Kaiapoi Community Food Forest … Growing food – Growing community



Corner of Cass, Meadow Streets and Oram place, opposite St Bartholmews Church. Easy access off the northern motorway  take exit/highway 71. At the bottom of the page we have a map to make it easier for you.

Become a fan of the Food Forest and hear what’s happening first

What do you expect to see at the food forest

A park filled with food…over 40 types of apple, pears, nectarines, strawberries, raspberries, veges and herbs, over 1900 trees and plants have been donated by local residents and businesses … plus –

  • Small playhouse is on site… children love this wee house
  • Each Wednesday from 4pm we have volunteer time..we welcome anyone that wants to come and ask questions, pull weeds or plant something.
  • Fruit and Vege stand has been installed by Broadhurst builders… Surplus fruit and veges are placed in this for others to use.
  • Curved seat has been installed that has a solar panel to charge your phone,
  • A Rongoa area has started to be planted, entrance Punga have been planted, pedestrian entrance ways are on Cass and Meadow Streets…
  • A circular seat has been installed, materials were funded by CBK Kaiapoi.
  • A wheelchair friendly BBQ table has been installed, Al Blackie Regeneration Chair provided funds for Kaiapoi High School to build it
  • A koru shaped seat is being installed around one of the original cherry trees.
    Come see plans for what we want to do next.

Next Event:

Wellbeing Festival is back

Due to success of last year… the festival is back, bigger and better.

29th February from 10am till 3pm – Cass Street Kaiapoi

We will have demonstrations again.. so those stall holders that do Yoga, Tai Chi etc.. we would love you to conduct a demo. Demos allow visitors to get involved and try something new.
St Bartholmews neighbouring church is holding their church fete at the same time… which means we will have lots of people visiting the event.
We will close off the small section of Cass Street, to allow the safe walking between the two events…plus on the corner of Cass and Meadow Streets will be mobility parking

Pop the 29th February in your diary… this is going to be a Kaiapoi event that is going to be loads of fun for the entire family..

VIP Wellbeing Festival experience… guided tour of the festival, along with Free massage, free reflexology treatments, free goodie bag… for two people
All you have to do is LOVE and SHARE this facebook post and tell us who you will bring to share the VIP experience with..
See you on the 29th.. an amazing day out with friends and family

Here’s a wee snapshot of who’s going to be there.
We have Nicki from The colouring lounge,
Tracey and her mum from Rustic Cottage that make amazing mustards and chutneys..
Amazing foodies –
Paris for the Weekend will be serving their lovely muffins and scones etc,
Miss Lilly’s Dining and Catering will also be making healthy yummy treats,
hand made ice cream from Rolling Penguins NZ,
amazing cakes from Villa del Vento,
Kung Fu Dumplings will be there.. of course we will have coffee from Ogees Coffee Car,
yummy crepes from Crepes Creation…

Plus we are having the New Zealand College of Massage coming back… gold coin donation for a 10 minute massage
Bumble Bums will be there selling a range of honey products
Poppy Dewdrop will be face painting
along with Amee from Earthly Treasures…
lovely Lisa from First Light Soy Candles
We have so many much more to tell you… demos, and all sorts of entertainment
Book this date in your diary…and make sure you let us know you are coming..

see you on the 29th
Sharon Russell – and family will entertain us
BeeKeepers Honey – Our RAW Superfood HONEY is used in everyday diets to replace sugar and is high in antioxidants.

Crafty buggers – pecialize in lazy susans,Small Tables for hall ways and for lounge use,chopping boards and other wooden things…. also assorted crafts, and ceramics We also repurpose items to make them more useable. We also make Quoits.

Laughter Yoga Christchurch – Laughter “Yoga” is a deceptively simple yet very powerful form of exercise, combining laughter exercises with yogic breathing (quite different from traditional yoga with postures). Ultimately, Laughter “Yoga” is about the cultivation of joyfulness. It teaches you to make happiness a choice and not a consequence.

Petra Reynolds World Organics – Health and beautyTreehouse Yoga and fitness – Personal Training and Yoga in rural North Kaiapoi amongst beautiful old trees and gardens. Be the best version of you today, you’re worth it!… Louise will be conducting a demo.

Beyond Massage – strives to treat, support and inform clients holistically to help overcome their limitations.

Soul Flexology – Robyn Stacey a Qualified Reflexologist in Woodend, North Canterbury. Reflexology has so many benefits. Try today.

Nannie Di Knitting & Crochet – knitting for under 5’s

Joanna Wildish – I make my own foraged teas, massage balms and cleaning products

Sporeshift Mushrooms – a small mushroom farm growing gourmet mushrooms in an organic and sustainable way. Supplying all growing supplies and fresh Mushrooms. Based in North Canterubury.

