Breaking Open. 1st June 2019. A workshop from the Mandala Initiative

Join Sharon Stevens and Kate Tappenden”for ‘Breaking Open’ another self-reflective workshop as part of the Mandala Initiative ( The Mandala Initiative aims to support personal healing and creative responses to the environmental challenges of our time.

Breaking, broken, broke, break-down, break-out, break-through, breaking open.
Take a break. Join Sharon and Kate to reflect on the heartbreak of loving the earth and her people at a time of rapid change and associated loss.
This workshop's activities will involve metaphor and wordplay, body-based emotional and cognitive processing through dancing, and ways of representing hope through drawing.
Because dawn breaks, too.

When: 1 June, from 9:30-3:30
Where: Methodist Church Hall, 57 Bamfield St., Ashhurst Cost: $25 per person.

Click here to register

About the facilitators:
Since 1997, Sharon Stevens (PhD, Rhetoric, Writing, and the Teaching of English) has led workshops in writing, permaculture design, and sustainable living, receiving multiple teaching awards. She is author of 'A Place for Dialogue' (U of Iowa Press, 2007) and more recent publications in 'Dark Mountain 14', 'Organic NZ', 'Permaculture Magazine', and 'Ecological Entanglements in the Anthropocene'. She loves her family and her homeplace, along with writing, learning, and pottering in her herb garden.
Kate Tappenden is a registered psychologist who works with people who have experienced physical and sexual abuse. She also works with people in chronic pain. Kate's training encompasses a doctorate in psychology and philosophy with a research interest in embodied cognition, the dynamic interplay of the mind, body and our environment. Kate has a private practice in the heart of Palmerston North and puts her heart and soul into her work with women and children. At home Kate is a keen gardener and a devoted mum.


A simple, all encompassing title for what will be a workshop jam packed full of information and experiences. Facilitated by the incomparable Sarah Frater from local Ashhurst business Edible Garden we will talk about apples for the home garden, pest control, organics, companion planting and storage. Most importantly there will be the opportunity to taste less common varieties of apples from around New Zealand, and appreciate the wide variety of flavours there are. There will be the opportunity to buy apples, and trees and products from Edible Garden.
Where: Ashhurst Village Valley Centre
When: Wednesday 10th April from 7:30-9:30pm.
Cost: Gold coin donation.
Registration: Registration is very much appreciated but not altogether necessary; simply so we know how many people are coming; this was a standing room only event last time! To register please click here

Double Working Bee at Olsson Community Orchard Saturday 23rd March

Stream Cleaning from 9:30am-11:30am
Sausage Sizzle for Working Bee volunteers post stream clean.
Composting from 1pm -3pm.
All at Mccraes Bush and Olsson Community Orchard, Ashhurst.
In partnership with Horizons Regional Council we will be cleaning the stream at  McCraes bush from weeds and debris. 
This will be followed by RECAP’S annual composting working bee at Olsson Community Orchard. This will be a practical hands on opportunity to compost our fruit trees, make new compost piles and learn a little more about effective composting. 
All events are potentially dirty work so old clothes, gum boots, a hat and water bottle are advised. You are welcome to come for either or both events.
Registration is not necessary, if you do want to come please pop us an email and please just turn up on the day. If there are any questions please get in touch on or contact Helen on 0279184855.

Wild Food Walks; CANCELLED

Due to a lack of Wild weeds at the Ashhurst Domain as a result of the dry weather we have had to cancel this workshop.

Our apologies for any inconvenience and we will look to reschedule in spring time.

Please email with any questions.


The Ashhurst Sharing Shelf

IMPORTANT as of beginning of Stage 4 restrictions

RECAP has been liaising with Palmerston North City Council to try and ascertain if the Ashhurst Sharing Shelf is safe to use, as with many people touching things there is a possibility of surface contamination. The answer is that it is highly recommended that it needs to close, so with immediate effect it will be shut down until further notice.

Please DO NOT donate or take produce from the shelf. Posters will be put up from this evening advising people not to.


