© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2021

Edible garden gets backing from community

otakaro orchard
Otakaro Orchard site  Emme McKay

An initiative to put the garden back into the Garden City has reached its fundraising target.

The Christchurch community dug deep to get the $60,000 target needed for the edible garden and managed to reach it. 

The Otakaro Orchard will be New Zealand's first urban food hub and a shared space for Christchurch locals to learn about food and also take some home with them.

The site for the orchard is situated on Cambridge Terrace next to the Avon River.

Location of Otakaro Orchard Emme McKay

An edible park is the first phase of the project and will include an orchard and herb and vegetable beds.

The next phase will include a local food information centre and a cafe where the food will be made with ingredients from the garden.

The urban edible park will grow 2 tonnes of food a year and be able to provide a bag of vegetables to over 100 families a week.

The project's coordinator Chloe Waretini said the idea for the orchard arose after the Christchurch earthquake.

Waretini said people realised supermarkets carry only three days of food. If a disaster happened that disrupted food coming into the city, there would be hardly any available for residents.

She said there was a strong movement for Christchurch to grow more of its own food in the city.

Waretini said there was no reason Christchurch could not be self-sufficient.

"Christchurch has space and natural resources to grow all of the food to serve the people who live here. There are hardly any cities that can do that. It's a real huge opportunity."

otakaro orchard
Otakaro Orchard site Emme McKay

She said the community response to the Otakaro Orchard had been amazing.

Waretini said so many people were excited about the idea that Christchurch could be a city that feeds itself and wanted to have it as the identity of the new city.

Even the Wizard of New Zealand performed a spell on the site for growth and prosperity.

The Orchard hoped to raise $60,000 and managed to reach their goal with two days to spare.

Waretini said it was heartwarming to see the response from the community. 

She said it was great to see the community was behind them now and wanted the project to happen.

The next priority for the Otakaro Orchard team would be to get the site ready for planting trees. 

Check out the crowdfunding page here.


Otakaro Orchard site