Sleep Serenity – I help people fall asleep and stay asleep by changing their daily habits and their relationship with food. What is cool is that they usually lose weight, have loads more energy, mental clarity and are far less grumpy… Anna will be conducting a workshop

Guru in the Garden – dedicated to showing us how to live a sustainable lifestyle along with gardening tips and selling natural goods.

North to South First Aid – Managed by a qualified nurse and first aider, we provide quality products and services to suit your business or organisation’s needs.

Seiko-kai karate – sets the standards for learning Traditional and Olympic Competition Karate in Canterbury… Kevin and the team will be be doing a demo

Eco Educate – Workshops and education sessions around rethinking waste, composting, recycling, worm farms , Bokashi, and water conservation , Ideas on reuse

Back to the Wild – Natural & Organic skin and home products.
Friendly on your skin, the environment, and your wallet. Sonja will be conducting a workshop on natural cleaning products

Kanga training – Kangatraining – The Original Babywearing Workout! A fun, safe, pelvic floor friendly workout from 6 weeks postpartum while keeping your new baby close. The team will be conducting a demo

Aunty Bees Wax Wraps – Lovingly handmade from local beeswax, cotton fabric and pine rosin.

Cathy reflexology – a home based Reflexology practice offering relaxation treatments of Foot, Face, Hand and Ear Reflexology.

Flex Fitness Gym – we push the boundaries and change the status quo. If you’re looking for an upmarket fitness experience with Style, Energy & Motivation hang tight, we’re opening soon! The team will be conducting a demo of one of their forms of training

Yalowax – eco friendly beeswax food bags, sandwich and snack pouches. Salad roll pouches, platter and bowl covers.

Soul Impressions – we source products to help you create a life that’s worth living.

Toi by Tui – harakeke/ flax hand made art and crafts, pounamu kupenga basketry, kaupapa Maori hand made art – Maori Marketeers

Moon Critters – provide amazing handmade craft’s and beauty products using natural and locally sourced productsTotal Traffic Management
– Leading temporary traffic management specialists, with branches in Christchurch and Dunedin, providing a quality service throughout the South Island, NZ

Leaplings – those born on the 29th February will receive a birthday present

A lady who asks her partner to marry her… will receive prizes

Zero waste event… we will have plates, cutlery and cups that you can use… or you can bring your own.

The point of holding events in Kaiapoi from my point of view… each event brings people to the township, plus makes the town more vibrant and interesting for residents…
The Strawberry Fair we hope will encourage people to come to Kaiapoi early, check out the river, have a coffee in Christchurch’s best cafe..which is here in Kaiapoi (Red Eight Cafe) or one of the other fab cafes in the town, ie Paris for the Weekend, Rivertown Cafe Kaiapoi, along with others … then check out the river and the river Queen. Then do some shopping at Christchurch’s second most favourite retailer which again is also here in Kaiapoi ( CRAZE Fashion Kaiapoi) or pop and grab some gifts or flowers at Kaiapoi Florist, or Blackwells, Blakeleys etc then pop along to the Fair with picnic in hand, maybe grab something from the Deli at Kaiapoi New World along with grabbing a great milkshake at Kaiapoi Night n Day.
Then afterwards stay on and have a meal at our amazing restaurants Zaafran Moroccan And Indian Restaurant, CBK Craft Bar & Kitchen Kaiapoi, Port & Eagle Brewpub, Teppanyaki Takao Kaiapoi etc etc etc
Kaiapoi is the a great place to live and work and we want to do our bit to make it the best river town in new Zealand

Previous successful events at the Food Forest

Kaiapoi Food Forest “Connect” planting day 24th March 2018 from 10am till 2pm
This will be a wonderful day out for all the family to come along and visit the food forest… we want to show you what we have been doing.
We are wanting to plant some more fruit trees and some smaller trees/bushes.
If you have them, bring along edible seedlings, berries (kids can never get enough berries), cuttings, herbs, edible trees and plants a spade, hat sunscreen and a picnic.
In addition the neighbouring St Bartholmews church is going to have a fair which will have food, crafts etc

On the 16th September Kaiapoi Food Forest had its first Open Planting Day
Thanks to over 200 people and families came from as far as Ashburton, Christchurch, Rangiora and Kaiapoi planted over 300 trees, berries and plants, over 80 of those were donated on the day. Kaiapoi High School building department donated 2 BBQ tables so people can come and picnic. Thank you to Rev Sandy and volunteers from St Bartholmews church for providing tea and coffee and sausages.

