Grow and enjoy delicious fruit, crisp vegetables and tasty herbs in our edible garden city.

Fruit being collected in a basket

Grow food at home

Grow food at homeGrowing food at home is a great way to eat healthy, save money and doesn’t have to take much time or space.

Benefits of growing food at home:

  • Enjoy fresh and delicious herbs, tree ripened fruit and crisp vegetables.
  • Grow fantastic varieties not usually found in shops.
  • Love your chemical free home grown organic produce.
  • Save time and money on shopping for food.
  • Easier to eat a nutritious and healthy diet.
  • Enable kids to learn first-hand where their food comes from.
  • Growing and picking your own is a fun family activity.
  • Take pride in sharing your bounty with family, friends and neighbours. 

Things to consider when growing at home:

  1. Plan your garden to suit your space, soil and sun
  2. Select varieties you love to eat or that are special, not in supermarkets
  3. Choose fruit varieties that provide a wide range of harvest times
  4. Stage vegetable planting to allow you to continually harvest
  5. Find ways to reduce time watering and weeding, use mulch or automatic irrigators
  6. Recycling your green waste and food scraps by composting or worm farming

What to plant in Christchurch

Christchurch has a great climate for growing a wide variety of fruits, nuts, herbs and vegetables. The Food Resilience Network have developed guides on what plant varieties are particularly suited to our local growing conditions. These guides contain delicious, nutritious, disease resistant and hardy varieties suited to Canterbury.  Many are heritage varieties that perform well and taste great. 

Useful guides

Learn more about growing at home

Community gardens

Community garden

People grow and share fresh, healthy food at community gardens throughout Christchurch. Community gardens are great places to meet people, learn new skills and enjoy food.

Support your local gardens

Community gardens need many helpers and resources to support their activities and enable them to provide ongoing benefits to communities. If you would like to support, volunteer or donate contact a community garden near you. 

Find a community garden near you

This map(external link) provides the locations and contact details for community gardens in Canterbury. 

Create a new community garden

The Council has developed a guide for creating a new community garden [PDF, 192 KB] 

Answers to commonly asked questions [PDF, 20 KB] [DOC, 58 KB] about creating a community garden 

Key steps to consider:

  1. Talk with an existing community garden about their journey and operations
  2. Grow support in your community
  3. Create a leadership group who can take the project forward
  4. Establish your vision, purpose and the operating guidelines for the garden
  5. Choose a suitable location in consultation with the land owner or Council
  6. Identify resources needed, budgets and funding options
  7. Identify resources and skills in your community who can help deliver on your shared vision
  8. Create a suitable not-for-profit legal entity to manage the garden and activities
  9. Prepare a written proposal to the Council (if using Council land)
  10. Negotiate and sign a licence to occupy or lease to use the land
  11. Organise community working days to set-up and start growing

Food foraging and edible parks

Foraging

Growing and collecting food from public places is fun and a great way to enjoy affordable food.

Food foraging

Food foraging is thriving across our edible garden city. Find and collect fruit, nuts, vegetables and medicinal herbs from public places near you. 

Please enjoy nature's bounty, leave some for others, take care of yourself and the trees when harvesting. 

Edible parks

An Edible Park is Council land, where edible plants are grown, cared for and enjoyed by the community in a way that complements the other uses of the park. 

Often fruit or nut trees are dotted around the park, along borders, pathways or in clusters to add diversity and amenity for park users. Plants can be harvested by anyone, but the plants must be cared for over time by the surrounding community.

This is different to a community garden because the land is not formally occupied by a particular community group. It is simply a park that incorporates edible plants in its landscape.

Many parks in Christchurch can become Edible Parks. If you would like to grow and care for edible trees on a Council park near you, contact your local Council community advisor. 

School gardens

School garden

Many schools and early child care centres grow edible plants. School gardens provide hands on learning and a source of fresh, healthy and affordable food.

Find a school garden near you

The Edible Canterbury Facebook page(external link) provides more information and locations for school  gardens. 

Healthy food in schools projects

Create a learning garden or outdoor edible classroom

Farmers markets

Farmer market

Meet artisan food producers, growers, farmers, brewers and bakers at your local weekly farmers market.

Enjoy your local farmers market

If you are aware of other local farmers markets or changes are needed to this information please contact us.

Food resilience

Food resilience

Christchurch aims to be the best edible garden city in the world, where all people have access to healthy, affordable and locally grown food to support healthy and active lifestyles.

Being food resilient supports

  • Health and well-being
  • Close knit and self-reliant communities
  • Lifelong learning
  • Thriving local food economy
  • Resilient and sustainable food system
  • Stewardship of public green spaces
  • A beautiful and diverse garden city 

Seeding our edible garden city

The Council is also a founding signatory of the Edible Canterbury Charter(external link) which supports a sustainable local food economy.