Food Forest Weekend Experience

Summer 2023-24: North Canterbury, New Zealand

Grow your passion, interest and understanding of food forests and natural gardening

Experience and explore 2 hectares of established, 14 year old forest gardens


Up to 2 people

2 Nights


4 Hours


Book now

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Learn about foodscaping / food forest gardening

Develop an understanding of how to design and implement your own food forest garden with a one on one guided tour and discussion session.
  • Explore the extensive, established forest garden at blockhill
  • Learn identify, develop and exploit niches to grow a wider range of useful plants
  • Discuss mixed and companion planted polycultures and guilds
  • Understand plant succession for ecosystem transition and transformation
  • Witness beneficial insects and extreme biodiversity
  • Meet the chooks, ducks and pigs and see how they fit into the system
  • Overview of useful hand tools
2 hours

Water wise land shaping and rain harvesting strategies

  • Tour the numerous terraces, swales and water other catchment systems and learn how they intercept, redirect and retain water in the landscape
  • Witness how swales and raised beds can be deployed in a food forest setting and how they benefit chickens, ducks and pigs
  • Discuss and demonstrate various tools and techniques
  • Rainwater harvesting, tanks, piping and pumps
  • Utilising grey water and run-off with trees and gardens
2 hours
  swale  water  education 

2 nights in the tiny house accommodation

A rustic little getaway surrounded by nature. Relax in the hammocks on sunny days or soak in the fire-bath under the night sky to complete your immersive weekend experience.
Sit on the private deck overlooking native bush and hilly farmland. Enjoy birdsong and insects humming during the day, and in the evening get ready for the snuffling of hedgehogs and the possibility of possums on the roof.
  • A cosy and private cabin with queen sized mezzanine loft bed and additional fold-out futon downstairs
  • Easy access to outdoor composting toilet and fire/solar heated shower and outdoor bath
  • Cooking with wood fire or use the electric toaster, hotplates and oven for convenience
  • The cabin has running water and mini fridge
  • Suitable for up to 2 guests
  • Unsuitable for young children
  • No wifi (minimal cellphone and data coverage)
  • No smoking anywhere on the premises
Food and cooking
  • Provide your own food, prepare your own meals
  • Make use of Cheviot's local supermarket options Cheviot 4 Square and Harris Meats (25 minute drive)
  • Enjoy supplementary fresh fruit and seasonal herbs and vegetables from the forest garden
Need a reason? Here are a few...

Need a reason? Here are a few...

We want your experience and memories of blockhill to be positive and educational.
  • Experience and learn new, useful and exciting things. A self reliant lifestyle means confidently performing a wide range of tasks. Get involved in daily activities
  • Discover joy and value in living simply and lightly. Feel the freedom of low cost, low impact living in harmony with the rhythm of the seasons.
  • Reconnect with the natural world. Recognise patterns in nature and draw off of those when designing.
  • Turn problems into solutions. Limitations feed creativity and lead to unexpected and beautiful outcomes.
  • Comfortable and funky accommodation
  • Educational experiences and dedicated learning activities such as flax weaving and plant identification

Don't take our word for it

See what our wonderful visitors have to say

Our short stay on Blockhill Farm was the highlight of our NZ holiday. The place was wonderful. Our hosts were generous with their time, knowledge and produce. The food was delicious. The studio accommodation was beyond expectation. Very comfortable and beautiful. Thanks to Olmec and Melisa

We had a wonderful time at Blockhill Forest Garden, hearing from Olmec about water-wise landscaping and his journey and experiences with this place that he and Melisa have put in so much effort and passion to create. Highly recommend coming here to appreciate and learn about “working with Nature”

David Weiher

Our experience at Blockhill was very enjoyable and educational. It was inspiring to see the relationship Olmec and Melisa have with their piece of land. We left with many ideas to get started on our own smaller project. Thank you

Erin Smith

I stayed at Blockhill for a few days and had a splendid time. I loved the outdoor shower, heater with a wood burner in a beautiful wood cabin and the daily feeding of the free ranging ducks, chicken and piggies. The location is beautiful and feels calm and remote. Olmec and Melisa are such great people to be around with and I'd wish to spend time with them and their amazing Permaculture farm again!

Kai Lindenblatt

A group of us visited Blockhill to participate in a lecture/tour on food foresting and permaculture. We had such a magical day with Olmec, Melisa and the many animal friends they host on their property. We left Blockhill with plentiful knowledge on the principals that Olmec and Melisa have utilised to create their vision, inspiration to incorporate permaculture into our own lives, and a yearning to return to Blockhill as soon as possible!!!

Adam Hayes

We had a fantastic and informative visit to the beautiful forest garden at Blockhill. We did the foodscaping/forest gardening workshop, and it was well worth it. We learned heaps! Melisa and Olmec were very friendly, welcoming, and knowledgeable. We would highly recommend it to anyone interested in permaculture or forest gardening.


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