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Eat your greens


There can be no surer sign of impending summer than the abundance of fresh, green vegetables gracing us with their presence. From vibrant asparagus spears, to lively broccoli, colourful kale, brilliant lettuce and a wealth of herbs. Here are Metropol’s tips for piling those plates with every shade of green.

 

 

GREEN FRITTERS
Zhush up your standard corn fritters with the addition of spinach, courgette, and fresh herbs. Try mint, parsley and lemon balm. Crumble feta atop and serve with relish and add a rasher of bacon.

KALE ME
Not only great for green smoothies, kale is delicious sautéed with garlic, chilli and butter, or used as the base for a green salad. Just remember to de-stalk and soften the leaves by rubbing with your preferred oil.

SALAD STORIES
As the weather warms, our meals cool – and this is salad’s time to shine. Bolster your bowl of greens by including blanched broccoli, grilled asparagus, avocado, mint and parsley. Sprinkle with your favourite nuts and seeds, and dress with lemon juice and olive oil.


 

Raising the toddlers of the plant world


Also known as “vegetable confetti”, microgreens are the quickest food crop urban gardeners can grow – often as simply as in a container on your kitchen windowsill.

 

Not to be confused with sprouts – germinated seeds that are eaten root, seed and shoot – microgreens are the seedlings of leafy herbs and plants that are harvested less than a month after germination.

The stem, seed leaves and first set of true leaves are all edible.

Common microgreen varieties include amaranth, basil, beets, broccoli, cabbage, celery, chard, chervil, coriander, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard, parsley, peas, radish, rocket, spinach, and sorrel.

Growing microgreens only requires good light – a well-lit kitchen bench, sunny windowsill or balcony – a suitable shallow container, water and a growing medium.

MIGHTY MICROGREENS:

• Microgreens are a nutrient- dense food that contain digestible vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, and are packed with flavour, colour, texture and living enzymes
• Some studies have shown microgreens contain considerably higher concentrations of vitamins and carotenoids than their mature plant counterparts
• Many varieties will regrow and produce several harvests

HOW TO GROW:

  1. Line seed tray with moistened paper. Fill tray with moist growing medium, e.g soil or burlap, about 2 to 3cm deep
  2. Sprinkle seeds over mix, press in lightly
  3. Water by misting with a spray bottle
  4. Place on a drainage tray in warm spot
  5. Water every day as needed, but avoid overwatering!
  6. Cover seeds with clear lid or plastic bag with holes snipped for airflow to encourage germination
  7. Harvest after the first two true leaves emerge from the cotyledon by snipping off at soil level

Going greener: WSP Architecture


 

Duncan Bright – WSP Architecture Christchurch Studio Leader and Principal Architect

World Green Building Week was held in September and is the annual campaign that empowers us all to deliver greener buildings.

This year’s theme was #ActOnClimate. Aotearoa, like the rest of the world is currently facing substantial challenges.

We need stimulus packages to combat the economic impacts of Covid-19 and we need to slash our climate pollution to halt the growing number of climate emergencies that countries worldwide are facing each year.

Buildings account for more than one-third of global carbon emissions and therefore these challenges will not be solved unless we start to deliver greener buildings.

Investment in greener buildings will stimulate innovation, activate supply chains and create jobs, while also supporting a healthier and more sustainable built environment, and creating thriving and resilient communities throughout Aotearoa.

All of us have a key role to play.

As a member of the New Zealand Green Building Council, WSP Architecture challenges ourselves and our clients to deliver greener buildings.

For our new three-storey building currently being constructed at Cathedral College for the Catholic Diocese of Christchurch, we have embraced Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) technology in an innovative way to not only provide a resilient structural solution but also achieve significant savings in lifecycle carbon emissions when compared to more conventional steel or concrete solutions.

The time to act is now and, no matter where you are, I challenge you to #ActOnClimate.

5 Green Stars for Tūranga


Impressive not only in form and function, Christchurch’s revered Tūranga has added yet another accolade to its long list – this time, for its eco-friendly design.

 

Tūranga revitalised the CBD when the $92m five-storey Warren and Mahoney-designed public library opened in Cathedral Square in late 2018.

Now, it has become one of the few public buildings in New Zealand to be awarded a 5 Green Star – Custom Design Certified Rating from the New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC) in recognition of it exceeding best practice benchmarks in a range of areas including energy and water use, indoor environment quality, use of sustainable materials, reduced ecological impact and reduced emissions.

Christchurch City Council Head of Libraries and Information Carolyn Robertson says Tūranga was designed with both people and the environment in mind.

“We wanted it to be a place for people, but we also wanted it to have minimal impact on the environment. Our goal was to create a sustainable building with a low carbon footprint that was both architecturally striking and welcoming.”

