Growing your own food is easier than you think. Here’s step 1.

We love food Out Of Our Own BackYards.

It’s literally our name and the reason for so many damn O’s!


Even better would be to grow food out of YOUR own backyard.


Maybe not.

But seriously. With looming food shortages in NZ and the cost of food going up everywhere, it would make sense to grow at least some food yourself.

I am here to tell you that it’s easier than you think.

And how…

Easy gardening with permaculture

I have been Bill Mollison’s farm manager – the founder of Permaculture. I live on an off-grid sustainable farm in Taranaki. My family manages day jobs, two young children that aren’t in day care, no grandparents or family in New Zealand to help us and we still manage to grow our own food.

Not all of it.

But some.

You too can keep your job, your lifestyle and start growing more of your own food at home.

If you do it right, you won’t have to weed, dig or spend hours a week watering.

Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?

I know. But I am here to tell you how.

Spring is on its way and over the coming weeks and months, I will be guiding you step by step how to do this at home.

Growing ALL your own food is HARD

Yes, I am aware that if Ooooby customers start growing their own food, they may not need Ooooby anymore.

But with everything that’s going on in the world today, it’s more important that people and communities stay fed, healthy and strong.

It’s easy to grow some of your own food. But it’s really hard to grow all of it.

So I’m not worried.

On the contrary. “Ooyoby” is even better than Ooooby, even though it is unpronounceable. 

If we could support Kiwi families to stay healthy, happy and resilient with healthy local food without so much as packing or delivering a single box of food…

That would be a mission accomplished.

And a lot easier.

Anyways… spring is coming and you need to get started.

Step 1: Cardboard mulch

Use old Ooooby boxes to cardboard mulch your garden

Here is what you can do right now:

  1. Flatten all of your old Ooooby boxes
  2. Choose a sunny warm spot on the north side of your house
  3. Cover that area by laying out the flatten boxes. No gaps and double up if possible.
  4. Weight them down with rocks if you think the wind may take them.

This is called cardboard mulching and it will smother grass and weeds. It will stop weeds and retain soil moisture for you.

You can mulch right over your lawn, if you want to.

It’s the first step to lazy-gardening.

That wasn’t hard, was it?

There are a few more steps you’ll need to take.

It’s not hard and it won’t be long before you will be harvesting food out of your own backyard.

Keep an eye on our blog for the next steps.

6 thoughts on “Growing your own food is easier than you think. Here’s step 1.”

  1. Getting lots of questions to . That’s great.

    Posting a few here for the benefit of all.

    From Franscoise:
    “I need to get rid of huge weeds before i lay cardboard.. Im already confused lol. But will keep reading! Thank you”

    — Great question! I will update the article. You don’t need to pull a single weed. Just smother it with cardboard. Moisture, soil microbes and the lack of sunlight will eat them and compost them into soil you’ll be growing food in! 🙂 You could lay cardboard directly onto a lawn too.

  2. This is wonderful. I already do my own veg garden but your caring about people and nature just needs to be applauded. Thank you, you lovely man. I shall pass your info on to others for inspiration.

    1. There are definitely times my wife would disagree with the “lovely man” comment. Lol.

      … but thanks for your kind words. Hope it helps and don’t hesitate to ask questions or suggest topics for future articles to add to How to Grow Your Own Food in NZ.

  3. ” I’m a firm believer in growing my own food. Unfortunately we are renting and the soil is poisoned by chemicals used in a Woodmill next door. ” – Erna

    Lots of solutions to this. Did you know you can grow your own soil? It won’t take long for that cardboard to turn into soil, and that’s just the first layer. I’ll address this in a future post. Cheers.

  4. Kia ora,
    So awesome – you’re the man, Fraser. And your partner and kids are awesome too ☺️
    Can you please tell me: is it ok to use a tarpaulin if I’m trying to cover 40m2 ish? And maybe don’t have enough boxes for that? Or are the boxes part of the carbon composting plan?
    Thank you and keep up the great work

    1. Cheers Max! Cardboard stops weeds and will decompose into soil soon. So it’s important. A visit to your local recycling centre might be helpful. Or order Ooooby for a few weeks and get more boxes that way! 😉

      Alternatively you could use newspaper (laid down thick), or skip this step and just do straw mulch or grass clippings later in a later step. You can never have too little mulch. If you have too little mulch you will be battling weeds and dry soil.

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