The Kaiapoi food forest will be enduring through its values –
connect, nourish, educate and inspire.

Creating a food forest is an exercise in connecting people, increasing resilience and sustainability, reducing net migration, improving living quality, creating jobs, strengthening mental and physical health, up skilling youth, attracting tourists and generating profit for Kaiapoi and the Waimakariri District.

A community food forest provides an abundance of food for residents and those that wish to visit to gather – fruits, vegetables, herbs and medicinal plants by way of a layered permaculture companion planting system.

Imagine wandering through a flourishing forest where almost every plant is edible and all plants serve a purpose.

However we want more than that:

  • we want people to help maintain and learn how to grow plants and be inspired to take what they have learnt to create a food forest in their own backyard or in their community,
  • we want people to come connect with friends, family and picnic in the food forest,
  • we will hold food related events and want to help community groups to hold events in the food forest,
  • we want chefs and food nutritionists come and teach people how to cook the food grown in the food forest and
  • we want people to be inspired by artwork, creative landscaping and seating in this beautiful natural landscape.

The Kaiapoi food forest will be filled with many heritage fruit varieties that will provide a wide range of delectable fruit, higher levels of vitamin C and higher nutritional value.
The wide range of fruits and vegetables will encourage visitors to try something different to eat.

20% of New Zealanders are classified as food insecure, which means they are lacking access to safe, affordable, nutritional and culturally appropriate food. A social and community based food forest will allow better access to affordable food for a growing number of low income or no income families.

The Kaiapoi Food Forest Trust have joined a growing movement of food champions in the greater Canterbury community, where groups and local government, and district health sectors are aiming to bring actors together to address issues facing our food regions.

Food forest layer design principles are suitable to be replicated on small or large residential property sizes. The food forest will be the centre of learning to inspire people of all ages, how and what can be grown locally, how to reduce waste, use of plants and cooking classes, encourage food security and replicate design principles at a residential level.

The Food forest is designed to create its own micro climate, which makes for an ideal location to meet up with friends and family, ideal for picnics, ideal for events. The location of the food forest to Kaiapoi’s main street along with easy access off the motorway makes this food forest an ideal location to stop and visit by eco tourists.

Innovative creative seating and original art works placed throughout will make the food forest enduring, a destination to visit by residents and tourists. The beauty of “kai” in Kaiapoi’s name, makes it even more appealing.

Allow local businesses to have a positive impact and connect with a community legacy project by having employees volunteer for a day, donate produce, donate money, donate to a specific project like seating, artworks or events. Local schools and community groups can come maintain the food forest along with planting crops of their choice and of course gather food.

Community garden / food forest programmes can have significant mental health benefits for participating gardeners. There is a substantial body of evidence that shows that, when taken together, the essential components of a food forest program (growing plants, spending time with others in a safe and supportive environment, being active outdoors and bringing home healthy produce harvested from the garden) can contribute to positive mental health outcomes.

In nature, forests exist and thrive perfectly well as their own closed system. They don’t need the addition of extra fertilizer, the removal of weeds, the spraying of pesticides and so on to keep them flourishing – they evolve and adapt to incorporate change. Food forests do the same thing, meaning that the human effort required to maintain them is minimal.

Of course, permaculturists looking to initiate a food forest will need to put some time into planting and working with the land (such as mulching, compositing and so on) to ensure the best start to the forest, but once the food forest gets going, it requires very little maintenance. The systems of planting that go into a food forest perpetuate a self-sustaining system, meaning that, from a mature food forest, the permaculturists really only has to harvest!

Through the Food forest we want visitors to:

Connect –

  • The food forest will be a place for people to gather, forage and eat food,
    Volunteers working together will maintain the area,
    Sheltered areas will foster picnicking and great places for children to play,
    The food forest will be a tourist destination,
    We will grow food and medicinal plants traditionally foraged by Maori,
    Food related events will be developed i.e. harvest festivals and
    Community groups will be invited to hold events.

Nourish –

  • Food forest layers work in harmony to remove the need for harmful sprays,
  • Medicinal plants along with food will be grown,
  • Trees and plants many being heritage will be grown for taste and nutrition,
  • The food forest design and layout will nourish the mind, body and soul,
  • Food Forests bring birds into the urban area,
  • Will be beneficial to insects and bugs, i.e. bees,
  • Utilising multiple layers and making the most of both horizontal and vertical space,
  • Diverse variety of plantings grown and
  • Plantings will be chosen to provide a range of food on a 12 monthly basis.

