In a matter of a few minutes a muddy corner of the Victory Community Garden was transformed into a fertile bed of soil, full of nutrients and ready to support all manner of vegetables and herbs.
The transformation happened on Saturday afternoon, as Victory community gardens co-ordinator Jocelyn Winters gave a small group of gardening newbies a crash-course in gardening.
The workshop was part of the Eco Challenge 2012, held ahead of this year's Ecofest at the Trafalgar Centre this Saturday.
Ms Winters covered everything from keeping soil at the proper pH level, to working with manure, to the life-cycle of worms.
Brazilian Lydia Sandoval moved to Nelson two months ago, and was attending the class because she had never learned how to garden, and she wanted to learn about local plants and techniques.
She was impressed, and planned to go home and start her own garden.
"It's easier than what I thought.
"You don't need to spend a lot of money, the only thing I would need to buy is the compost."
Fellow pupil Maggie More said she had grown plants in pots, but was keen to move on to the real thing.
"I'm inspired," she said.
She planned to plant capsicum, artichokes, snow peas, lettuce, herbs and kale - because it was so healthy, she said.
Ms Winters said she offered a regular series of eight-week workshops and a new one was about to start in spring. The classes covered everything from making the most of a small property to choosing the right fruit trees.
"My aim is to improve food security in Nelson for the individual by helping to grow their own food."
For more information, see ecofestnelsontasman.co.nz.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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