Wednesday, April 8, 2009




LAYER 1. Fresh Greens (Nitrogen): (above) Mow your lawn (and clip your hedge as a further option) , the pile shown is  6 ‘catchers’ of grass clippings. It is important that the clippings are used on the day of mowing. Fresh is best as lawn clippings rapidly decompose and lose the natural Nitrogen we require as a vital ingredient in our Compost Cake. Spread the clippings out on a tarpolin or other mat. The pile in the picture is about 2 metres long by 1 metre wide by 300mm high. At this point fill your watering can with 1 litre of Kinatonic Black and add 5 litres of water.  

Sprinkle about a quarter of the dilute Kinatonic black on the grass clippings. , then add a small handful of garden lime sprinkled over the pile. (as below). 

Layer 2: Browns (Carbon):  The picture below showns the contents of about 4 x 20 litre containers of dried old leaves we have collected from under our hedges and trees. We did take a little time to extract the enividible larger twigs that come with this exercise , although this is no critical. We have spread the leaves evenly over the grass clippings to form Layer 2.  Now add to this another quarter of your watering can of dilute Kinatonic Black , and another small handful of garden lime.

Layer 3. More Carbon: We chose to add some straw as we had some spare to hand. However this is not crucial. Shredded newspaper is all that is needed. We used a 20 litre bucket of straw and about half a 20 litre container of shredded newspaper (about 2 newspapers , ripped up into pieces no larger than a chequebook). If you have no straw , just shred an extra newspaper. Now to this layer add a further quarter of the dilute Kinatonic Black , and a handful of lime. You may also want to use the garden hose to sprinkle and wet the newpaper if windy. Be careful not to overwet though , just enough to stop the paper blowing away. Please note that ‘combined’ Carbon ingredient (Dry Leaves , Paper , Straw)  should be about 20% more in volume compared to your Greens (Clipping, Trimmings , Weeds , Kitchen Scraps).

Layer 4.  Carbon and Nitrogen: We added (below) some garden weeds as the y were fresh and handy. We also added some seaweed , about 10 dried heads of Ecklonia Radiata we had collected previously. Both these items are optional. Seaweed may be used wet/fresh , but should be chopped into smallish pieces with a machete or similar. At this point your may use the contents of your kitchen scraps bucket also  if you chose. Seaweed is a vital ingredient in composting , and should be sort if possible …. Each time you go to the beach collect a rubbish bag full and hang it to dry  on your fence or simply leave it in an open container near your compost bin for addition to your regular compost heap or for your next Compost Cake day.

Layer 5. The Icing: A small bucket (10 litres max) of compost from your pile , or a previous cake , or if neither of these are available , use a good black soil from the garden. This is highly important as Kinatonic Black will provide most of the soil microbes that really makes compost rock , but adding your own compost or black soil will aid in the activation process. Now to layer 5 , add the final quarter of the dilute Kinatonic Black and a handful of lime.

Mixing Stage: Now thoroughly mix the ‘cake’ (below). Using a garden fork , start from the inside and work out. The finished article should look something like this. If you feel the ‘cake’ is a tad dry (you want the finished article to be damp , but not wet , bit like the dampness of a wrung out sponge) , then add a sprinkling of water from the hose to get your consistency right. This is highly important as if too wet then the cake will go slimey , if too dry it will not compost properly. Having the newspaper in the mix provides an excellent guide as to the correct moisture content. When we see all the newspaper damp after mixing , we know the  moisture content near perfect.

The Cooking Stage: (below) Now either use the tarpolin you mixed your cake on to cover it (as we have) , and secure with rocks , or fork the mix into a 200 litre compost bin or similar. Put your hand into the cake the next day to ensure she’s cookin , careful tho , temperatures may reach up to 70 degrees in the pile , which is important for killing off weed seeds and any plant diseases that are in the mix.

Now then , every 2 weeks (or every week if you want to speed the process) , lift the tarpolin and mix the ingredients again with your garden fork , perhaps adding a sprinkle of water if the pile looks to dry.

Repeat process fortnightly  , and after 8 weeks you will have your very own REAL COMOST ,  which will be suitable (with a light sieving) for potting mix , or general use on your garden!!


Thursday, March 19, 2009

1/2 Wine Barrel Planters for Sale

$50 each
Free Delivery in Waimaz Area

Ph: 874 6597 or Text Olly on 0273 343 6701

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Ingredient Series 3: Comfrey


We have our own Comfrey nursery (raised garden in pic 1 and paper-pot root cutting propogation pic 2) and are planning wide scale planting of this awesome plant to add to our composts and of course supply the Kinatonic range.

