Used tyres part of growth plan

02:24, Oct 28 2011
Zachary Domike
RUBBER AND SOUL: Zachary Domike is using old tyres to create an orchard on the hills above Nelson city.

A Hastings St property owner is using hundreds of unwanted tyres to construct a terraced orchard above Nelson city.

Zachary Domike bought the property, including a historic and secluded home which he lives in, about 18 months ago. As a draughtsman, he's designing a rental home to go on the steepest and most inaccessible part of his land, which totals about three-quarters of a hectare and was once used as a quarry.

"Generally, one wants to do the construction of a house first. In this case, the terracing is a way to gain access to the property."

Mr Domike said tyres were a "valuable resource" that was usually thrown away, and local landfills had willingly supplied them. Each retaining wall will be about a metre high – below the height required to gain resource consent – and about 30m long. There will be about 10 terraces in total.

Mr Domike isn't aware of his idea having been tried elsewhere.

"If I'd seen it done before, I wouldn't want to do it."

Mr Domike is a member of the Transition Nelson Permaculture Group, and sought the help of fellow member Ted Howard to figure out a technique. He's drawn up plans for the terraces, which will include an underground irrigation system using greywater pumped up from his home.

Being on a raw food diet, Mr Domike plans to grow a full range of citrus trees on the terraces, as well as nuts such as almond, hazelnut and macadamia.

He estimates he has achieved less than 0.1 per cent of his plans so far, but hopes to have the project completed by next March, in time to start on the house. "I'm very excited about it."


The Nelson Mail