Kai Gardens

Growing Community

What to plant now

We have our own microclimate here on Waiheke, so the planting season can differ slightly to the rest of New Zealand. That's why WRT has a 'What to plant now' video diary with Chardy Parkes - WRT's Kai Garden coordinator. Tune in and find out how to prepare your own kai garden and gain lots of useful tips and advice.

Planting calendar









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Seasonal seedlings for sale

Kai Gardens is a community-led initiative run through WRT to increase food resilience on our motu by growing seedlings and then selling them to the community and community gardens to keep the project sustainable.

Chardy Parkes, a long-time name in the community garden and food resilience space on Waiheke, is helping to coordinate these efforts.

Volunteers are supported with workshops and resources for how to germinate and grow the Kai Gardens seedlings - knowledge you can then share with your whānau and friends as well. You are also given seedlings as a koha to acknowledge your mahi.

Want to get involved in tending to the Sustainability Centre's Kai Gardens, or have some materials or skills that you would like to donate? Get in touch or fill out our volunteering form here.

Our Mission

Creating a hub to increase food resilience on Waiheke at a household and community level as a local response to global food insecurity


  • Promoting evidence-based gardening practices
  • Sharing knowledge openly for the benefit of all - e Tuku iho
  • Responsibility for the long term health and sustainability of Waiheke's local environment

How will Kai Gardens Achieve its goals?

  • Enhance local knowledge through workshops, online videos, demonstration gardens, public displays and other resources to suit a variety of ages and knowledge bases.
  • Supply the Kai Conscious Café with fresh produce and herbs for seasoning.
  • Promote gardening as a fun, healthy recreational activity.
  • Conduct small-scale trials to determine the most productive and sustainable gardening practices.
  • Identify and encourage the growing of crops that are suitable for Waiheke conditions.
  • Manage a seed bank of plant varieties suitable for Waiheke
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Related resources

lots of colourful fresh produce

Food resilience initiatives

There's lots happening in the food resilience space on Waiheke. Download our PDF which summarises opportunities to get involved in your area, including contact information, social media links and locations. You'll find some of our projects on the list, as well as many more!

hands picking fresh tomatoes off the vine

Donate your surplus produce

Is your gardening going so well that you've got lots of surplus? You can pickle and preserve to your heart's content, but you can also give to the community by donating your fresh fruit, veges and herbs to the Sustainability Centre community fridge. Check out our 1-page guide on best practice for donating kai and drop-off locations.

Prashanti pic at compost co.

Get composting

We can help you get you started at home with workshops, support and composting products including Bokashi systems and worm farms. We even sell our own compost and crushed shells for the garden. If you're a business looking to manage food scraps and compostables sustainably, we want to hear from you too. Visit the Sustainability Centre for supplies or get in touch.

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​​Ngā mihi nui

WRT Team