Pakaraka Permaculture Training Programme

We are excited to offer two unique programmes:

Regenerative Living Intensive - One week of learning and practical experience in sustainable living

Market Gardening Intensive - Two weeks of comprehensive market gardening skills for aspiring market gardeners

Both programmes combine practical hands-on learning with classes and workshops. During the programmes' time frame, you will be a part of our farm’s team, working and learning along side us on the farm. We believe that this integrative style of learning is the ultimate platform to up-skill and empower a new generation of growers. We love what we do, and are excited to share this experience and create programmes we would have loved to attend ourselves when we started our journey in small-scale farming!

The core aspects of the programmes are:

Regenerative Living Intensive
We are passionate about treading lightly on the earth and improving the health of our ecosystem. We aspire to create abundance and to provide for ourselves from the wealth the farm has to offer. Come and learn homesteading and sustainable living skills with us!

The Regenerative Living Intensive is composed of the following core topics:

  • Regenerative vegetable growing. Everything you need to know about designing, establishing and maintaining a highly productive garden.
  • Designing, establishing and maintaining a home fruit, nut orchard and establishing a food forest
  • Fermenting and preserving farm produce
  • Keeping chickens and other poultry
  • Off-grid systems: water, electricity, firewood, bio-gas and solar cooking
  • Home bio-char production systems

Market Gardening Intensive

We will be sharing the ins and outs of our successful market gardening operation. During class, you will get a comprehensive view of how our business functions and get all your questions answered. While working in the market garden and through demonstrations, you will gain valuable insights about how we run the gardens and the various techniques we use.

We will cover all the fundamental aspects of market gardening:

  • Farm design and infrastructure
  • Soil health and fertility
  • How to start your farm
  • Bed preparation, plant propagation, transplanting and direct seeding
  • Crop care, weeding and tool maintenance
  • Harvesting a diversity of crops and post-harvesting of vegetables
  • Salads and microgreens production
  • Pest and disease management
  • Food safety
  • Irrigation systems
  • Tunnel house design
  • Crop and production planning
  • Management, accounting, financial and business planing
  • Marketing
  • Farmer care

Coming intensives

Regenerative Living Intensive 16th to 20th November 2020 -  Monday to Friday

Market Gardening Intensive - 30th November to 11th December 2020 -  Monday to Friday 

Registration will open in April 2020


Regenerative living Intensive

This program is for individuals who want to learn sustainable living skills. You will learn how to grow food on any scale - farm, lifestyle block or an urban backyard. The workshop is suitable for people who are already living on the land and wish to up-skill, as well as newbies who want to learn more before taking the plunge! During your time on the farm, you will get to experience this lifestyle, and enjoy the superb food we eat daily.

Market Gardening Intensive

This programme is primarily for aspiring small-scale market gardeners and for people who want to learn how to grow food on a community scale. This is the most comprehensive market gardening program we offer. It is suitable for seasoned market garden employees that want to start their independent operation, as well as people with no background in market gardening or gardening. We cover the basics as well as the fine details of the trade.

Additional information

  • Limited spaces available. The intensive is limited to 12 people.
  • We will mostly be learning and working as a group, but we will also split to
    various tasks.This is a full-time programme, 5 days a week depending on
    workshops, so expect to get yourself immersed in the farm.
  • Morning tea, afternoon tea and Lunch will be catered for during the week, using local and/ or organic produce
  • You will be making your own breakfasts, evening dinners and cooking on the weekend. We will provide you with local and organic produce: breads, eggs, vegetables, milk, grains, legumes ext
  • We cannot house pets on the farm
  • We will gladly pick you up from the bus station in Thames on Sunday evening or Monday morning. we are 7 km from Thames town centre.
  • Families with kids are welcomed! 
  • There is no smoking on the farm, and we ask for responsible consumption of alcohol. In case of inappropriate drinking you will be asked to leave
  • Camping area

    We offer camping on the farm under the pecan orchard, besides the river. The facilities include; outside covered kitchen, hot shower, lights & phone charging and composting toilets. You will need to provide a tent/caravan/van.

    The campsite has mobile reception, and you can charge your laptop at our house, where you can use high-speed WiFi (for all uses except big file downloading)


    Programme fees for the one week Regenerative Living Intensive is $1050.

    The Intensive includes:

    • 5 days of classes, workshop and hands-on learning
    • Catered lunches, morning and afternoon teas
    • Organic and/or local food supplies for making your own breakfasts and dinners
    • Camping facilities
    • Certificate of completion 

    Program fees for the two weeks Market Gardening Intensive is $1950.

    The Intensive includes:

    • 10 days of classes, workshop and hands-on learning
    • Full access to the Online Market Gardening Course
    • Catered lunches, morning and afternoon teas
    • Organic and/or local food supplies for making your own breakfasts and dinners
    • Camping facilities
    • Certificate of completion 

    We take this training programme very seriously, as we open up our lives, livelihoods and skill-sets. You will gain skills that will escort you for the rest of your life. We also understand that not everyone has means to invest this amount in their education. We offer to assist those in need by considering together different options that would aid their payment, such as finding sponsors, opening a give-a-little page, etc.  

