Grow your own food

Growing your own food is a really enjoyable and rewarding activity, and one we encourage everyone to get involved in. It’s also one of the best things you can do to reduce your personal impact on the environment, with around a third of all greenhouse gas emissions coming from food production globally. Whether you only have space to grow in containers on an apartment patio or have a quarter acre backyard to work with, it all adds up to a more sustainable food system.

If you are new to gardening, there are a number of local courses and experts you can draw on, as well as experienced gardeners in your family, neighbourhood or networks.


Learning about gardening

There are a number of courses on offer at different times of the year. These range from beginner gardening workshops for a few hours on a weekend, through to commercial organic growing certification programs

Workshops

  • Peihana Farm - Urenui. Peihana Farm offer a range of workshops, including those related to gardening.

  • Sustainable Taranaki Workshops - Sustainable Taranaki offer a number of workshops around Taranaki related to food production, including those in beginner gardening, composting and fruit tree pruning.

Courses

  • Landbased Training - New Plymouth. Based at Newstart Gardens, Landbased Training offer NZQA approaved horticulture courses what are strongly organic in their teachings.

  • Kai Oranga - offer mentoring programme to assist whanau to Hua Parakore Maara Kai. They also offer a Level 4 NZQA certified course at Onaero and Oakura, aimed at deepening your knowledge of growing mauri rich food and re-establishing food sovereignty in North Taranaki.

  • Korito Education - New Plymouth. Dee Turner of Korito offers permaculture based weekend courses and gardening short courses throughout the year. She also offeres evening courses at WITT.

  • Roebuck Farm - New Plymouth. Jodi at Roebuck Farms offers a range of workshops on everything from introductions to the biointensive gardening system to market gardening.

Volunteering

Another great way to learn about growing food is to get involved in a local community garden. Check out the community gardens and orchards section for more details.

Gardening clubs and groups

Gardening clubs are a great way to meet and learn from local enthusiasts. Here are a few to connect with:

  • Hawera Horticulture Society  - Aims to foster an interest in gardening.

  • Permaculture Taranaki - A Facebook group for anyone interested in Permaculture in Taranaki, whether you are a designer, teacher, active practitioner, just learning, or curious.

  • Seedsavers Taranaki - Seedsavers Taranaki is a local community wide group that share, swap and have fun saving and growing NZ open pollinated seed local to Taranaki and beyond.

  • Stratford Herb Group - A community group dedicated to sharing knowledge about various aspects of herbal lore (culinary, medicinal, cosmetic and craft).

  • Taranaki Landgirls - A group aimed at women living on the land, whether a small lifestyle block or large farm. However it is open to anyone who is interested in the subject.


Gardening services

The businesses below specialise in providing garden services with a focus on productive gardens and sustainability.

  • Garden Solutions Taranaki - New Plymouth. Ger offers a green garden advisory service, along side garden design and maintenance.

  • Greenbridge - New Plymouth. Specialists in sustainable design & build for homes, landscapes and food producing gardens.

  • Korito Education - New Plymouth. Dee offers a green garden advisory service and fruit tree pruning.

  • MaD Contracting - New Plymouth. Organic fertiliizer spraying application, tree prunning, mulching and more.

  • The Fruity Gardener - New Plymouth. Edible garden services, including fruit tree pruning.

  • Taranaki Timebank - with timebank you can trade your skills for someone elses. If you need some gardening help you can share your skills in other areas and find someone in the group to help you with the gardens.


Gardening supplies

The following local and specialist garden suppliers offer organic and low impact garden products:

  • Atawhai Nursery - New Plymouth. Stock riparian plants.

  • Big Jims Garden Centre - New Plymouth. General garden supplies.

  • Dried Mulched Seaweed - New Plymouth. Mulched seaweed sold in 40 litre bags.

    Contact Noel Walker on 022 626 9184 or noel_walker@xtra.co.nz

  • Fairfields Garden Centre - New Plymouth. General garden supplies.

  • Fertile Fields - New Plymouth. Natural and certified organic fertilisers & natural animal health products

  • Gardenedge - Hawera. General plant nursery 

  • Korito Education - New Plymouth. Offer food forest groundcovers.

  • MaD Contracting - New Plymouth. Local suppliers of Agrisea natural fertilizers.

  • Palmers - New Plymouth. General garden supplies.

  • Redpaths - suppliers of glasshouses, sheds, cloches, insect netting, weedmat and more (Manawatu).

  • Return 2 Earth - New Plymouth. Supplier of compost, mulch and woodchip.

  • Te Kahuri - Eltham. Offer mail order heritage fruit trees Taranaki wide.

  • The Fruity Gardener - Tataraimaka, New Plymouth. Sub-tropical plant nursery.

  • Woodleigh Nursery - 300 Mountain Road, New Plymouth. Native seedlings.


Many a garden enthusiast will tell you that garden tools are not all equal. Below we list some specialist gardening tool suppliers of interes from around the country:

Garden tools


Sourcing quality open pollinated heritage seeds is important for many organic gardeners, ensuring these older vegetable lines are maintained for future generations. Local guardians of seed in this category are the previously listed Seedsavers Taranaki, who maintain seed banks in Taranaki that are open to all to swap and share seeds. Other suppliers around the country include:

While not all organic or heritage, Kings Seeds also supply a large number of seeds of this type. Egmont Seed Co is based in New Plymouth with online seed sales available.

Sustainable seed suppliers


If you know of other stockists/retailers/suppliers/services or all round fantastic sustainable sources please let us know so that we can share.