Educational Visits with Kelmarna Community Farm
A visit to our city farm is an opportunity to use nature as an authentic context, where academics meet hands-on, immersing your learners in a dynamic outdoor setting that helps build and reinforce direct relationships between their studies and the real world.
We’re keen to help you get your class outside, observing and interacting with the natural environment, investigating key concepts, and practicing essential skills — all while having a great time! Check out the opportunities available below, and we hope to see you soon!
By taking part, you are working directly to foster a resilient, regenerative food system and to connect the next generation with essential skills for a more sustainable future!
From our visitors
We do our best to make sure that everyone enjoys their experience in the farm, that learners are challenged while having fun outside, that educators meet their objectives, and that everyone gains a fresh perspective to inspire their ongoing learning journey.
Here are a few words from schools and community groups who have joined us:
“The students had a great time at the farm learning about taonga. At Kelmarna Community Farm they learnt about how rubbish can be turned into treasure. This experience sparked their curiosity and motivated them to want to start a compost/worm farm at school and plant their own community garden.”
“Room 6 had a great time at Kelmarna Community Farm. The staff were friendly and very knowledgeable. The students had fun getting their hands dirty and loved the ‘smelly’ compost. I would highly recommend this experience!”
“Students loved the hands on activities like searching the compost for worms, holding tiger worms, tasting mint, seeing the compost heap, and patting Jafa. They were really engaged, excited, focused, and asking questions.”
“The general tour describing all aspects of the farm and how they work together was very important – the holistic approach. However, the hands on doing – planting, weeding – was equally important for the children as children need to be actively involved. The bioblitz was fun because it was specific and quantifiable and something they can have fun applying in other locations.”
“Kei runga noa atu koutou! Tamariki were engaged and came back with a lot more knowledge of how to look after our plants and environment. Getting tamariki to touch and feel things was good because it kept the tamariki curious, engaged, and wanting to know more. Tumeke koutou! Keep up the awesome work.”
“I took my class to Kelmarna Community Garden in Spring, 2020. It was a wonderful visit. What I had wanted to provide for them was an example and experience of a holistic approach to farming and gardening. The Kelmarna permaculture garden provided that beautifully. The diverse life and healthy interconnectedness is exactly what we need to be holding up as an example to our children of sustainable, respectful practice. Many thanks for making this space available.”
At Kelmarna we work to make the unique resources of our certified organic community farm accessible to learners of all ages, to provide a practical setting for covering subjects and practising skills from all manner of disciplines.
We believe that the outdoors is ideal for demonstrating learning outcomes through real-world experiences that involve collaborative effort and that produce meaningful results.
All of our educational experiences are designed from a fourfold inquiry-based, place-responsive, nature-based, and expanding-world approach.
This means that we put learners at the centre of every activity, encouraging them to grow their understanding by asking questions, taking action, and cultivating connections with their environment and each other.
Learning driven by questions, curiosity, observation, investigation, critical reasoning, creativity, idea-sharing, and discovery
Learning that engages with the uniqueness of a place to embed cross-curricular subjects and skills into real-world experience
Learning in nature, using the environment and natural systems to engage with subjects and skills in an authentic context
Learning that supports a bond with the environment, through experiences that are appropriate to learner developmental level
Our sessions are designed to allow learners the opportunity to step out of their normative learning environment and into a different pace and level of focus on the world around them.
Learners are encouraged to examine the things they encounter, to practise creatively and effectively communicating their experience, and to relate their investigation to the overarching themes and concepts that are established for the visit.
Our activities use the farm as a dynamic laboratory of sorts, for testing ideas, making mistakes, solving problems, and developing other critical skills that can be applied in any setting. In this way we have the potential to address nearly every corner of the New Zealand Curriculum, including STEAM activities that bring Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Maths together to tackle immersive, real-world projects on the farm.
We’re available to work with you to strive for your learning outcomes in a way that aligns with your teaching program, using the farm setting to bring concepts to life in a way that learners can directly observe, interact with, and relate to.
Let us know what you’re keen to cover, and we’ll be happy to plan a visit that inspires your learners. And even if you’re not sure exactly how we fit in to your goals, please reach out and let’s work together to find creative and exciting ways to add value for you and your learners.
At this stage, we support learners to cultivate a sense of connectedness with nature, to form a foundation for learning and growing to come.
Activities indulge learner fascination and feelings, to help them identify with the world they encounter and to build direct relationships with the environment.
Primary & Intermediate
At this stage, we support learners to actively explore their environment, to interpret and relate positively to the expanding scope of their significant world.
Activities engage learners with primary experiences, to help grow skills and confidence in confronting new situations, solving problems, and bonding with the environment.
At this stage, we support learners to examine their relationships with nature and society, to help approach increasingly complex and abstract concepts.