    We ask for a 50% deposit of the programme fees the week after you had been accepted to the programme. The remainder 50% programme fees should be cleared four weeks before the start of the programme unless otherwise agreed.

    Deposits can be made to our Kiwi bank account. Account name: Pakaraka Permaculture. Account number: 38-9020-0613702-00.

    How to apply

    1. Click here to be directed to the payment options.

    2. Please send us an email to with the following information

    • Which programme are registering to
    • What interests you about our farm and this programme?
    • How do you see this programme assisting you in your personal and professional development?
    • Do you have any allergies, food restrictions, physical limitations or
    • mental illnesses that might affect your ability to live in a rural setting and do farm work?

    Thank you very much for your interest in our training programmes! And thank you for sharing this information with us, we will not share your information with anyone else.

    Cancellation Policy

    In cancellation of up to 60 days before the start of the programme, you will get a 100% refund. In cancellation between 29 to 59 days, you will get a 50% refund, under 28 days no refund will
    be given. 

    We reserve the right to terminate participation in the programme at any stage, in instants of violent or dangerous behaviour, without a refund.


    By Lauren Beresh
    I am so grateful to have been part of the training program at Pakaraka 2018. The program is an amazing learning experience that covered all areas of small scale farming and self sufficiency in both theory and practical skills. I learned that a lifestyle in farming is challenging but most importantly is that it's achievable and incredibly rewarding. The internship provided a solid foundation of the day to day operations of organic market garden and facilitated a really positive learning feedback. Yotam and Niva are wonderful educators and share their lives and abundant passion for gardening and I highly recommend the course foranyone who is interested in growing food for themselves or community or
    simply want to make a positive change in the world.


    By Jose Miguel Leon Roda, Peru
    "My stay of 10 weeks has been amazing. This place is blessed by nature and the people working for wellbeing and sustainability. I am thankful for have been chosen to be part of the first training program and all the projects done and learnings obtained here. Niva and Yotam have developed
    a remarkable organic market garden from scratch and are succeeding for following their strong ideals, dreams and principles while raising their two lovely girls, Dina and Lily, which is a show of non-stop hard work. Jeanette and Harry are an example of perseverance and fighters,  defending the native bush and other environmental causes throughout the  years. I won’t forget Luna, the lovely and best Kelpie ever! Beside everything done and learned here, I also found my family in New Zealand.
    They represent very good friends and professionals over whom I can rely and count with. I’m sure that they will continue to achieve their dreams and make true all the plans they got for the future. Please
    continue with all that energy and positive vibe that characterize you and Pakaraka. You rock!!!


    By Adrienne Gordon
    I'm incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to study and live at Pakaraka Farm. Throughout the 10 week course I was both challenged and supported, allowing me to gain the confidence and skills needed to be a market gardener.
    Yotam's drive, positivity and enthusiasm and Niva's admirable ethics combine to create an impressive and successful lifestyle and business. It's brilliant to see people not only growing organic food, but also consuming only organic and local or fair-trade food.
    As well as teaching the skills needed to grow, care for and harvest all the crops in the garden, Yotam consulted us about development decisions, encouraging problem solving and meaning our work had a lasting impact on the farm. I enjoyed the culture of communication and of continuous learning, with feedback encouraged at the end of each week and an extensive library on market gardening books
    that I wish I'd read more of! The land itself is beautiful, tranquil and engaging, with a stunning swimming spot and hike up the hill. It's inspiring to hear Harry and Jeanette's approach to
    developing the land, allowing a large percentage to regenerate as native bush and working tirelessly for over 20 years to create a home that is focused on community and self sufficiency. Working with them gave us a more holistic view of organic farm management and the benefit of their years of experience living a low impact lifestyle. I leave this farm a much happier, nourished and enthusiastic person with the skills to do the thing that I love and that means the world to me. Thanks so much everyone at Pakaraka Farm.


    By Justine Mazereeuw
    Merci beaucoup Pakaraka! Thank you Niva, Jeanette, Yotam, Harry, Lily and Dina for this incredible
    permaculture and human adventure. I really shared and enjoyed the strong values of permaculture and the learning of life with nature in a community way of life. Leaving France to take this training program was a great experience full of discoveries and magical meetings.
    This program made by Niva and Yotam is an excellent training for anyone who wants to get a market garden, or work in permaculture farm structures. They are excellent teachers and pedagogues, sharing their passion with solid knowledge, experience and great patience. The welcome is extremely family friendly. Niva and Yotam are relying heavily on feedbacks to always improve their educational programs. Jeanette and Harry are great examples of grandparents struggling to leave a better
    world for their grandchildren, available, full of tips, methods and exciting stories to tell.
    I really enjoyed the life on the campsite, with the bonus of delicious meals from Yotam! To complete
    this program, the living environment of the farm is exceptional: a true magical landscape, with a beautiful river where to swim on hot days. I highly recommend this training program in permaculture, extremely rewarding, which I would apply again without hesitation!


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