Educate –

  • A learning centre will be developed for adults and children to learn,
  • Participate in the growing of plants without chemicals,
  • Provide a healthy and safe volunteer environment, i.e. completion of a hazard review before working in the food forest,
  • Website (http://kai.net.nz) and Facebook to share ideas,
  • Signage, website and labelling will educate about the plants
    Native and Heritage plantings will provide alternative food,
  • Traditional plants and trees to educate how Maori traditionally used these plants,
  • What to eat and how it can be prepared and
  • Cooking of food.

Inspire –

  • Artworks will be found scattered throughout the food forest,
  • Creative seating will be throughout,
  • Access to the food forest will be unlimited,
  • Food security and sharing of resources,
  • Great place to meet people, learn new skills and enjoy food,
  • Growing of Kaiapoi fruit salad trees,
  • The design requires less labour, no pesticides, no fertilisers, no digging,
  • The design will inspire visitors to grow food in a different way,
  • The design will off-set climate change,
  • Duplicate the design and concept,
  • Close knit and self reliant communities,
  • Layering allows more food produced in small area, with less intervention and cost,
  • The design will use less water and
  • The design works with mother nature.

An enduring food forest will be a valuable legacy for the entire Kaiapoi and the wider Waimakariri community.

One of our purposes is to have native plants and trees similar to what Maori would have foraged for food and medicines.

Maori traditional Medicine
Tī kōuka (Cordyline australis) was used to make a range of medicinal treatments:
• It was pounded into a paste.
• Growing tip (kōata) was eaten raw as a blood tonic or cleanser.
• Leaves provided juice used externally for cuts, cracks and sores.
• Infusions prepared by boiling leaves were drunk to treat diarrhoea.
• Leaves rubbed until soft were applied as an ointment to cuts, skin cracks and sore hands.
• Nursing mothers chewed the young shoots and gave them to their children for colic.
• Shoots were boiled and the liquid taken to treat stomach pains.
• Seeds have been shown to be high in linoleic acid — an essential fatty acid.

Medicinal plants
Medicines were made from plants, including:
• harakeke (flax)
• kawakawa
• rātā
• mānuka
• kōwhai.
Using harakeke (flax)
• Flax leaves or roots were made into pulp, heated and put on skin infections such as boils.
• The hard part of the leaf was used to splint a broken bone.
• A bad cut was sewn up with flax fibre (muka).
• Kawakawa leaves and bark were used for cuts and stomach pains.
• Kawakawa was used to make a steam bath. The leaves were placed on hot stones with water poured over. The patient sat on top.
• Ashes from burnt mānuka were rubbed on the scalp to cure dandruff.
• A tea made from the leaves was drunk for a fever.

Would you like to be part of the Kaiapoi Food Forest? Send us a message, to donate some time, some plants, some trees, some product, some money

To make a financial donation.

The Kaiapoi Food Forest Trust ANZ bank account number is 01-0853-0126828-00

Thank you

Trees and Plants in our Food Forest

A mature Food Forest is comprised of taller canopy trees, usually nuts and fruits, with a sub-canopy of berries and shrubs, followed by herbs and veggies below.
In New Zealand Food Forest consists of 5-7 Layers. More if you include marshes and mushrooms!

Food forest basic design idea

Continue reading “Trees and Plants in our Food Forest”


Now a days food is grown to suit supermarkets, it will last longer on the shelves, it can be picked all within a few days, it can survive being dropped 1 metre, it looks pretty, we don’t get export quality fruit, we get the rejects…NOTHING about taste.

Heritage fruit tastes great… we want to fill the Kaiapoi Food forest with heritage trees.

Food Forests are living proof that industrial agriculture is not the only way to feed the world. In fact, we now recognize conventional agricultural practices to be a major contributor towards climate change, environmental destruction and desertification.

The Waimakariri District Council is going to lease 1.5acres of land to the Kaiapoi Food Forest Trust to develop a food forest. Continue reading “ABOUT”


Fund raising

Fund raising Help Us Reach Our Fundraising Goals Early Bird Offers now available! By purchasing an Entertainment Membership with us, you’ll receive 25 to 50% off and 2-for-1 offers to many of the best restaurants, hotels and attractions. You can access $20,000 worth of great retail, travel and dining offers and deals – and at …

Fabulous Planting day – thank you to everyone who contributed

Thank you to all of the lovely people and businesses that made today’s planting day so special… people came from as far away as Oxford, Amberley, Rangiora and Waimate… CBK Craft Bar & Kitchen Kaiapoi for providing vouchers and putting together the loyalty program….everytime you visit CBK, if you can mention the food forest when …


What would you like to know about the food forest…

Would you like to help out, volunteer your time, donate plants or trees, offer a suggestion..

Thank you… will get back to you ASAP