MENTION OUR KOANGA WHEN YOU ORDER, we really appreciate you’re support!


Recipe (excerpt from Koanga Garden Guide)

Kay’s Optimal Recipe… this fertiliser program will get you producing nutrient dense food fast. The production and quality of your crops will far more than pay for the time and cost beginning in the garden

1. Grow your own seedlings following Koanga’s best practice (page 152) and using Koanga Seedling Inoculant… this will prepare your seedlings to be able to fully utilise the nutrients far more effectively.

2. Apply 400gms EF: Nature’s Garden when planting by incorporating it into the top 10cm, before planting.

3. After planting, water in with EF: Fish Plus (this liquid fish has the nitrogen held by carbon so it will not be as water soluble as other forms of liquid fish).

4. Alternate weekly soil drenches of EF: Fish Plus with EF: CalPhos and EF: Activated Carbon for the first 4 weeks of plant growth.

5. Foliar feed EF :Growth Foliar weekly for first 6 weeks then switch to EF: Fruit Foliar unless it is a leafy green, garlic or onions. In that case continue with weekly EF: Growth Foliar.

6. I would also add biochar if I was making it at home, at a rate if 1kg per square metre every year for a few years, after first charging it with a balanced fertilser perhaps urine or high quality, organic cow manure or EF: Nature’s Garden.

7. I would also add paramagnetic rock dust if I had the opportunity (Environmental Fertilisers sell it), it makes a huge difference to speeding up the process to get to high brix crops.

8. If I had very sandy or pumice soils I would also add clay and if I had heavy clay I would also add sand.

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Today in the Garden


  • Pulled the corn out. It’s the carbon crop of this garden system. Made space for the heavy feeders crop: Silver beet, leeks, celery, kale, coriander, landcress, cabbages, lettuce and broccoli.
  •  The corn will be chopped up (ideally and returned to to the compost heap as food for the nitrogen/weeds and greens) that becomes food for the soil.
  •  This method grows food for the gardener and food for the soil, so each are mutually benefited.
  •  I sowed into a tray: Daikon and beetroot.
  •  Climbing beans to come out now, but will do next week as didn’t have enough time to take out and prepare the soil.
  • The corn bed was U-bared (broad forked) and 400gs Natures garden per metre as fertiliser.

– Kane





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February Garden Update


I’ve just spent 2 weeks doing nothing but harvesting in the garden (no time for anything else during a PDC). It rained almost all of that time on and off after a very dry period so you can now imagine that my garden looks like a forest pretty much. The corn is over 2m tall with sunflowers above that, it looks as though there are about 4 layers of the forest garden below that canopy, and all the wild weeds that are pretty much permanently in the garden like purslane, both golden and wild, heartsease, lambs quarters, magenta spreen, calendula, amaranth greens (wild version) are everywhere there was a space for them.

It’s time to harvest sweet corn, Austrian hulless pumpkins as they go yellow, for processing, peppers for processing, tomatoes for processing, basil for processing, stevia for drying, time to sort the asparagus bed ( if you leave the female plants to go to seed you may have an asparagus problem next season… I’m going to mark all the female plants and dig some out in the winter and replace with crowns from the best male plants which always produce more asparagus spears. Pumpkins coming out our ears, we’re eating Zimbabwe squash and Delicata first then we’ll follow with Red Kuri and Buttercup, then the long Keepers Butternut, Hopi Grey, Grey Hubbard Squash and also Crown.

Time to cut back the globe artichokes if you haven’t already done that, the sooner you cut them back the sooner you get the next crop of artichokes…time to dig potatoes and store.. it feels like time to do everything!!!!!.. and most critically it’s time to plant the winter garden.

I’ve been burrowing in my spring compost heaps to see if they are ready to use… they are still full of life, worms, microbes doing all the breaking down of the original material so not quite ready, they may have been if I had keep them a little moister earlier on when it was very dry. I may have to plant some winter beds before the compost is ready then add it later.

