Back to Basics: Let's get ready for the summer harvest

It may still be cold and miserable outside, but our columnist Lydia Harvey is already thinking of spring.

For so many, summer may still seem quite some time away, but for the gardeners among us the sniff of spring is so close and with that the preparation for a bountiful summer garden begins.

Source: 1 NEWS

This is how we're preparing to get ready for our summer harvest.

A plentiful garden is all in the prep work
This is the time of year to be digging over and nurturing parts of the garden that have been left dormant by getting some air and water moving through the soil, which may have, until now, been sitting frozen over in ice. We mix through chicken coop waste, pea straw and with gardens that have stayed productive we simply dilute and soak in worm wee fertiliser and add another layer of pea straw.

Plan your garden layout
There are so many things to grow and if you have limited garden space you may benefit from having a garden plan. Write down what you eat the most of and the spaces you have to utilise. Look into companion planting to boost your crops.

Cheat your seeds
This is not so much for the amateur gardener, but it is possible (and we do it yearly) to trick your seeds into early indoor growth. Plants such as chillies, capsicums and tomatoes can do well started off indoors in a warm sunny space (laundry or windowsills or by the fire). This means that come September/October when the risk of frost has passed you will have healthy large plants and you can be harvesting their fruits as early as November.

Continue to plant for now
Beetroot, silverbeet, spinach and lettuce are just a few of the vegetables that continue to thrive through these cooler months. If planting by seed, these are best started in a warm indoor space and once they are looking large enough and healthy enough transfer them to the main garden.

Roast broccoli salad.
Roast broccoli salad. Source: 1 NEWS

From Lydia's Garden: Roast broccoli salad

In a large oven tray evenly distribute broccoli florets, lightly coat in sunflower oil and ground pink salt.
Bake at 120 for approximately 15 minutes or until broccoli is slightly roasted.
Once cooled mix through sliced avocado, baby spinach leaves and a mix of sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
The broccoli carries through enough flavour for this dish but otherwise top with a light coating of balsamic dressing or extra lemon juice.

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Clarke Gayford reveals Melania Trump invited him to New York get together, speaks about Obama's 'lovely, soft nose'

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's partner has told an audience about former US President Barack Obama's "lovely, soft nose" and an invitation he's received from Melania Trump.

Ms Ardern is this week leaving for New York to speak at the United Nations General Assembly, with her schedule including high-profile appearances on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the Today Show and a lengthy interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour.

The trip will also be the first overseas outing for daughter Neve, who was born in June.

Partner Clarke Gayford - who has taken on a full-time fathering role - will also attend.

Speaking at an event on Thursday night, Mr Gayford, a television and radio presenter, reportedly told an Auckland audience he had received an invite to a reception for leaders' partners from President Donald Trump's wife, describing it as "tea and scones with Melania".

"It's pretty funny. I sent it to a few friends and said, 'You will not believe this invite I just got'," the 40-year-old said, pulling out his phone to read the message, according to

During a question-and-answer session, Mr Gayford also recounted meeting Mr Obama, including a hongi - a traditional Maori greeting which involves the touching of noses.

"I was one of the first ones up and I was pretty nervous - and he'd only done one before either. Lovely, soft nose," Mr Gayford said.

He was also reported to have described as former Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull as "actually, really quite personable".

While Ms Ardern is expected to receive an enthusiastic welcome in the US, her trip ends a rough month in domestic politics for her Labour Party, following the firing of one government minister this week and the resignation of another just weeks ago, both amid scandals.

Jacinda Ardern, Clarke Gayford and baby Neve. Source: 1 NEWS


Police chastise Canterbury students who didn't intervene in bullying incident

Police today chastised students who opted not to intervene or call for help this week as a bullying incident was filmed at a Canterbury school.

Two students at Darfield High School are expected to appear before the school board today after school officials reviewed the video, which emerged yesterday on social media. In it, a boy lay on the ground as two others kicked and pummelled him.

"Police are particularly concerned that other students who saw what was happening, didn't intervene or get help from a teacher," Senior Sergeant Kelly Larsen said in a statement released to 1 NEWS. "Instead, they watched and took videos."

Darfield principal James Morris has described the incident as assault.

Police said they were alerted about the incident Tuesday afternoon, shortly after it happened.

"Bullying behaviour is not OK and has serious consequences," police said. "Rather than being a bystander, Police encourage anyone who witnesses an assault, or knows about other bullying behaviour to become someone who stands up against bullying, and does something about it.

"Bullying is wrong. We all have a responsibility to do something to stop it."

An outcome of the school board hearing is expected on Monday.

Darfield High School’s principal says police were notified shortly after the incident happened. Source: Supplied

Police commend Good Samaritan as two kidnap attempts thwarted in Christchurch this morning

A man tried to abduct two women in back-to-back incidents in Christchurch this morning but failed after they fought back, with help from at least one bystander, according to police.

Authorities said they are speaking to a man over the incidents but are appealing to the public for more witnesses to come forward.

According to police, the first botched kidnapping occurred at 5.30am when he approached a woman at her car in the Jellie Park Recreation and Sports Centre on Ilam Road.

He then fled on a bicycle, pedalling through Jellie Park before approaching a jogger at the entrance of Ray Blank Park on Maidstone Road, police said.

The attacker fled again on bicycle after the woman fought him off, aided by a motorist who stopped to help her, according to police.

But this time he was followed by a motorist, who alerted police to a home on a nearby cul-de-sac that he was seen entering.

"We would really like to thank the member of the public who stopped to help the second victim," Detective Senior Sergeant Mark Worner said in a statement. "As the alleged offender is talking to Police we are confident the public has no reason to be concerned."

Anyone who saw either incident this morning and hasn't yet talked to police is asked to call 03 363 7400 to make a statement.

Police emergency scene
Police emergency scene Source: 1 NEWS