I love sharing the herbs and vegetables that grow on the zigzag.
And a week ago, I met some tourists from Vietnam and Taiwan out there. They were very interested in local herbs. So I gave them a taster of parsley and thyme and borage and then a bundle to take away.
A bit later, I picked some greens for a family with a sick child (my zigzag vegetable growing started to supply organic food to a mate with cancer).
A few days after that, I noticed that the Wellington City Council (WCC) contractors had sprayed: plants were browning and shrivelling, on and off the path.
The spray was glyphosate. It disorients bees. It harms humans (see some research references at the end of this post).
The WCC apologised and affirmed that there will be no more spraying: the contractors misinterpreted the boundaries of the NO SPRAY register.
I’ve asked for confirmation that the zigzag and St Gerard’s Reserve are on the NO SPRAY register. And suggested that the WCC consider new technologies like Hotgrass for use in killing weeds.
But in the meantime, to all of you who pick herbs and cape gooseberries as you pass. It might be better not to, for a while. I don’t know how long the glyphosate lingers, even where it doesn’t kill the growing plants.
And PS: There’s a leak at the corner where the zigzag meets the path to no 12. We’ve established that it’s not from our water pipes and rung the WCC, which says it’s ‘groundwater’, even though the hillside is very dry at the moment; and the flow seems to be increasing.
A slightly random selection from a bibliography I worked on a couple of years ago, plus a couple of recent NZ articles–