Bay of Plenty Polytechnic – one day workshop – for students, cadets & orchardists

Tue March 17, 9am – 5:00pm

Bay of Plenty Polytechnic are hosting a one day workshop to learn about design and systems thinking in commercial orcharding. Stefan Sobkowiak will show the benefit of using a diversity of species, understory plantings and integrated animals to increase returns through greater yields and reduced inputs.

You will need to bring a notebook, camera and a map of your property. Come ready to participate in both presentation-style and hands on learning guided by Stefan and others.

Kiwifruit Orchard


$135 per person ($20 early bird discount available up to Feb 15th).

Time: 9:00am – 5:00pm

Eventbrite - Masterclass with Stefan Sobkowiak - Bay of Plenty

What you will learn

• Three essentials to a vibrant soil
• How your orchard can benefit from birds, insects and animals
• How to see your orchard – develop new observation skills
• The Magic Model design process
• The economics of a commercial permaculture orchard


Time Session Notes
9:00 Introduction to Beyond Organics and outline of the day BoP Polytechnic Lecture theatre
10:00 Tea break
10:20 Introduction to multi-layered diverse Orchard Design Discussion and questions encouraged.
12:00 Lunch Walk to Kiwifruit training block (15min)
12:45pm Visit to Kiwifruit site within the Polytech grounds
1:45pm Student groups engaged in design charrette with coaching & support Group collaboration in “The Shed”
3:15 Tea break
3:30 Presentation of Designs Group presentations in a gallery style critique.
4:45 Summing up – last questions
5:00pm CLOSE


Stefan SobkowiakStefan Sobkowiak is a synergist, permaculturist and irrepressible optimist – a man outstanding in his field. Over the last 25 years he has spoken to more than 400 groups on the themes of edible gardening, landscape design, birds and permaculture.

As a University sessional lecturer for 8 years Stefan has taught courses in Fruit production, Landscape plants and design and the Natural History of Vertebrates.

He has a Master’s in landscape architecture from the University of Guelph (Canada) and a Masters and Bachelors in wildlife biology and wildlife management respectively, from McGill University (Canada).

Stefan at home in his orchardStefan has 20 years experience serving over a hundred clients through his landscape design practice, specialising in attracting bird, insect and animal allies into his designs.

Over the last 6 years he has focused on Miracle Farms, the largest permaculture fruit orchard in Eastern North America, where he also raises fowl and sheep.

On this page you will find a short video in which Stefan introduces the concepts of the Permaculture Orchard – Beyond Organic.

Stefan will be on tour in New Zealand between March 15 and April 9, 2015. For more information visit or contact James Samuel on 021 252 0653 or via


The Beyond Organic NZ Tour is being supported by the following organisations


If you have questions about this workshop contact James Samuel.

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