Activities prompt a rigour of investigation and discussion, to reinforce connections, deepen understanding, spur innovation, and inspire actions that put values into practise.
Tertiary & Adult
At this stage, we support learners to be active participants in their world, to foster relationships with nature and community, and to enhance outcomes for both
Activities utilise our unique site and resources to provide opportunities to learn and practise skills, take part in systems, conduct research, and build community.
Join us for a single session with your group, at a time that works for you, to complement your busy term schedule with an outdoor exploration and unique learning experience on the farm
Join us more than once with the same group, or even on a regular basis, to help integrate nature-connectedness into your schedule, and build learner knowledge and experience over time on the farm
Delivering educational experiences requires planning, coordination, and a dedicated team to ensure we can provide learners with an enriching experience in a safe and inspiring environment.
Kelmarna receives no specific financial support from any public or commercial agency to sustain our farm and programs. So we rely on annual grant applications and charges for taking part in our programs in order to cover costs and keep our kaupapa alive.
We use a tiered pricing system to help make opportunities as accessible as possible to groups of all sizes and for learners of all ages and levels, and Kelmarna is a registered charity, which means that all revenue contributes directly to operating our programs and sustaining our community space.
- $4 per learner, up to 1hr
- $3 per learner, per +hrs
- Up to 3 hour total visit time
- $80 minimum booking fee
Primary & Intermediate
- $5 per learner, up to 1hr
- $3.50 per learner, per +hrs
- Up to 3 hour total visit time
- $100 minimum booking fee
- $6 per learner, up to 1hr
- $4 per learner, per +hrs
- Up to 4 hour total visit time
- $120 minimum booking fee
Tertiary & Adult
- Price on application – with regard to the particulars of your project, research or learning objectives
All pricing figures are GST exclusive.
Health & Safety on the farm
At Kelmarna we take great care to keep everyone safe in our space.
We also believe it’s important to recognise that the benefits and enjoyment of learning outdoors is derived in part from the risks that come with getting hands-on outside.
That’s why we do everything we can to coordinate with you to understand the needs of your learners and to provide appropriate support.
To best prepare for an experience with us, check out our risk assessment overview for learner safety during visits and work through with your group the inquiry-based overview of our five basic rules to remember on the farm.
To help learners become confident in any environment, including the outdoors, we believe it’s important that they learn about boundaries and how to keep themselves safe. When preparing for your visit, please make your own judgements about what is safe and suitable for the age and ability of your learners, and strive to include your learners as much as possible in conversations and decisions around getting prepared, about their behaviour when they arrive, and encouraging them to reflect following your experience.
Preparing for your visit
Before you set off, please make sure your group is dressed for the weather and that you have all the kit you need to make sure everyone is ready to keep warm/cool, clean, safe, and dry.
Sunsmarts is also a key consideration when learning outdoors in any season, so we’re all protected and keep hydrated.
Check out our checklist of some basics things to remember that go a long way to keeping your group safe and comfortable during your visit with us
Essential things to bring:
Refillable water bottles
Hats, Long Sleeves, Sunscreen
Weather appropriate clothing
Any appropriate medication
We are located at 12 Hukanui Crescent, Ponsonby.
Please manage drop-offs at our driveway entrance.
Please note that there is no parking on site. This means that any buses or other vehicles must drop off or park on-street, either along Hukanui Crescent or surrounds.
Important note for buses — there are several traffic islands along Parawai Cres, Hukanui Cres, and Kelmarna Ave. While most buses have no issue, these can be especially tricky to navigate for larger or longer buses. If you’d prefer to avoid these, then drop-offs can be managed on nearby Richmond Rd or Jervois Rd, with access to Kelmarna on foot (~10-minute walk).
If using public transport, AT services run frequently along nearby Richmond Rd and Jervois Rd, with access to Kelmarna on foot either via Parawai Cres or Cox’s Bay Reserve (~10-minute walk).
Kelmarna Community Farm
Accessibility & Mobility
As a working urban farm, most of our site has surfaces that are uneven, permeable, and which can be especially slippery or even sodden when wet. This means that potentially significant parts of site may not be accessible to some visitors due to features like narrow pathways, steep inclines, tall grass, fencing, or other factors that may make an area challenging or even impassable.
Please alert our Education Manager if there will be visitors with your group with prams, in wheelchairs, or with other mobility considerations, and we can work with you to manage a visit that suits your needs.
All visitors acknowledge that Kelmarna may take photos, other media recordings, and statements made during visits. However, these will not be used for any purpose without appropriate permission.
If you have your own media policy guidelines, please be sure to share them with our Education Manager prior to your visit to ensure that we are aware of your expectations when you arrive.
As a rule, everyone on site is informed and expected to use discretion when taking photos or capturing any other media. This means that we expect everyone to ask for consent when including someone in any form of media, and to respect a person’s right to decline any request.