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van Asch Community Garden

3 April 2012- morning tea in the garden

Join us as we grow healthy produce together.

This project is run by the van Asch Community Garden Group and supported by the Sumner Local Food Group .

Contact us

About the Project

The Sumner Local Food Group has negotiated common access to the 'Horticultural Area' within their grounds.

This area is set up for gardening and has been used by staff and students of van Asch in the past. Recently there has been no-one to look after it, so the local community has negotiated terms with the Board of Trustees and staff at van Asch to inject some energy.

The day to day running of the garden is led by a steering group. Because it is on School grounds all people using the space need to be members of the garden and to do a police check (organised on site). 

Working hours - All welcome! To become a member, fill out a form at the garden or register online: 

Sign up to join the van Asch Community Garden

  • Tuesdays: 9am - 12pm (all year round)
  • Every second Saturday: 10am - 1pm (every other Saturday starting 27th April 2013). There will be a particular focus on helping people who are new to gardening to get started while also contributing to the ever-flourishing growth of this community project.

See the map for location and access point

Register to volunteer

Composting material

If you have green waste or other untreated materials suitable for composting (grass clippings, leaves, etc), please email 


26/04/13Plenty to Share Stall to be built... there is too much produce in the garden for volunteers and staff at van Asch to eat, so we are thinking of ways to make this available to the wider public. We want to build a 'Plenty to Share' cart to sit down in the village where anyone can give or take what they like, as they please. If anyone would like to help build and decorate the cart, donate some materials to get it done, or can think of a practical place to house it - let us know.
Food ForestsWe have a new site within van Asch which is suited to creating a model Food Forest. This approach is scalable to household gardens, parklands and bigger... stand-by for updates on this soon.

11/05/12 - It has been 6 months since this garden started and since then there have been regular working days, lots of planting, lots of weeding but also lots of harvesting. We have had two composting workshops hosted by Bill Martin from the BHU at Lincoln University and we now practice the art of hot composting. The garden is visited by all ages - the youngest at just a few weeks and the oldest approaching their 90's. The garden is also shared with staff and students from the van Asch Deaf Education Centre which is resulting in the learning of sign language, development of gardening signs and a lot of laughs in communication. The garden also owns a thermette that serves as a hearth and provides a reason to stop half way through and have a hot drink. Finally, we are ready to begin expanding our membership and activities, next up, we are tackling the apple orchard adjacent to the garden. All welcome. 

03/01/12 - Our first working bee!  A hugely successful opening working bee was attended by around 20 people.  Come and join us for the next round of action. Seeds and seedlings (particularly good 'beneficial' or companion plants) spared from your own gardens, plus baking, all very much appreciated. Bring along gardening gloves and basic tools (e.g. spades, forks, wheel barrow).

This time we will be joined by Mojo Mathers, the new Green Party MP and NZ's first profoundly deaf Member of Parliament. Mojo also holds the 'food' portfolio for her party.  

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