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

The RECAP crop swap & drop in session w/Phil Steven's of Slow Farm

We run the RECAP Crop Swap bi-monthly in the Ashhurst Community Garden during the warmer months, and inside the Ashhurst Community Library when it's colder. 

This is more of a sharing event than a swap, where you do not need to give in order to take (and vice versa) and everything is free.

Bring your excess produce, seeds, seedlings, preserves, baking, anything else gardening related, or just yourself!

For 2022 we have local permaculture guru Phil Stevens of Slow Farm on hand to answer questions and discuss 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.

There’s usually a lot of good gardening kōrero happening at these, so feel free to just come for a chat.

Bringing the community together to connect and share kai, resources and knowledge. 

RECAP privacy statement

In order to provide you with information, we may request the following: your name, contact details & previous interactions with our organization. 

Providing this to us is optional. 

We keep your information safe by storing it securely and only allowing one staff member to access it for communication purposes only.

You have the right to ask for a copy of any personal information we hold about you, and to ask for it to be corrected if you think it is wrong. 

If you would like to request your information: please contact us at

Ashhurst Foodbank

The Ashhurst Foodbank is open every Thursday from 2pm-3pm at Bamfield Street Methodist Church hall.

It's facilitator is Kirsty Kirk.

The contact number is in Village Voice under General notices ( we discourage contact outside of foodbank hours unless an emergency as Just Zilch is the recognised daily Foodbank provider)

Clients can help themselves to what they need from the food/product supplies on shelf . We encourage to only take what you need with limits on some items such as toilet paper, cereal, milk.

We do not require ID, however we will only provide for Ashhurst residents as our supply is limited and supplied by Ashhurst locals. We encourage those outside of Ashhurst to use the well-stocked town Foodbanks instead.

We are open in level 3 and 4 but clients wait outside, we record names and address for contact tracing and we pass out a pre filled bag of food.

To donate: bring along to the foodbank on Thursday between 1:45 and 3:00pm. Or you can message to collect during the week.


The RECAP Seed Library

Did you know that RECAP has a seed library within the Ashhurst Community Library?

It is free to register to use for Ashhurst & Pohangina residents and you are able to access 3 packets per month. 

If you save seeds from your garden and have enough to share we would gratefully accept them to distribute. Please contact or drop them off to our wonderful librarians (with as much information about the seeds as you can provide us) and we can package them up and label them for our community.

As we wish for people to be able to continue to collect seeds from their plants, we only ask that you don't donate hybrid seeds (if you have any bought packets it should tell you on the label).

Fruit Tree Pruning Workshop

All welcome to this workshop, hope to see you there.

Saturday July 8th 12.00

Bring lopper, cutters, a saw if you have them, a drink

and wear weather appropriate clothing.

A koha is appreciated.

There will be experienced tutors to show you the ropes and answer questions.

Wet weather date is the following Saturday.

Pohangina River talk- The Big Picture

Pohangina River at Raumai

You are invited to a free public lecture about the nature of watersheds and rivers and how they behave, using the Pohangina river as an example. Gary Williams will discuss water flows, how climate and landscape effect rivers, the natural character of a river reach, sediment movement, ecology of river environments and climate change.

This will be held on Thursday July 6th 2017 at 7.00pm at St Mary Magdalene Church Hall, Cambridge Ave, Ashhurst. 

All welcome, there will be time for questions and supper will be served afterwards.

Any queries to

You can hear more from Gary Williams on his website -

Welcome to the new executive board for 2017-18!

Thank you to all who attended out AGM.  We are please to announce our new Executive Board Members for the coming year.

Chairperson - Harvey Jones, welcome back, again!

Deputy Chairperson - Aaron Roberts, returning, thank you.

Treasurer - Cindy Phillips, welcome to the board.

Secretary - Anne Van-Brunt, thank you for continuing.

Ian Stark - Board member and garden coordinator.

Veronika Naglmaier - Board member, looking forward to having you on the exec.

We would also like to acknowledge our planning team, notably Sharon Stevens, Helen King, Phil Stevens and Adrian Bill Phillips.

We welcome anyone who would like to contribute at any time during the year by joining our planning team.

Please contact me


Natural Building Lecture - Richard Pedley and Nelson Lebo


We are proud to present a free public lecture on natural building in New Zealand with two speakers offering a wide range of knowledge and expertise.

Richard Pedley is a lecturer in Organic agriculture at UCOL in Palmerston North and founder of Agrifutures  He also runs Garden Elf ( a permaculture based business offering design innovations and education around all aspects of permaculture.

Nelson Lebo is well known as the Eco advisor for PNCC. He appears regularly talking about his passion and great experience in retrofitting existing properties to make them warmer, healthier and more energy efficient.

You are invited to come and hear about natural building techniques, passive solar design, what works best in NZ, how to retrofit your existing home, regulations, materials, innovative solutions and the future of natural building.

Thursday June 15th 7.00pm   St Mary’s Church Hall, Cambridge Ave,Ashhurst. 

All welcome.

Enquiries to Jane -

Backyard Poultry Keeping - Register for 29 April workshops - now with morning option

Learn all you need--and more--to get a comfortable start on keeping chooks or ducks in your own backyard. Even those with some experience can expect to learn something new.

With our afternoon (1:00-4:00 pm) workshop almost sold out, we are now offering a second workshop on the same day, from 9:00-12:00 a.m. on Saturday, 29 April, at the Village Valley Centre in Ashhurst. Fee $10 or 10 LOAVES. 

Registration for the MORNING workshop is now available at this link.

A few spaces for the afternoon workshop still remain (as of 10 April), with registration available at this link.

Participants in the backyard poultry workshop can expect to learn:

  • Behaviours and qualities of different breeds of chickens and ducks;
  • How to maintain animal health, clip wings, etc.;
  • How to design poultry houses and keep a clean environment;
  • How to build and use chicken tractors and mobile duck baths of various designs to enhance home gardening;
  • Palmerston North City Council by-laws applicable to keeping poultry and other productive animals.

The workshop emphasis will be on chickens, and secondarily on ducks. Workshop facilitator Phil Stevens has over forty years experience keeping chooks, cucks, and turkeys, and his family has also kept quail, guinea, and peafowl. Workshop participants will have opportunities to handle chickens.

Comments from previous participants:

  • Lots of info.
  • Very clear speakers.
  • Friendly, informative, practical stuff & live chickens - not just a lecture.
  • Good to see photos.
  • Passionate presenters with lots of information.
  • Thanks for running this!