Things we have been doing.

Do you Love Your Garden?

Is your garden your passion?


Would you like to share your garden with others?


If you answered yes to these three questions, we are still looking for gardens for the next Rotorua Festival of Gardens in 12 - 14 November 2021


Email Trish on for more information



Kale is a leafy green that is part of the cabbage family. Kale thrives in cold weather yet does well in most geographical zones. One of the most well-known varieties is Lacinato or Nero Di Toscano, which is commonly referred to as Dinosaur Kale because of its bumpy, dark green leaves. With its nickname alone, it can be enough to entice kids to sample this fun vegetable.


Kale takes around a week to emerge. You can sow a lot of seeds in one container and then transplant them to a bigger one. Kale likes rich soil with plenty of organic matter, such as compost. Harvesting the leaves can be as soon as a month after planting to two months. If you don't want to wait or prefer a milder flavor, cut baby leaves sooner. Kale will continue to sprout new leaves, just harvest under or around 1/3 of the plant at a time to ensure healthy growth.


Kale is versatile and can be used in soups, stir-fry, salads, quiche, omelettes, or sautéed with garlic. For an easy and healthy snack, make kale chips.

dandelion head.png

Poem of the Day - 19 June 2020

Incorrigible, brash,

They brighten the cinder path of my childhood

Unsubtle, the opposite of primroses,

But, unlike primroses, capable

of growing anywhere railway track, pierhead

Like our extrovert friends who never.

Make us fall in love, yet fill

The primroseless roseless gaps.


​Louis MacNeice (1907-1963)

Storing Parsley 

Instead of sticking them in a glass of water, wrap them loosely in a damp paper towel. Store the bundle in an airtight container or resealable bag in your crisper drawer. The paper towel keeps the herbs just moist enough so they don't dry out, and the container or resealable bag keeps oxygen out.

Heritage Seeds

I wanted to let you all know about the work of Koanga Institute, a Charitable Trust that works to save NZ Heritage seeds and plants and to make them available for New Zealanders to purchase. Unlike most seed companies in New Zealand all of our seeds are grown here and are grown using methods that nurture the earth.


Over the past 30 years Koanga Institute has collected and saved over 700 heritage vegetable seed lines and over 300 Northern heritage fruit tree lines. These nationally important collections are built on the foundation of hundreds of generations of growers who have nurtured biodiversity and cultural heritage. We not only collected the plant material and the seeds, but also the stories and whakapapa of our food plants and the old people who carried them to today. Growing out these food plants makes them available to both our members and the general public. The beautiful diversity that we see in our heritage collection – in the flavours, shapes and colours, is a glimpse of the past varieties of all the vegetables.


We sell heritage vegetable and flower seeds, fruit trees and a range of publications to support people in their gardening journey. We also have an extensive workshop programme teaching a range of essential skills.


You’ll find our range of seeds and other items on our website here