Community Garden Parties
Community gardens and orchards across Kāpiti celebrated the onset of Autumn with a series of garden parties. Free workshops, activities and festivities were held from 8 March until 28 April 2019. Community gardens are not just 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. Here is a taste of some of the events that were held at thriving gardens across the district:
Māoriland Hub Garden
On Friday 8th March 2019 a group of hardy souls braved the wild storm outside and gathered at the Maōriland Hub to hear Brian Climie share his kōrero about pou whenua, the different types and their relevance in our changing world. We used natural materials to make a pou whenua for our maara, shared morning tea and stories.
On a beautiful sunny Sunday in March an enthusiastic group of gardening enthusiasts gathered to help build a swale for the new community orchard. Swales are an effective way to garden on sandy dune slopes, using ditches along the contour lines of a slope to create planting pockets that trap water, nutrients and mulch.
Raumati Village Community Garden
Kāpiti's newest community garden held a Neighbours Day celebration on March 23 at their new garden tucked behind the Thrifty Place op shop on Weka Rd. Locals enjoyed having a look at what's doing well in the garden and enjoyed a sausage and zucchini sizzle.
Matai Road Community Garden
An old school celebration for Neighbours Day with classic family games: egg-and-spoon, three-legged and wheelbarrow races, and sand saucers. The Matai Rd team showed off the fruits of their labour, with the garden irrigation experiments in action helping to keep plants green over summer. For membership and other info see their facebook page or mataicommunitygarden.org
Hookway Community Orchard
A Summer pruning workshop at the orchard took place on April 14 as part of a family fun day at the beautiful Kaitawa Reserve. At less than a year old, the orchard provided a great opportunity for Treecrops to demonstrate how to shape a young tree (essential for future health, pickability and fruitfulness). Fascinating bush walks were led by Renee Grey, from the Rongoā ART Collective, and Tony Ward, one of the legendary volunteers who have undertaken restoration planting of the reserve over many years. Event goers also enjoyed rock painting, a plant and seed swap table, and free coffee and sausage sizzle courtesy of the community safety team.
MOA Community Orchard
This fruit tree masterclass with Sarah Frater from Edible Gardens nursery was a rare treat, with Sarah sharing her huge knowledge and experience with fruit trees of all kinds. The focus of the day was how to deal with fruit tree pests and diseases, along with a grafting demonstration. Most of the trees in the MOA orchard come from Sarah's nursery near Palmerston North, where she specialises in locally suitable and heritage varieties.