Composting working Bee and workshop

You are invited to join us for a fun and informative afternoon at our community orchard - Olssons Orchard.  

On Saturday March 24th 1-3pm you will find us creating compost for the trees in the orchard, while also providing a dedicated teaching space where experienced tutors will be able to answer questions about all forms of composting - including Bokashi, worm farms, liquid manure, green mulch and general soil health.  

We would love you to bring a hat, a drink, your questions and some time to help us weed and build a new compost heap.

This is a free event and all are welcome, for any amount of time.   Koha appreciated.

Any questions, please email me -

Wild Food Walk

We are lucky to have Steve and Jenny from "Human - Bushcrafting and Wild Living" coming to Ashhurst Domain to share with us their peaceful, down to earth approach to foraging in the wild.   This is just one of many things they offer, so participants will be in for a treat.    The following is from  their website and shows that they are committed to help build resilience and connection.

Here at HUMAN we give you the skills to connect more deeply with your surroundings and to begin seeing with Native Eyes all that is on offer in our abundant environment. From wild food foraging to bird language, tracking, bushcraft and survival skills to native parenting techniques, wandering and nature connection for kids, we have such potential, join us to find out how much we all can remember. 
HUMAN is based up the Otaki Gorge on a wonderful piece of land overlooking and wandering down to the Otaki River. It offers an ideal edge between the busy- ness world and the “wild” places. 

So come and join us for a Wild Food Walk (and more) in Ashhurst on Saturday March 10th at 2pm.  (This gives you time to visit the Ashhurst Community Market in the morning.)

Registrations are available here.    There is a cost of $10 per person, if this prohibits you from attending please contact me to discuss options.


Summer Pruning Workshop

Happy New Year!

We would love you to come and visit our community orchard and learn about how to prune fruit trees - in the summer.                          (We saved some trees especially during our winter prune!)

This is a free workshop, open to all and also requires registration.  

The pruning will take place at Olssons Orchard, McCrae's Bush at 10am Saturday 17th February 2018.

You will need to bring a drink, sunhat and wear appropriate clothing. As this is a hands-on workshop, please bring your clippers or secatuers so you can have a go!

Hope to see you soon. 

Please follow the link by registering here

Queries to

Spring 2017 - so much growing in the garden

The community garden has been a work in progress for a few years now.   Volunteers have been working away, students on the permaculture course enjoy field trips there and other workshops have helped to create the cob seating.  Regular working bees have seen fruit trees planted, bulbs, a rotation of vegetables and plentiful flowers and herbs.  These are for the community to enjoy ....and they do!  Visitor numbers are growing and the librarians receive many compliments and questions about the gorgeous garden outside the library windows.



Permaculture Introduction courses - 2018

Permaculture in 2018!

Want to kick the year off full of inspiration? We have spaces in our two, full day modules introducing Permaculture Design - Feb 24th and March 3rd. 

These together are the start of our full (12 module) Permaculture Design course and you will receive a certificate for attending both (plus you could continue with the other modules when there is space).

They are heavily subsidised, costing only $40 each and always a fun day with like minded students.
To register please email me -

Double Permaculture Garden Tour -Sunday 15th October

Sorry, this event is now full.  Thanks to everyone who has registered.

If you would like to go on our waiting list, please email me -


Registrations are now open for this exciting day out visiting two amazing Permaculture gardens. RECAP and Envirofest are pleased to offer this opportunity to visit two inspiring gardens and learn from some knowlegeable Permaculture teachers/gardeners.

 Many thanks to PNCET for their support.

We will be visiting Kath Irvine's Edible backyard near Levin in the morning.  Kath is an experienced Permaculture teacher who will give us a tour of her very well functioning garden.  After lunch at her place, we will travel on to Gary and Emily Williams' home and garden, in Manakau, where you will get to see their food forest, bio filtered swimming pool and eco farm stay as well as their extensive orchards and gardens.

More information about each garden can be found here -         Williams'           Kath Irvine

Please register here.   

We hope you can make it!

Any questions?  Then please get in touch -



Spring in the community garden

Spring has arrived and how wonderful to see the flowers blossoming.  We have many visitors to the garden and love to see locals taking ownership of the gorgeous space that has been created there. There are volunteer gardeners down there on Fridays 10am-12 if you want to have a tour, help out, or chat about what we are up to.  