Comfrey is a particularly valuable source of fertility to the organic gardener. It is very deep rooted and acts as a dynamic accumulator, mining a host of nutrients from the soil. These are then made available through its fast growing leaves (up to 4-5 pounds per plant per cut) which, lacking fibre, quickly break down to a thick black liquid. There is also no risk of nitrogen robbery when comfrey is dug into the soil as the C:N ratio of the leaves is lower than that of well-rotted compost. Comfrey is an excellent source of potassium, an essential plant nutrient needed for flower, seeds and fruit production. Its leaves contain 2-3 times more potassium than farmyard manure, mined from deep in the subsoil, tapping into reserves that would not normally be available to plants.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ingredient Series 2: Vegetative Consuming Animal Manures

Four of Kinatonic's 10 ingredients are animal manures, sourced locally from Waimarama farms.
They are free range :
  • sheep, 
  • Cattle, 
  • Chickens and, 
  • Horses 
all contribute to our product.

Manure Materials

A wide variety of potential organic materials that can be used as mulching material, directly incorporated into soil (in some cases), or composted. Following are the attributes and composting qualities of a range of manures and other organic materials.

Type: Livestock Manure (note see below for stable manure)
Sources: Farms, stables (horses, cattle, sheep, poultry etc)
Attributes: High N, low C:N ratio, concentrated mineral nutrients (note: attributes change with age – old manure has usually lost much nitrogen and other leached/volatilised elements such as potassium and sulphur, and the material will have dried out becoming more concentrated on a fresh weight basis in some other nutrients).
Composting Notes: Use to balance high C:N materials. Manure is found to be particularly good at proting high composting temperatures. General Notes: Some manures can often come with sawdust or straw – see stable manure. Grazed livestock will have weed seeds in their manure, supplementary fed animals may have viable grains (e.g. oats) and especially intensively managed livestock may have high levels of animal health product residues such as anthelmentics, antibiotics etc as well as high levels of copper and zinc (potential heavy metal issues). Organic certification often requires that animal manure from off the property must be hot composted before application to certified land even iof the manure came from an organic property).

Specific Animal Sources:
  • Cattle Manure: often very moist (especially from dairy sheds) with potential odour issues so add to compost quickly. High in N.
  • Horse Manure: Low odour potential. Moderately high N content. Excellent for composting.
  • Poultry Manure: Very high in N and high pH therefore high odour potential from ammonia.
  • Sheep Manure: High in N but not bad for odour potential. Usually collected from shearing sheds therefore some percentage of wool and reasonably dry.
Type: Stable Manure
Sources: Stables (e.g. horse, calves, pigs, poultry)
Attributes: combination of high C:N and low C:N materials, varying according to concentration of the sawdust or straw material
Composting Notes: Moderate N, low to moderately high C: N ratio, less concentrated mineral elements than manure. Stable straw will tend to compost quicker than stable sawdust with less nitrogen drawdown issues in the long term than can occur when using stable sawdust.
General Notes: Usually excellent composting material that can form the main basis of a compost heap.

The KINATONIC brewing garden

There was an easterly storm in Waimarama over the weekend, so great time  on Monday for selective harvest of beached Ecklonia Radiata seaweed. See it drying on the fence? The photo shows is the primary start-up working area for preparation of KINATONIC.

And it looks like some further storms coming. From the MetService:

STRONG WIND WARNING EASTERN AREAS OF THE NORTH ISLAND FROM HASTINGS SOUTHWARDS : From 8pm Tuesday (10 March 2009) until 3am Wednesday for the area south of Woodville and until 6am for the area between Hastings and Woodville, expect westerly winds 65 km/h at times in exposed  places with gusts 120 km/h.  

Monday, March 9, 2009

Booming preparedness industry says people are stockpiling

The following interesting signal comes from the World Net Daily website:

Anxiety over the economy has generated a spike in other areas of the survival and emergency preparedness industry, too. Harry Weyandt is president of Nitro-Pak, a company that sells freeze-dried food, survival kits, fuel, camping gear and a variety of emergency preparedness products. “Since the middle of last September, the demand for our long-storing foods and supplies has been very high,” Weyandt writes in a column on his company's website.”"We are shipping orders as fast as possible, but the demand for preparedness supplies and long storing foods is gaining steam again.” Last summer, an ABC News report said “there are worrying signs appearing in the United States where some … locals are beginning to hoard supplies.” The report said some suppliers were concerned the U.S. government may be competing with consumers for stocks of storable food.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports the story of Tony, a 44-year-old stockbroker who lives in a Sydney suburb with his wife and three children. Tony has been stockpiling supplies including rice, multivitamins, peanut butter, honey, soap and toilet paper. Simon Beer, who operates a survivalist website in Australia, told the newspaper he has seen a surge in interest lately. “Climate change, peak oil, the economic situation," Beer told the Herald, "people are seeing we're headed for catastrophic changes.”

