More dates

Bountiful Bananas, with Ellen Schindler

This event has passed Get tickets

Event description



Thursday 24 November - 6.30pm to 8.30pm (2 hours)

If you think about it, bananas are one of natures greatest organically wrapped, nutritional snacks! And they're imported to Aotearoa New Zealand from overseas at more than 70-million kilograms each year. Yet, in many parts of the country the climate is perfect to grow your own. What's more, they can go from planting to plate in less than two years, and home grown bananas are the gift that keeps on giving, fruiting for seasons to come, with a fraction of the carbon footprint, skipping the sprays and import fumigations, to provide your family and community with that delicious yellow fruit!

Join expert tutor Ellen Schindler at Kelmarna Gardens for this introduction to all things bananas. This workshop will show you how simple and beneficial it can be to grow your own bananas, even in smaller spaces or containers! Check out the fundamentals of how to grow them, how to care for them, and recipe ideas for how to savour every last bit of the plant.

Banana Boxes @ Gribblehirst Park
Some of Ellen's banana trees, thriving in containers @ Gribblehirst Park, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland

What to expect:

This two-hour crash course starts with how to establish a banana circle, covering general learning about bananas and their growing needs, including strategies for growing successfully in small spaces or containers. Ellen will use demonstration models as well as in-situ banana circles in Kelmarna's food forest to help give you a clear picture how to best choose, prepare, and maintain a growing space for bananas. You will cover the mechanics and the benefits of banana circles as a regenerative source of food, but also look at how individual plants can be grown to fruit in areas as small as less than 1m². Along with the basics of planting and care, Ellen will also share tips for how to use different parts of the banana plant in the kitchen, including beyond just the fruit.

Banana Pup Pre-order:

To help you get started with your banana project, there is the opportunity to preorder an organic banana pup with your ticket. These will be sourced from our own certified organic Kelmarna Gardens and will be ready to take home after the workshop. So, be sure to register with a ‘+ Banana Pup’ ticket option to secure one of your own!

Tickets include: instruction and demonstrations, for propagating, caring for, and tips for cooking with bananas; one banana pup (with preorder)

What to bring:


  • a refillable water bottle (to stay hydrated)
  • weather appropriate gear (to keep comfortable)
  • a face covering or mask (for indoor areas and close quarters)


  • a pen and notepad (to take notes, if you like)


Ellen Schindler is a passionate gardener and community organiser. Since 2006 she has nurtured her home garden in Sandringham into a productive food system with about 55 fruit trees of all types and sizes, beehives, chooks, and vegetable patches. She is also a committed volunteer who has been instrumental in establishing the Homestead and the Dignan Street Community gardens in Pt Chevalier and has been involved in planting and maintaining fruit trees in parks and grass berms across Sandringham.

Over the past few years, Ellen has indulged her interest in cultivating mushrooms on logs as well as in containers, experimenting in creating opportunities for valuable food production in the otherwise darker, more overlooked spaces in her garden.

Ellen believes that healthy food should be accessible to everyone, and teaching hands-on DIY workshops is one of her favourite ways to achieve this goal! In this workshop, Ellen is looking forward to sharing with you her homegrown mushroom experience and encouraging you to explore the process for yourself -- hopefully to find that it’s good fun and a lot easier than it looks!


At Kelmarna, we strive to make education accessible for everyone. So, where possible, we offer a 35% discount on our workshops to valid Community Services Card holders. If you book one of these tickets, please email us a copy of your valid Community Services Card, and remember to bring it along to the workshop. Please note that this option does not include Super Gold Card holders. Ngā mihi.

Powered by

The humane choice for tickets Humanitix donates 100% of profits from booking fees to children’s charities

Refund policy