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.

Soap Making Workshop August 4th

You are invited to visit the beautiful Pohangina Valley and create your own soap with Bev at Kereru Natural Products have a look here.

Bev will take you through the process to make two different soaps which you can take home.   Kereru has been operating since 1988 and makes a range of delicious natural products for  body care and a huge range of essential oils.

There are two, 2 hour workshops you can register for. Each costs $15 per person which includes the materials to make your own soaps and the tutoring.

The morning workshop runs from 9.30am - 11.30am and you can register for that here .

The afternoon workshop runs from 1.30pm-3.30pm and you can register for that here .

If you would like to look around Bev's garden there will be time for that too....bring your gumboots!

Numbers are strictly limited so please book in early to avoid missing out!

Volunteer Recognition Event

On Friday 15th of  June RECAP was well represented at the wonderful Volunteer Recognition Awards held in Palmerston North at the Conference and Function Centre. RECAP had nominated Phil Stevens for an award as part of years of volunteering, not just for RECAP but in the wider community and also at national level with his work for Living Economies.   The event was hosted by the Volunteer Resource Centre in Palmerston North and there were a large number of people from all over the region and from many different sectors in society.

Phil Stevens has been on the RECAP executive board for many years and also volunteering as a tutor, working in the orchard, with IT, pruning, planting trees, the community garden and leading the work on our cob seating.
Phil also volunteers outside of RECAP. For years he regularly helped check the stoat traps in the Manawatu Gorge. He's currently Treasurer of LEAP -- the Society for the Local Economy of Ashhurst and Pohangina Inc. He also organises musicians for LEAP's monthly Ashhurst Community Market. In 2010, he joined the board of the national charity Living Economies Educational Trust, becoming Chairperson the following year. This role involves traveling throughout New Zealand to speak, facilitate, and co-organise conferences. This year he has been meeting with staff from the Ministry of Social Development about an initiative to support those who wish to address debt and poverty through mutual reliance in small social networks.

Outside of his formal volunteering, Phil is always willing to support a friend in the hospital, sort out someone's computer, or share his skills with tree pruning, with particular readiness to help those who are socially vulnerable. He's known both for the intelligence he brings to his volunteering, and for the practical and consistent expression of his compassion.

A huge thank you to Phil from all of us and I am sure from many, many others who has been lucky enough to benefit from his volunteering.

Reflecting on the Edge of Sustainability, 17 June 2018

Do you love the earth but get overwhelmed by the amount of bad news about the environment?

Do you have a desire to feel more connected—to yourself, to your community, to the earth?

Do you yearn to be engaged in earth-positive activities while staying grounded in self-care and your daily life?

Join Sharon Stevens and Helen Lehndorf for a day of journaling, discussion and art therapy acitivities focusing on the definition of 'sustainabiliy' and the possibilities for making the next step towards sustainability and wholeness.

Light Kai will be provided

Workshop is limited to 24 participants at $25 for the day, 9.30am - 3pm

Click here to Register

About the faciliators

Helen Lehndorf is a writer and writing teacher. Her book 'The Comforter' made the New Zealand Listener's 'Best 100 Books of 2012 and her poem 'Wabi-sabi' was selected for Best New Zealand Poems in 2011. Her second book, about the practice of journaling, 'Write to the Centre' was published by Haunui Press in 2016. Her essay 'The Sensory Seeker' appeared in Massey University's 2017 anthology 'Home'. She loves permaculture, gardening, wild foraging and helping people access their innate creativity.

Sharon Stevens (PhD, Rhetoric, Writing, and the Teaching of English) has been facilitating a combination of writing, permaculture design courses, and eco-lifestyle workshops since 1997. She has received multiple teaching awards. Her publications include A Place for Dialogue (University of Iowa Press, 2007) and more recent publications in Organic NZ, Permaculture Magazine, Ecosystem Services Journal, and Ecological Entanglements in the Anthropocene. She loves writing, learning with her workshop participants, and pottering in her expansive herb garden. She loves her family, too, and the place where she lives.