I thought I was doing really well getting my Brussells sprouts and kale and collards in last month but the birds found the plants and have really set them back. I’m really sick of having work so hard to get things in on time only to have that happen so it looks as though we just need to be prepared for it right from the beginning and cover the beds with hoops and have bird netting over them. Building sparrow populations are a real threat to food security and finding ways to deal with that is a high priority if we are serious about feeding ourselves and not eating supermarket food from China.

One of the great successes in my garden this year has been a trial I was doing to find a way to mulch the berry beds without having to collect or bring in mulch. I tried a few things, evergreen comfrey planted in a row around the outside of the gooseberry and currant beds, I tried asparagus peas and I tried Alpine strawberries as a mulch on the Marion berry bed. The evergreen comfrey formed an outstanding ground cover all season, the asparagus peas were useless as a way to suppress weeds, and the straw berries were also pretty good. I will use evergreen comfrey more for that sort of thing I think… maybe even my raspberry bed .. they are not suckering raspberries.. it wouldn’t work with suckering raspberries. Evergreen comfrey is available in our perennial back order system this year for the first time

My Essene flaxseed is harvested waiting to be threshed and winnowed, and so we almost have next years pumpkin seeds and flaxseed ready to begin the cycle again of being turned into our biscuits that we eat instead of bread most of the time.

It’s now almost 7 months since we stopped buying food and it feels better and better, we don’t even notice it any more, and we prefer our own food anyway.

This is my latest recipe.. it is really really delicious, a wonderful way to store those summer treats.

20.02.08 009

Eggplant pepper tomato oil pickle

2kgs eggplants, any kind
1kg onions, any kind
1 kg peppers (any kind, if they are hot the sauce will be hot)
2 kgs fresh tomatoes
2 bulbs of fresh garlic
unrefined seasalt to taste
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 Tbsp black mustard seeds
1 Tbsp turmeric powder
1/2 litre olive oil

Char eggplants, peppers, onions on the BBQ (ours is a rocket stove BBQ)until soft. Remove and when cool peel off charred skins . Chop into chunks, then ¼ tomatoes, removing hard cores. Finely chop garlic.

Add oil to wok, the garlic and soften, then add cumin, and mustard seeds, cook 2 minutes then then add all ingredients except tumeric, and gently simmer until all the runny liquid is gone and it is a thick consistency.. add turmeric stir whiel gently cooking 5 more minutes. .

Pour into small hot jars with hot lids ready and seal.

Forest Garden

The forest garden is pumping, now that it has rained we are going to have to cut the tagasaste back a lot. Many of the other legumes are showing themselves now too, Some of the Siberian pea trees are over1.5 m and the tree medick is growing fast along with the eleagnus species, the lespedeza bi colour and the tree lupins… the cornus are growing very slowly right now but are still hanging in there after the dry period. We have 4 distinct layers now ground cover, low shrubs/perennials, chop and drop small trees, and fruit trees. Check our Design Your own Forest Garden Booklet available in both booklet form or e-booklet for more details on how to design these regenerative systems.

The fruit trees are beginning to take their places in the forest garden and many have small amounts of fruit, prune plums, apples, peaches and nectarines this season.


We have raised our best poultry ever this season on curds and comfrey and alfalfa, we’ll do that every year now, they are big birds well built and maturing early which means they have been well fed. It’s almost time to choose our replacements, choose the oldest birds that have to go and put all the extras in the freezer. Our chickens are still laying 6-8 eggs ( 8 birds) every day since July, but the Indian Runner dicks are almost finished moulting now. They also have done super well on curds and comfrey and free range behind the cows during the day. I’m hoping they will be laying when the chickens stop and have a break.

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Golden Beetroot Panir Salad


Golden Beetroot Panir Salad

Toss, cover generously with home made vinaigrette dressing then add grilled cubes of panir cheese.