Since Tūranga opened it has won the Supreme Award at the Property Council New Zealand’s Rider Levett Bucknall Property Industry Awards, the Warren and Mahoney Civic and Arts Property Award; the civic category award at the New Zealand Commercial Project Awards; the New Zealand Society of Earthquake Engineering’s Seismic Resilience Award for Design to Achieve Low Damage; the Structural Engineering Society of New Zealand’s Supreme Award; and the Institution of Structural Engineers’ Award for Structures in Extreme Conditions.

Last year it was also named as one of four finalists for the 2019 International Federation of Library Associations/Systematic Public Library of the Year Award.


 

Success is in the soil: Terra Viva


The topic of soil doesn’t sound as exciting as talking about stunning strongly-scented roses or a bumper crop of sweet strawberries, it’s actually more important. Terra Viva’s Peter Worsp tells us why.

 

 

PREPARATION IS KEY: Like most things in life, the preparation determines the end results – and this applies to success in the garden. The better the soil, the better the results, so avoid the temptation to just rush ahead and bung the plants in.
Plants are just like us – we thrive in the right conditions and we suffer in adverse conditions. If the soil is well-prepared plants get off to a quick start and continue down that path.
So, what makes for well-prepared soil? Digging over to approximately 30cm (about a spade’s depth), breaking up the clods, and adding compost, real blood and bone, a dusting of lime, sheep pellets, and gypsum in compacted heavy soils.
Well dug-over soft soil allows the roots to get out quickly to anchor the plant and draw in nutrients which translates to growth.


FLOURISH WITH FERTILISER: Most plants have specific fertiliser needs so getting the right fertiliser mix is important. Plants use potash to produce flowers and fruit which is why rose food has a very high potash level; too much nitrogen gives lush foliage growth but minimal flowering. Conversely, lawn food has no potash but high nitrogen to give strong foliage growth, i.e. lawns. Sheep pellets are still one of the most effective and popular fertilisers, improving fertility, soil texture, and encouraging earthworms.


COMPOST, COMPOST, COMPOST! One of the top gardens in Christchurch positively glows with health and productivity and the keen gardener’s secret is: “Generous and regular applications of compost”. Compost adds fertility, improves drainage/aeration, texture, and encourages earthworms whose actions and secretions add to the soil’s quality. Poor, heavy clay soils can be turned into fertile productive soil by adding gypsum and compost. Gypsum breaks up heavy compacted soil, adds calcium and sulphate nutrients, and improves the effectiveness of fertilisers. Using compost at the same time stops the clay particles sticking together again.


PLANNING WITH pH: Soil pH measures alkalinity versus acidity in the soil, with most soil being somewhere near neutral. However, there is a group of plants which need acidic soil to thrive, including rhododendrons, azaleas, blue hydrangeas, daphne, camellias, and blueberries, and using acid fertiliser will keep them happy. Use a light sprinkling of lime to create alkaline conditions for lavender, delphiniums, lilacs, hostas, and sedums. Get the soil right, get the results!


Visit Terra Viva at 242 Roydvale Ave, Burnside between 8.30am and 5pm every day, or call them on 03 358 5565.


 

Going Green


In our fast-paced, modern environment, it’s not surprising that we’re increasingly seeking to create an oasis at home where we can escape the stress of the world and technology. Green may be exactly what you need to do just that.

 

Colour psychology experts will tell you the lush colour engages the senses and symbolises life, growth and renewal, thanks to its association with nature.

In the rules of feng shui too, green represents renewal, fresh energy and new beginnings.

Gender-neutral and universally-loved, green is a great option for those who aren’t afraid of a burst of bold colour.

ADAIRS DALI OTTOMAN

 


 

Green Cuisine


It’s become expectation over aspiration for our foodie favourites to embody sustainability in all that they do. From the war on single-use plastics, to supply chain transparency and packaging compostability, this is more than a food trend – it’s a philosophy.

 

 

We’re seeing plenty of options across ingredients, preparation and packaging to take what’s on your plate to new, sustainable heights.

Hemp: This buzzword has grown wings and very much flown into foodie vernacular. Hemp is high in fibre, protein, minerals, and unsaturated fats, and contains the non-psychoactive cannabidiol, CBD. This nutrient dense plant is fast becoming used in everything from milk alternatives and cooking oils, to protein powders and energy bars.

Oat Milk: Plant-based milks are in hot demand, and no nut or grain has been spared from the quest to find a cow-less concoction. But one option does seem to be gaining more traction than most – the humble oat. A high-yield grain, oats are nutritious, cheap to produce and buy, and even grown locally in the South Island. Oat milk is creamy and can be easily homemade by soaking and blending oats with water.