This workshop is suitable for attending as a stand-alone (one-off) workshop. It is the first in a four-part series that Helen and Sharon are offering as part of the Mandala Initiative.

Sour Dough Bread Making Workshops

After lots of interest and requests we are excited to be offering two sour dough workshops in May!   

Both will be held on May 19th, in Ashhurst and are 4 hours long.  (We will make sure you get a cuppa and a biscuit break though.)

We are lucky to have Renee returning again, after the success of the fermenting workshop last year.   The workshop will be hands-on and you will get to go home with a starter to make your own at home, some fresh bread and a whole lot of inspiration!

Workshops are limited to 20 participants each, cost $10 per person and you can register  below.

Morning workshop - 8.30am-12.30pm, May 19th here

Afternoon workshop - 1.00pm-5.00pm, May 19th here

Reel Earth film- Living The Change. May 3rd 2018

We are pleased to be presenting "Living The Change" as part of the Reel Earth Film Festival this year.

"Living The Change: Inspiring Stories for a Sustainable Future" explores solutions to the global crises we face today – solutions any one of us can be part of – through the inspiring stories of people pioneering change in their own lives and in their communities in order to live in a sustainable and regenerative way.

Directors Jordan Osmond and Antoinette Wilson have brought together stories from their travels around New Zealand, along with interviews with experts able to explain how we come to be where we are today. From forest gardens to composting toilets, community supported agriculture to timebanking, Living the Change offers ways we can rethink our approach to how we live.

Local Permaculturists are featured in this film and will be speaking and answering questions afterwards!

Thursday May 3rd, 7.00pm. St Mary Magdalene Church Hall, Cambridge Ave, Ashhurst

This film is a free event but please register on EventFinda here

RetroSuburbia - A Permaculture Talk


You are invited to come and hear Nelson Lebo talk about an exciting new book based on Permaculture Principles - RetroSuburbia.   David Holmgren, the author, is one of Permaculture's co-creators and in this book he shows you how to downshift and retrofit your home, garden, community and self so you can be more organised, resilient and sustainable. 

Nelson Lebo is a keen and experienced retro-fitter who is Palmerston North City Council's Eco Advisor.

The talk is on Thursday April 12th at 7.30pm.  

St Mary Magdalene Church Hall, Cambridge Ave, Ashhurst.

All welcome. Supper served, koha appreciated.  

Queries please contact

Seed Swap & Screening of Seed:The untold story 13 Nov, 6.30pm

Bring your seeds, seedlings, cuttings and anything else that you would like to share to our Seed Swap, followed by a screening of the award-winning movie "Seed: the Untold Story". All seed leftovers will be donated to the Feilding Seed bank.

Venue: Anglican Church Hall , Cambridge Street

6:30pm 13 November 2018

Entry by Koha

Small herb gardens for wellness, 3 November, 2pm - 4.30pm

Are you interested in developing a small herb garden to enhance your sense of well-being? Would you like a few tips on how to get started in ways that support long-term success? Are you interested in sharing the afternoon with others who would rather think of their plants as friends than as "garden tasks"? If so, you might enjoy this beginner's workshop on herb garden design.


At an introductory level, this workshop will address:

  • Some of the health benefits of gardening—even when "vigorous exercise" is not on the list;

  • Where you might want to locate a herb garden, and how you might want to design its structure and shape, considering lifestyle, sunlight, soil, ergonomics, and upkeep;

  • Some standard designs for small spaces, such as container gardens and herb spirals;

  • Working with plants and their nature—both the plants you choose, and the ones that choose you ("weeds");

  • Harvest and use, including some tips for herbal health (suitable for amateurs).

The workshop includes a tour of five mini herb gardens (all part of one large garden). There will be a combination of both common and specialty plants available at the workshop (koha requested).

Please note that this location is not fully wheelchair accessible. If you have questions about accommodations for your abilities, please make a booking to temporarily reserve your space, then make an immediate inquiry before paying your fee.


Participant numbers are strictly limited, and enrolments are not confirmed until payment is received.


Depending on numbers a morning session will also be run, to register you interest in this please email,


To Register for the Afternoon event click here.