Gardening workshops build community in the city

January 31, 2018

Gardening workshops build community in the city

A series of gardening workshops co-hosted with Compassion Soup Kitchen will bring skills, connection, and some greens, to a new central city community garden. 

In November last year, The Sisters of Compassion gifted a section of bare land on Haining Street in Wellington central to Te Pūaroha Soup Kitchen.

The land is in the process of being transformed into an urban garden by Soup Kitchen whānau in a project known as He Rākau Koikoi.

He Rākau Koikoi will offer the opportunity for whānau to learn new skills, practice old skills, have fun and enjoy being with other people. 

This opportunity for learning, while building community, sparked an idea and Compassionate Gardening Workshops were created, with the support of Sustainability Trust.

Matt Petrie, Kaiārahi for He Rākau Koikoi, said of the project:“If we can build connections for people, we offer them purpose and hope for the future”.

The gardening workshops are open to the public, creating an opportunity for Soup Kitchen whānau and the wider community to upskill and connect.

Sustainability Trust EcoEnterprise Manager, Nada Piatek, said she jumped at the opportunity to work with Compassion Soup Kitchen on their garden project.

“Community gardens are good on so many levels. They are a connection to our food sources, right where we live, and a connection to each other in that space. Both of these things enhance the resilience of the community, so we are ticking boxes all over the place!”

Piatek noted that in urban agriculture required skills range from composting, soil health to growing - and eating - food.

She recognised that workshops will be great for forging relationships.

“It’s important to us, because equity and inclusion create healthier, strong communities. Everyone deserves respect and opportunities.”

The workshops will be facilitated by Sustainability Trust educators.

The workshops are $10 per person, per workshop with the money going towards making it free for Soup Kitchen whānau.

Bookings are available online at

• February 10, Build a wood pallet garden
• February 24, Preparing gardens for good growing
• March 10, Rat-free composting

All workshops will be held at Compassion Soup Kitchen’s garden at the corner of Tory and Haining streets, Wellington.

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