Ashhurst community Library is home to the Ashhurst Sharing shelf for gardeners to share any excess fruit or produce.  This sharing shelf is attached to the garage in the Library garden, just behind the picket fence and sheltered from the weather. this is to the left of the garden gates once you enter.

As part of its ongoing commitment to building resilience and engaging the community, RECAP members have created this facility and will oversee its use.  Please make use of the shelved with these requests in mind:

Share your excess
Reduce waste
Only take what you can use
Clean up rotting produce
Keep it tidy

Any excessive amounts of produce will be shared with the Ashhurst Foodbank.  Waste produce will be fed to the worm farm.  The site will also be available to drop off and share named seedlings for other gardeners.  Local Ashhurst Facebook pages will be used to advertise excess produce.


Summer Pruning Workshop- Free Workshop.

Saturday 23rd February Starting at 10am at Olsson Community Orchard in Ashhurst.

Facilitated by Ashhurst local Phil Stevens from Slow Farm this workshop will focus on the how, why and what of summer pruning and give you the opportunity to get familiar with your loppers, get stuck in and have a go! 

We will talk about shaping, keeping size under control and encouraging fruit production. Please bring loppers, and saw of cutters if you have them, and a pen and paper. A full water bottle and gumboots are recommended.

This is a free event but registration is still required. To register click here


RECAP has a New Resilience Coordinator

January has seen a change in personnel for RECAP with Jane Evans moving on from the Resilience Coordinator role. Jane has given incredible energy and passion to the role over the last two years, coordinating a popular and varied set of workshops and being a superb public face for the organisation. Our heartfelt thanks goes out to her for her incredible work and we wish her the best of luck in her future role.

Jane has been replaced by Ashhurst local Helen King. Helen is a previous coordinator of The Ashhurst Community Market and spent four years as Chairperson of The Society for the Local Economy of Ashhurst and Pohangina (LEAP). Helen has spent time on the RECAP board and is a 2016/17 Permaculture Design Course Graduate. Helen has lived in the Village for 12 years with her family and many animals  and is excited about the new role and the prospect of working in the community in which she lives and loves. Helen can be contacted on

Intro Permaculture Course

2019 is here, and RECAP is kicking the year off with an Intro to permaculture mini-course. Spread over 2 full days you will be introduced to permaculture ethics and principals & landscape and site assessment. Permaculture is a creative design process for gardening, farming, landscaping and social aspects of our lives, which takes into account all aspects of a site, and uses design principles and ethics to guide our decisions. This is great opportunity to familiarise yourself with these ideas and concepts. From this there is the option to complete a PiNZ accredited PDC course.

The total cost for the two days is $80

For more information click here

and to register email

Predator Free survey

Ashhurst Pohangina Predator Free Survey


There is a growing awareness and concern about the predator pests in our neighbourhoods, and their associated damage to native bush, lizards and our birdlife.


Please consider completing a short survey for landowners and volunteers in Ashhurst and the Pohangina Valley to provide data to help us determine the feasibility and scope of predator control in our region.  The Society for the Resilience and Engagement of the Community of Ashhurst and Pohangina (RECAP) is providing the support for this fledgling group in an effort to engage the community in protecting our environment.

The survey can be found linked from  - here

Harvey Jones

New guy in the garden

If you have been into the community garden lately you may have met our new garden guardian, or perhaps mascot?   He has been lovingly crafted by our wonderful volunteer gardeners Ian and Rik who work down there on Fridays.   Using driftwood and some Kiwi ingenuity they have created a wonderful photo opportunity, while we are pleased to have some art work like this to enjoy.

You will also spot a little owl hanging out in the garden too.   Both these new arrivals are as yet unnamed, so feel free to help us name them!

The latest project has been to have some sort of cover for our cob seating. After much discussion we have now got two espaliered pear trees growing into an arch over the seat, with a trellis behind that currently has peas growing up it - snap peas which be a great treat very soon hopefully.

The other fruit trees are covered in fruit, garden beds full and flowers bursting with spring colour.   

A huge thank you to our garden volunteers, who provide so much time and give many, many people so much to enjoy in Ashhurst.