ABOUT US

Kelmarna is a 40+ year old organic community farm in central Auckland on a mission to
transform our food system.

Our journey began in 1981 when Paul Lagerstedt secured the lease from Auckland Council, giving rise to the Kelmarna Community Gardens Trust.

The initial endeavour was to showcase self-sufficiency through organic growing practices.

Over the years, the gardens have developed through various chapters. Most significantly, for 20+ years they were managed by Framework Trust and the focus was on supporting people living with mental illness through providing pre-vocational training.

In 2015, Framework Trust moved away from managing the gardens so the Kelmarna Trust set a new direction — to champion and demonstrate a regenerative local food model that supports climate change mitigation, urban resilience and community wellbeing.

Our long and rich history is still woven into what we do today, contributing to the active community farm and learning environment we welcome you to visit. Well-being and peace still lives right at the heart of the experience. To find out more about our history check out the timeline below.

Market Gardening

Kelmarna has just over 700m2 in vegetable gardens, the majority of which is managed communally by our staff team and volunteers. Produce is sold directly to our community, giving them access to super fresh, seasonal, nutrient dense food. In the market garden, which is our larger scale space, we’re aiming to demonstrate financially and ecologically-viable market gardening, and train future farmers in the skills they need to replicate this, through our Farmhands programme, workshops, and other volunteering opportunities.

Food Forest

Our multilayered food forest contains a large variety of fruit trees, perennial herbs, and companion plants, as well as annual crops like pumpkins and potatoes that form the staple foods of our volunteer lunches. The variety of crops from the food forest help to add more diversity to our selection of produce for sale, so our community has more choice when eating seasonally. The forest also provides important habitat for birds and insects, and forage for bees.

Sheep

Within the paddocks we graze sheep, which form a key element of the system, supporting healthy nutrient and water cycling for the pasture and trees. By rotating the sheep through the paddocks in stages we’re also helping to improve soil microbiology and sequester carbon.

Chickens

Our layer hen project aims to be a truly regenerative model for egg production – using our perennial crops, waste products from our community, and insects we grow on-site to reduce our dependence on industrial feed grain. We’re making our eggs available through a Community Supported Agriculture scheme, which reflects the reality that eggs are a seasonal food, with peaks and troughs during the year.

Our Friends the Bees

Our Kelmarna beehives are managed organically, the bees are supported by the many and varied flowering plants across our site, and in the surrounding area. Kelmarna Honey from our hives is seasonally available to buy in our Farm Shop.

Closing the Loop with Composting

We demonstrate diverse composting systems on-site, including hot composting, worm farming, and bokashi, as well as offering composting options to local businesses and households through our community composting social enterprise, Soil Factory. Finished compost is returned to the soil at Kelmarna, adding fertility and structure to our vegetable beds, and helping us to grow more food and replenish the soil.

Pasture Power

The farm includes 7 small paddocks, sloping away from the farm down to Cox’s Creek Reserve. These are populated with many varieties of fruit, nut and native tree plantings in order to create a silvopasture system – an agroforestry approach which combines trees and grazing livestock in a symbiotic relationship. We think most farms should have more trees, and that agroforestry systems have a huge part to play in transforming our food system.

The development of this Silvopasture was part of our Paddock Development Project, a raft of integrated new enterprises creating a huge range of opportunities in our paddocks, for greater food production, education, community engagement, biodiversity, carbon sequestration, and job creation.

Integration of Animals

Within the paddocks we graze sheep and house a flock of layer hens. Our sheep form a key element of the system, supporting healthy nutrient and water cycling for the pasture and trees. By rotating the sheep through the paddocks in stages we’re also helping to improve soil microbiology and sequester carbon.

Our layer hen project aims to be a truly regenerative model for egg production – using our perennial crops, waste products from our community, and insects we grow on-site to reduce our dependence on industrial feed grain. We’re making our eggs available through a Community Supported Agriculture scheme, which reflects the reality that eggs are a seasonal food, with peaks and troughs during the year.

Our People

Our work is made possible in part by the generous support of these awesome organisations and people. Thank you!

FUNDERS

SPONSORS

SUPPORTERS

FRIENDS OF KELMARNA MEMBERS

Cedric Pirenne
Chris Calvert
Gwen Shaw
Nicola Donald
Fiona and Richard Watt
Astrid Varchmin
Laurette Roberts
Penny Anutosh Cusack
Te Kōrari Pohe
Brigid Lenihan
Kathryn Buis

Daisuke Arao
Philippa Clark
Helen Franklin
Shirley Inggs
Andrea Alber Commissaris
Rosalie Yozin
Billy Crimson
Vicki Whatley
Sarah Martindale
Rosie Morrison
Anneliesje Dobbyn

Annabel Cave
Michael Graham-Stewart
MJ Bethell
Charlie and Florence Grainger
Suzanne Watt
Margaret Malaghan
Malcolm Idoine
Dianne Ma
Stephen Brown
Nick Goldwater
Delphine Yu

Ellen Schindler
Paula Wilkie
Gwen Norcliffe
Robyn Gray
Lena Kovac
Sandra Anderson
Steve Hirst
Ranitea Sing
Jan Morrison
Luisa Cosio