Category Archives: Sustainability

New Years Greetings

I am having a new year tidy up before life gets busy again. I am not going to say I have a new years resolution to post more as that is most often the best way to ensure it doesn’t happen! So I am going to apply some occupational therapy wisdom (not sure occupational therapy can own it, but we do use it a lot with clients) ‘”start with small steps and you will be surprised at the opportunities and possibilities that unfold”.

Todays small step is to tell you that we are about to do some work upgrading the website  Please go and look at it and give us your thoughts on what is useful and what could be developed further, or things that you think should be there that aren’t etc. There is a feedback tab on the site.

Happy New Year, may 2013 through your actions be one to remember positively.


A self sustaining garden

As I have said elsewhere in this blog I like the idea of having a garden that doesn’t rely on you to plant seeds or seedlings and reliably continues to crop. Imagine if almost all you needed to do was pull the odd weed, and just a little tending! So far on my list of plants I would have in such a garden are:

rhubarb, multiplying leeks and onions, tree or walking onions, strawberries, potatoes

and last week I learnt about miners lettuce, a perennial rocket bush.

I guess you could add berry bushes such as raspberries as once given some canes these will continue to crop although it’s advantageous to prune.

Imagine if we could get to a point where we could give people a starter pack of such vegetables and with it they could maintain their family in vegetables without having spend money or be overly attentive to the garden – just harvest when needed. Given a lot of people in NZ are struggling with paying their bills it would certainly be one way to help.

Rearranging – Sustainability & Permaculture

Thanks to Leigh 🙂 I have done a quick reorganisation. I had thought I was nicely arranging my site with tabs up the top  to contain my journey into sustainability and permaculture. He pointed out that he couldn’t do an RSS feed into those pages. It was nice that someone wanted to do an RSS feed to my site therefore my vanity or desire for fame (yeah right!) has got the better of me and  so I have moved them into the body of the blog.

My thinking is that I will just keep adding comments into the posts rather than either of them taking over and occupational therapy taking a backseat. The task proved a lot less painful than rearranging a filing cabinet! The only problem was the comments from others that have come into the pages – I didn’t want to loose them so have ended up cutting and pasting them in but in the process lost the link lines (not sure what you call them)  that went with them. So to those people sorry !!.


I have set this post up as I am keen to understand more about the concept of sustainability and it’s implications for me and for occupational therapy practice. The Polytechnic where I work has put a focus on sustainability – living sustainably and educating about sustainability. There are changes slowly occurring within the Polytechnic – how we recycle i.e. we now have composting bins in staff rooms (don’t worry they don’t smell!), there are bikes to borrow for the short trips and we are exploring the concept of a Living Garden in the Polytechnic grounds a garden, worked and harvested by the community (particularly the Polytechnic’s staff and students and interested others).

Added to this much to my surprise over the years I have become a gardener. Currently my gardening still feels a bit hit and miss and I am such that there are easier and better ways of doing things than I do at the moment. One of my New Year resolutions (or thoughts over the holidays, when you have time to think) was to do a course of some description related to my gardening. And so last week I began a short course in Permaculture Design which I hope will serve two purposes firstly to improve my garden and to build my understanding of sustainability, as it and permaculture are implicitly linked.

I also hope to explore further the link with occupational therapy practice. I believe that the ethics and principles of both have much in common and that much of occupational therapy practice is already focused on building capacity and sustainable futures and therefore that we have much to contribute especially in the area of social sustainability.

So hopefully this page will follow my journey.

Occupational therapy and Sustainability

Ida Valley

How do we as occupational therapists contribute to global sustainability?