Our District

Community Garden Parties

Community gardens and orchards across the Kāpiti district are celebrating with a series of parties throughout autumn. Free workshops, activities and festivities are happening in seven gardens across Kāpiti, from 8 March until 28 April 2019. It’s about gardening, but also recognising the wider role community gardens can play in community building, education and encouraging local food production.

Each party is a unique reflection of the garden and its community.



Make a pou whenua for your maara. Shared morning tea and korero with local artists discussing pou whenua, the different types and their relevance in our changing world.`

Friday, March 8, 10am-12 noon, 68 Main St, Ōtaki.


Swales for the new community orchard: learn how to garden on dune slopes, using planting pockets that trap water and mulch.

Many Kāpiti gardeners are dealing with sandy slopes, where the challenge is to stop water and nutrition slipping away. Swales are like ditches dug across the face of a slope, slowing down the flow of water and creating a better environment for roots.

Paekākāriki community gardeners are preparing to establish an orchard on overgrown duneland - come and see this exciting new project! Learn how to measure contours and to create swales that suit your own garden. Bring a spade if you can.

Sunday, March 17, 2-4pm, Paekākāriki Community Garden, 162 Tilley Rd.



Neighbours Day celebration: Kāpiti's newest community garden is tucked behind the Thrifty Place op shop on Weka Rd and doubles as an emergency hub. Check out a hub activation exercise, so you'll know what to do if there's an earthquake or another emergency situation. Have a look at what's doing well in the garden and enjoy the produce in the form of a sausage and/or zucchini sizzle.

Saturday, 23 March, 1-3pm, 10 Weka Rd Raumati Beach.



Neighbours Day Family Games: Old school egg-and-spoon, three-legged and wheelbarrow races - last year the sand saucers were a huge hit with the kids. Plus, see the garden irrigation experiments in action - we have been trialling different DIY systems that can run off a low-pressure barrel as well as a tap, keeping plants green over summer.  

Matai Community Garden is tucked between the playground and the Kāpiti Gallery at Matai Rd Reserve. For membership and other info see their facebook page or  mataicommunitygarden.org 

2-4pm, Sunday 24 March, Matai Rd Reserve, Raumati.



Hot Compost: recycle even the baddest weeds (kikuyu, wandering willie) and diseased plants (tomato blight etc) in this fast, hot process.

Most of the time we're layering our heaps a little at a time, in a process known as cold composting, but every now and then it's good to heat things up a little - inside a nitrogen-rich heap, it's hot enough to cook an egg, which also kills off weed seeds and fungal spores. Hot composting is most commonly done in a giant windrow-type heap, and you'll be able to see how the school gardeners do this, but also how to re-create it on a home scale using a simple black plastic bin.

Sunday 7 April, 2pm, Paekākāriki School, Wellington Rd.



Summer Pruning: This orchard is less than a year old, so we'll be demonstrating how to prune and shape a young tree (this stage is essential for future health, pickability and fruitfulness). We'll also talk you through the post-fruiting tidy up. There'll be a plant and seed swap table, so bring something to share and take home some new treasures.

Wildplay: wildly popular with kids, to celebrate the beginning of the holidays we'll set up some natural play areas to spark imaginations. Bring appropriate clothing and a picnic.

Sunday, 14 April, 11am-2pm, Hookway Grove, Paraparaumu.



Fruit tree masterclass with Sarah Frater from Edible Gardens nursery: this is a rare treat as Sarah has huge knowledge and experience with fruit trees of all kinds. Most of the trees in the orchard came from her nursery near Palmerson North, where she specialises in locally suitable and heritage varieties.

Sarah will be talking about pests and diseases on fruit trees (there's been a lot of codling moth in the orchard, so we'll certainly be asking her about how to manage that), plus a grafting demonstration and advice on choosing the best rootstock for your own particular site.

Sunday, April 28, 1-3pm, koha appreciated to help with Sarah's travel costs. Jeep Rd Domain, Raumati South