Source: “Can you survive economic crisis?” – World Net Daily – 8 March 2009

THOUGHTS: Just another great reason to get our sustainable gardens and composts systems going.


A bit of humour

A friend just sent this clip:)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Anna's pea straw garden going balistic on Kinatonic

My sister Anna prepared her no-dig-garden 20 days ago in their new house. She bought six bales of pea straw, positioned them in a sunny sheletered spot, hosed them down and let them 'cook' for ten days. Nine days ago she planted a mix of lettuce, greens, pak choi, rocket and flowers. Each plant was placed in its own tube of compost imbedded into the straw bale. And to finish of the planting, a beding in of 1:5 KINATONIC solution.

Two days later I get a call from Anna "Mark, Mark - you've got to come and see. The garden has really taken off!" Not the most scientific proof - especially with such a rich pea straw nitrogen start - but hey (forgive the pun) - passion makes a gardener.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The no-dig layered bath garden recipe

Uncle John and I just prepared a layered garden in Andrea's birthday present - the bath - bought off the very popular New Zealand auction site If you look closely - you can see it has guilded footstands.

We tried a slight variation of Sabrina Hahn's no dig garden as described on the ABC (Australia) website.

The recipe: here are the layers we put into the bath, from the bottom up.
  • About ten hand sized rocks around the plug hole, to ensure no plug hole blocking.
  • A layer of porous web plastic, to protect the bath enamel and ensure good drainage.
  • A three inch layer of clean one inch sized gravel stones.
  • Then wrap the layer of porous plastic around the stones from the layer below.
  • Next, a one inch layer of hand shredded newspaper. Doused with water.
  • Five handfuls blood and bone. Wet well
  • A two inch layer of home made compost.
  • Four inches of pea straw. Wet it well and gently compress it down by hand.
  • Four inches of home made compost.
  • A one inch layer of hand shredded newspaper. Doused with water.
  • One bucket of sheep pooh pellets and another five handfuls blood and bone. Wet well.
  • Four inches of home made compost.
  • Another four inchess of pea straw. Water well.
  • Cover with a tarpolin.
Staring to sound like the Food Channel!!!

So cross your fingers, and it should be ready to plant in two weeks.

With Autumn coming on I'm thinking broccoli and cauliflower...

...and of course, to be fed with powerful, natural KINATONIC liquid plant food.

I will update you on progress.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The first KINATONIC mock-up bottle label

So here it is - on the afternoon of Wednesday 3rd of March 2009 we tried the first KINATONIC mock-up label design.

As you can see...we have a long way to go! 

There is only so much you can do with PowerPoint.

Very good use for empty wine bottles - just remember to save your screw tops. The Cos lettuce in the kitchen garden just loves the KINATONIC.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

KINATONIC Ingredient Series 1 - Ecklonia Radiata Seaweed

Ecklonia Radiata Seaweed

Selected as a prime Kinatonic ingredient due to its deep rooting growth habit thereby extracting minerals and elements from the rocks it inhabits to a larger degree than other seaweeds found here at Waimarama.

Minerals and Trace Elements of Ecklonia Radiata

Boron 3.7 ppm 
Iron 6ppm
Calcium 80 ppm 
Phosphorous 35ppm
Magnesium 70ppm 
Potassium 98ppm
Manganese 0.58ppm 
Selenium 0.09 ppm
Cobalt 12ppm 
Sodium 350 ppm
Copper 26ppm 
Sulphur as Sulphate 175ppm
Iodine 108 ppm 
Zinc 31ppm
Nitrogen 0.04ppm 
Alginates 625 gm/kg
Vitamins: Vitamin A; B1; B2; B3; B5; C; E; Carotene; Choline: Pantoene
Amino Acids: Aspartate 5.171 Histidine 0.548 Glutamate 0.747 Phenylalanine 0.717 Asparagine 1.141Proline 0.683 Glutamine 0.733 Alanine 3.974 Serine 0.621 Arganine 0.583

* NB Ecklonia Radiata contains 20 of the known 21 amino acids however it is the vast range of complex elements contained in Seaweed that is the value – not the measure of individual constituents.

Reference (1) Dane Hobbs, USA, – Masters Degree in Ruminant NutritionReference (2) W.A. Stevenson, - Seaweed in Agriculture and Horticulture

So thats why we use this precious plant .... and here's when and how ...

