Summer Pruning Workshop 2023

This workshop is a practical, hands-on guide to summer fruit tree pruning for optimum next season fruiting and tree care. Join us for this unique opportunity to get stuck in with the loppers and secateurs with guidance and support to build your confidence. Facilitated by Phil Stevens, (of RECAP’s Permaculture Design Workshops and Slow Farm) and Harvey Jones (RECAP chairperson).

Saturday February 18th 2023

Olsson Community Orchard (Within McCrae's Bush) Ashhurst

Registrations are essential and can be made HERE

This is a free workshop, but koha is appreciated.

Beginner Gardening Workshop

If you want to grow your own but don’t know how to start this one’s for you.

We’ll be covering: general site analysis, the benefits of a no-dig garden bed/raised bed, soil health/building soil, seasonal planting/companion planting, best practice on berm gardening (now allowed without permission from the PNCC) with a focus on edibles.

This is $5 and you can register HERE

RECAP Permaculture Garden Tour 2022

After the success of the 2020 Permaculture Garden Tour, we have another day of inspiration, education and discovery booked in for 2022 on Saturday October 29th 10am-4pm. The cost is $25 per person, with free entry for those under 12. This is a fundraiser for RECAP so we can continue our projects and services and run educational workshops and seminars.

Registrations are essential, and can be made HERE.  All registrations go in the draw to win a $50 Edible Garden voucher!

This is an open day for people to learn more about some of our long term RECAP projects (The Ashhurst Community Garden, Olsson Orchard and McCrae’s Bush) and visit a range of private permaculture based properties based on the core principles of Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share. You’ll see young gardens at the beginning of their creation, to well established areas of various sizes with experienced caretakers. Enjoy a self guided tour around locations in Ashhurst and the Pohangina valley, while gaining knowledge and insight into permaculture principles. 

Some examples of what you can expect from the tour (with many more to be announced) include: 

- Slow Farm: built and maintained by knowledgeable permaculture practitioners, this is  an expansive, well established series of gardens with a variety of animals and many examples of permaculture methods and applications. This impressive property aims to provide sustenance for family and the community, while also increasing the land's ability to hold vital carbon, water, and a greater diversity of living things. 

- An abundant 30 year old ⅕ acre section with a combination of 15 fruit and nut trees, a vegetable garden, flowers, native areas, composting, harvested rainwater and targeted irrigation systems.

- The Olsson Community Orchard: conceived in 2012, the orchard is named in honour of Noel Olsson (1941-2012) the Chair of Ashhurst Action Group, the "parent" organisation for RECAP. 40 varieties of fruit and nut trees now reside in the orchard, as well as examples of guilds, composting, pruning and good orchard practice. Not only does this orchard provide food for its community, it also functions as a teaching space with two pruning workshops held here each year.


During the tour we have scheduled some short, practical workshops for participants to take away some extra learning covering hypertufa construction, biochar demonstration, effective composting and more TBC. These will be throughout the day ensuring those who wish to attend them all will have time to do so. There will be a variety of plants and local goods available to purchase at a small market, and we encourage you to visit our local businesses for sustenance as it will be a full and busy day!

Some feedback from the 2020 Permaculture Garden Tour:

‘It was great to see so many different ideas, garden owners were all lovely to talk to and sharing their philosophies. Good to see a range of gardens from almost beginner/basic to well established.’

‘I thought it was a really fabulous day and well organised. We loved that we could walk to the majority of the ones in the village and I love looking at what other people are doing in their gardens, how they have set things up, what plants they are growing. Was a very enjoyable day.’

‘It was great to come across from Palmerston North for the day. I rarely spend much time in Ashhurst and it was lovely to get to know the area better and see the beautiful, well established gardens around the area. They were all beautiful and unique and I loved seeing every one.’

Please keep an eye on our website and social media for updates as they are confirmed, or contact to request to be added to our mailing list.


Permaculture principles:

Observe and interact

Catch and store energy

Obtain a yield

Apply self-regulation & accept feedback

Use & value renewable resources & services

Produce no waste

Design from patterns to details

Integrate rather than segregate

Use small and slow solutions

Use and value diversity

Use edges & value the marginal

Creatively use and respond to change


Social solutions for more sustainable living.

This workshop will introduce participants to a permaculture approach to connected community:

  • from small place-making interventions within existing neighbourhoods to design considerations for
    intentional eco-communities
  • savings pools, tool-sharing and other relationship-based responses to financial challenges
  • social technologies for facilitating group process and making shared decisions

Registrations are essential and can be made HERE

Scything Workshop

Join tutor Phil Stevens and learn the ancient art of scything, used to make hay, maintain pastures and orchards, and even trim lawns with no motorised machines. We'll be at the Olsson Orchard cutting between the fruit and nut trees. Bring your own scythe and learn about sharpening, setup and maintenance, or try one of the ones on hand. Jo and Bryan from the Garden Tool Store will be along with scythes and accessories.

Cost $25. Registrations can be made HERE


RECAP Crop Swap

Our Crop Swap dates for 2022. Bi-monthly now, on the last Saturday of each second month: 11am-1pm at the Ashhurst Community Library.

July 30th, September 30th & November 26th.

Bring any excess produce, seeds, seedlings or gardening supplies to share. You do not need to give in order to take and vice versa, and everything is free.

Phil Stevens will be along for each one to kōrero about a number of topics such as energy conservation, warm/dry tips, passive solar, solar electric, how to cut your household emissions with simple and achievable tweaks, gardening topics, water harvesting, fruit trees and other perennial edibles, designing sections for resilience, soil health and more.

No registration is required for these events.



Foraging Workshop w/ Sharon Stevens

Join us for a gentle walk around the Ashhurst Domain as we identify plants and their uses while discussing foraging as a way to connect with nature, have fun and get a little extra nutrition. We will address safe foraging, foraging ethics, and other guidelines with the goal of participants being able to confidently identify up to 10 plants for safe foraging.

10am-12pm at the Ashhurst Domain

Free, but koha appreciated

Please register HERE

Keep Ashhurst Beautiful

We have another public clean up as part of the Ashhurst Library’s October School Holiday Programme on Thursday October 6th. 

We will be meeting at the Ashhurst library at 10am for a quick chat with Nelson Harper from the Palmy Plastic Pollution Challenge and Source to Sea; collecting gloves, picky-uppy-sticks and bags and and we will be focusing on the main village area of Ashhurst around the shops, school, library and Village Valley Centre. Children under 10 will need to be accompanied by a caregiver.

After our clean up, lunch is on us back at the library at around noon. 

Registrations are helpful (so we know how much pizza to order!) so if you and your tamariki would like to join us, you can register HERE

A process approach to small garden design.

This workshop is designed to help new gardeners experience success with small steps, while also offering ideas to experienced gardeners who wish to increase the diversity and productivity of a small garden. The workshop take participants step-by-step through a garden design, including, for example:

  • a brief overview of landscape and site assessment
  • setting realistic aims and purposes to account for diverse circumstances
  • selecting the right plants for the right space and the right time of year, together with lots of examples
  • working with permaculture design principles

Registrations are essential and can be made HERE

Composting Workshop

RECAP’s annual educational composting opportunity.

A theoretical and practical session around how to build great compost by creating compost for the community orchard.

This workshop is FREE, but koha is appreciated.

Please register HERE