Tutor Bios

Dee Turner

Originally from North Wales, I moved to New Zealand in 2003. I am a qualified teacher and have been gardening organically and teaching for 20+ years. I am passionate about growing, eating and storing great food, and teaching others how to do it.

I run regular practical workshops at my property as well as monthly weekend permaculture workshops. I hold qualifications in teaching, organic horticulture, organics, permaculture and biodynamics.

I also give talks on aspects of sustainability to various organisations and groups throughout Taranaki and and run workshops and events further afield.

Increasingly I  do productive garden visits to properties to help people get started growing food by putting productive gardens in the right place, identifying plants to suit the soil and looking at low maintenance solutions for high output.

Carolann Murray

Wellington based most of my life apart from travelling overseas where, in the mid 1980’s, I came across the book E for additives which told you all the food additives and side effects of them. Outraged I instantly became an indignant organic urban vege grower and have been ever since though have been on my 10 acre farm since 1995. I met Dee when we were both teaching organic horticulture for the same company and discovered that we were like minded.

My passion is for self-sufficiency, which blends well with permaculture, with my focus being creating my entire income from the property which is working well so far. In 2007 I rescued 850 organic blueberry bushes and now inadvertently run an organic blueberry PYO business as well as being in the process of building a food forest, and have converted an old train into an eco airbnb.

Since 2015 I have been, and still am, working on James Cameron’s 20 hectare/50 acre Permaculture food forest in the Wairarapa which is taking food forests to a much larger scale. I hold qualifications in teaching and organic horticulture and have taught this for many years, as well as beekeeping, and in  2010 I wrote the book ‘Mastering the art of self sufficiency in New Zealand’.

Mieke Verschoor 

Born and raised in Westland, “Greenhouse capital of the world” in The Netherlands, I funnily didn’t start gardening until I had moved to New Zealand in 2002. Very quickly I developed a passion for growing food, permaculture, implementing sustainable practices and being as self sufficient as possible in my urban garden.

In 2018 I met Dee at a pruning workshop which would be the beginning of a whole new chapter; I went back to teaching, my original qualification and taught organic horticulture for the same organization as Dee and Carolann. I hold general, organic and sustainable horticulture qualifications.

Since 2021 I have been working for Sustainable Taranaki as project manager and workshop coordinator/facilitator. I love developing and presenting workshops and facilitate many each year relating to composting, organic gardening, upcycling and all things horticulture.