Timing: We only harvest 'Stormthrown' seaweed. We live here in Waimarama and are highly conscious of our enviornment ....... as E.Radiata appears on the shore , we 'swoop' to gather what we need for Kinatonic , this may only happen 4 or 5 times a year after large Easterly storms with swell sets of 4 metres or more. Typically what we take is well less than 1% of what has been deposited on the shore from any one storm.

Collection: Kinatonic staff and friends drive carefully along the lowtide line gathering E.Radiata .. first 'rinsing' it in the sea to liberate any micro orgs that have made the plant home whilst on the beach , then load it onto to a trailer for immediate processing or drying for later use.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Climate fears are attracting US 'ecomigrants' to New Zealand

In his recent Washington Post article titled Climate Fears Are Driving 'Ecomigration' Across Globe  staff reporter Shankar Vedantam noted that  New Zealand's environmental credentials are no longer much of a secret.

Nearly half of all American skiilled migrants to New Zealand country cite its "climate or the clean, green environment to be a main reason" for moving there, according to a survey conducted by the the US Department of Labor.

By way of example Vendantam writes of Adam Fier, who recently so ld his home, got rid of his car and pulled his twin 6-year-old girls out of elementary school in Montgomery County. He and his wife packed the family 's belongings and moved to New Zealand - a place they had never visited or seen before, and where they have no family or professional connections. Among the top reasons: global warming.

Fier, 38, a computer security professional who used to work at NASA, said he thought hard about the risks of global climate change. He knew moving to a new country would be difficult but thought that the dangers of staying in the United States were worse. Several years ago, he drew up a list of countries and studied how they might fare over the next century. He examined their environmental policies, access to natural resources and whether they would be safe from conflict. He decided that New Zealand would offer a comparable quality of life, has an excellent environmental record and is isolated from global conflicts by large tracts of the Pacific Ocean. Its tropical, subtropical, temperate and arctic zones also offer a variety of “bioenvironments” as a hedge against the vagaries of climate change.

THOUGHTS:  We just don’t know how lucky we are to be living here in New Zealand. This current recession will break us out of our economic and environmental complacency. I'm hoping it will jump-start some powerful grass roots community building.

WORDS:  New Zealand, Immigration, Sustainability, Climate Change 

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ooooby social community for local food production launched from Waiheke

An exciting new global social community has been launched from Waiheke Island. It’s called Ooooby (Out of our own backyards) - a movement designed to support growing and sharing local food production. This venture has been launched by Pete Russell, recently arrived from Australia. As he said to NZ Herald reporter Amanda Linnell, “The purpose of Ooooby - be it on t he ground or online - is to inspire, encourage and enable people to grow food and to connect with other food growers. Everything we do here is to aid that purpose, so it is a positive experience whether you are an absolute beginner or a more experienced gardener. And our plan is that no matter where you are, in New Zealand, in the world, you too can be part of the Ooooby community.” This NZ Herald article titled Seeds of a good idea was published on 5th February 2009.

The Ooooby website launched just six weeks ago and already there are more than 200 members, the majority from New Zealand but also from as far afield as London, Canada, Spain, France and Australia. Here people talk about what they're growing, exchange skills and knowledge and recipes for how to cook what's in season.

THOUGHTS: Have a look at the website. It looks like a highly innovative approach, set of tools and social network to help individuals and communities grow our own food and eat locally grown and produced foods. 

KEY WORDS: Sustainable, Food, Community, Social Network Services.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The first post!

KinaTonic, is an all natural, renewable blend of animal manures, E.Radiata seaweed, comfrey, and other green matter, as well as the sacred 'Kina', (a Sea Urchin found only in New Zealand waters). It has been developed using an age-old natural brewing method to produce a liquid foliar food that plants absolutely love.

Applied either directly to soil or as a foliar application , KinaTonic will condition the soil, supply nutrients direct to the plant and promote flowering and fruit set.

New Zealand Maori used Kina shells for centuries to enhance soil quality and improve crop yield and disease resistance before the advent of chemical fertlizers.

All our ingredients are sourced from the Waimarama (Waimaz) Beach area in Hawkes Bay  providing a low or nil 'carbon footprint' from truely renewable and sustainable all-natural inputs.

Our 'strap line' "Put More Pounds On Your Plants" says it all.

Kinatonic will be available commercially through selected channels later in 2009 , or earlier by emailing us to join the 'sneezer' trial. A touch of Waimaz Majik and Kina Logic will revolutionize your home garden.

I look forward to your comments and contributions.

With Love , C.Urchin , Waimaz , Hawkes Bay