Bio-packaging: Single-use plastics have been shown the door, and in their place we’re being shown a surprising panel of alternatives. Think seaweed, vegetable fats and oils, corn starch, straw, sawdust and even recycled food waste. Bioplastics made a splash when London Marathon runners were sated with golf ball-size pouches made from seaweed and filled with sports drink.


 

Thrive through winter


Your little garden projects don’t take a break just because it’s coming into winter… and neither should you. We’ve pulled together all of the tips and tricks to making sure your Garden of Eden stays alive and thriving.

 

 

  1. Don’t forget your roots: While we’re certain Six60 wasn’t being literal… in this case, we are. Winter is the perfect time to replenish your soil and make sure that it has all of the nutrients it needs to fight off that winter weather. Just as we need lots of vitamin C in winter, your garden needs good fertiliser.
  2. Catalogue your crops: You wouldn’t go out in the snow in your swimmers; the same goes for your choice of vegetables in your garden. Make sure you plant the appropriate crops to the season – broccoli, garlic, kale, onions, silverbeet and spinach are just a few.
  3. Too much at stake: Understandably you can’t be in your garden 24/7 to hold down the fort. Ensure your plants are protected from the cold winter winds by staking them – it’ll provide them with the extra support they need to make it through the chilly months.
  4. Ring-a-ring-a-roses: The colder months are the best time to plant your new roses. It’s also a perfect opportunity to prune any existing ones you have growing. This will help them with growth and help them avoid any pesky diseases.

If you want more help and advice, head into Terra Viva Home & Garden. They have all the tips, tricks and tools to meet your gardening needs, while also offering a full landscape design service that is very popular with customers.


 

Botanical beauty


Last year green came in pistachio and lime green hues. This year, it’s all about a cool and refreshing aqua shade – Biscay Green. Wear it with any shade of pink for the prettiest springtime look. But if you’re wanting to liven up the application process of the vibrant hue, we’ve got the tips for you.

 

 

BIT OF A BLUR: If you’re going for a ‘too cool to care’ approach, then this technique might be the one for you. Apply the shade with a damp brush along the lash line and then blend it out until the shadow is dry and diffused around your eyelid.

POP OF COLOUR: We’re not saying the green is the only shade you’re allowed to use. Sometimes less is more and with a colour like green, that’s usually the case. You want to channel the Wicked Witch of the West… not become her. A pop of green on your lower lashline could be all you need to tie together a look.

LITTLE BIT OF LINER: You don’t need an extravagant smokey eye to pack a punch at a function. It can be as simple as a singular line, in the colour (you guessed it) biscay green. Clean-cut and chic, the only requirement is to not have shaky hands.


 

Clean Cuisine


You’ve been told your whole life about the importance of clean eating right? Well what if you’ve been taking the concept of clean eating wrong this whole time? Dirty Dozen Clean Fifteen is a clever little ditty that tells us that some of our veges are clean and some of them are not so much. We break it down for you.

 

We all know the importance of eating fruits and vegetables, but we often disregard how the produce was grown.

Take pesticides, for example. There’s a huge body of evidence that links these nasty chemicals to a variety of health concerns.

The Dirty Dozen refers to 12 most ‘dirty’ crops, or those which farmers use the most pesticides on.

Alternatively, the Clean Fifteen refers to 15 crops that use the least amount of pesticides.

It’s not just a random guess, nor is it static data; the list is compiled from an analysis of the United States government’s Pesticide Data Program report, a pesticide residue monitoring system enacted back in 1991.

A new report is released every year and, although most of the information stays the same, sometimes crops come in at different numbers depending on varying pesticide residue levels.

Importantly, these handy little lists determine which fruits and veggies you should be buying organic, where possible, making your next grocery shop that little bit healthier.

The Dirty Dozen defines the top twelve crops that farmers use the most pesticides on, and therefore have the most pesticide residue when the reach the shelves of the supermarket – despite being washed beforehand. The EWG recommends buying organic:

1. Strawberries
2. Spinach
3. Kale
4. Nectarines
5. Apples
6.Grapes
7. Peaches
8. Cherries
9. Pears
10. Tomatoes
11. Celery
12. Potatoes

While it’s also wise to buy the Clean 15 when it’s organically grown, these fruits and vegetables are recorded as having little to no pesticide residue in a conventional setting:

1. Avocados
2. Sweet corn
3. Pineapples
4. Frozen sweet peas
5. Onions
6. Papayas
7. Eggplants
8. Asparagus
9. Kiwifruit
10. Cabbages
11. Cauliflower
12. Cantaloupes
13. Broccoli
14. Mushrooms
15. Honeydew melons