The vege beds are getting planted up, there are new fruit trees, lots of name signs and some new information signs coming soon!  The garden is a teaching garden and used as such for workshops.  You are welcome to pick flowers or eat herbs or veges that are ready to harvest.

The cob seating needs a bit more work and is going to get a final coat of paint to finish it now the weather is warming up.  

A big thanks to Ian, Rik and Veronica who spend hours gardening each week to keep it all looking so fabulous.


Workshops RECAP offers

Each year we aim to offer a range of workshops, courses, talks and films that are grounded in the Permaculture ethics of - 

  Earth Care     ***   People Care    ***  Fair Share

This year, 2017, we have run workshops on fermenting vegetables, pruning, composting, keeping chickens, designing food gardens, a film about new ways of running a business, talks on the river and its ecology, natural building and retro fitting, food as medicine, and a garden tour.    These are open to all, free or well subsidised and run alongside our Permaculture Design Course.

The Permaculture Design Course runs over 2 years, just 6 Saturdays a year and has always been a wonderful time for the group of people who are taking it.

RECAP is committed to providing education around sustainability and local (Ashhurst and Pohangina) projects - we have the community garden at the Ashhurst Library and the Community Orchard (the Olsson Orchard) in McCraes Bush.

Please email us if you would like to receive our monthly mail out, or like us on Facebook to keep up to date with what we are offering.

Meanwhile please enjoy the garden and orchard which are for all to use.

Jane -

Zero waste workshop with "The Rubbish Trip" folk


Join Hannah and Liam, the two No-waste Nomads behind The Rubbish Trip, for an interactive evening workshop about how to get through the silly season with less waste.

Christmas, New Year and the holiday period can be a stressful time for us and for the planet as we try to get on top of gifts, family dinners and trips away. But it doesn't need to be this way!

Having a less wasteful holiday season is not only more environmentally friendly, it can also take the pressure off by making things simpler, more enjoyable and more affordable. If this sounds appealing, then come along to this workshop to get a bit of a taste for what zero waste living involves (based on Hannah and Liam's own experience of living without a bin since the beginning of 2015), and how you can get creative to reduce your waste this silly season with: - alternative gift ideas - Christmas dinner planning - tips for camping, getting out on the road, or visiting the bach, with less waste. This event is free and everyone is welcome. Zero waste and locally-sourced tea, coffee and Christmas kai will be available, for inspiration, sharing and general cheer.

Where:  Ashhurst Community Library, cnr Cambridge Ave and Bamfield St, Ashhurst

When:  Thursday December7th @ 7pm

Who: All are welcome, this a free event hosted by The Rubbish Trip, RECAP and supported by Ashhurst Library

How much:  This a free event

Please check out "The Rubbish Trip" on facebook   here

Questions?  Just email me  -

Hope you can make it.

Designing food gardens - A permaculture design module

Sorry, but this workshop is now full. We were overwhelmed with the quick and enthusiastic response.  

Please stay in touch via Facebook and on here for future events.

We are offering one of the most popular of modules of the permaculture design course as a one day workshop, open to everyone.

You can register HERE

 Those who would like a taste of permaculture are invited to register, on a one-off basis for this module, one of  twelve modules in the permaculture design course: designing food gardens. This day-long workshop takes a holistic approach to food garden design, offering participants a well-integrated overview of the topic and a general framework for considering their own garden plans. Workshop topics include:

  • permaculture ethics, principles, zones, and design processes*;

  • working with water, micro-climates, sunlight, and soils in the garden*;

  • designs for gardens, pathways, and garden beds;

  • perennial and annual crops;

  • seed-saving and propagation;

  • planting plans, rotation plans, cover crops, inter-cropping, and companion planting;

  • weeds, pests, and diseases;

  • harvesting; and

  • gardening in community.

* Please note: These topics are addressed more fully in other modules of the full twelve-day permaculture course; in this workshop, they will be discussed in abbreviated form, focusing only on their applications to food gardening.

 The day will include a shared, bring-a-plate lunch; a practical, get-your-hands-dirty activity; and a mix of classroom activities and mini-lectures. More information will be provided upon registration.

Saturday August 26


Village Valley Centre, Guildford St, Ashhurst.

$40pp, advance payment and registration essential as places are limited.

Please register HERE