Grow Free Food at Roimata Community Food Hub
Do you like fresh fruit? Do you want to see more free food in your community?
Planning is underway for a community garden and orchard for Radley Park in Woolston. The proposed Roimata Food Hub will include community fruit trees, vege beds, herb gardens, tunnel houses and more, benefiting both the Woolston community and wider Christchurch.
Before this project can get off the ground, we need to know if this is something the community wants!
Representatives from CCC and Sally Buck, chairperson of our local Community Board have shown great enthusiasm for this project. Both organisations are willing to invest resources to make this happen, but they need to see that the community supports the project. We've created this petition to be a "show of hands" to say that this is something we want in Woolston and Christchurch.
Why community gardens?
It's not just about getting the community eating more fresh fruit and vegetables. Successful community garden projects, both here in NZ and overseas, have shown that projects like this have wider benefits for the whole community, including…
- Getting to know your neighbours
- Helping reduce crime within the community through more people knowing each other, and encouraging people to be out and about in the neighbourhood,
- Providing an opportunity to teach youth where food comes from, practical math skills, basic business principles, stewardship, responsibility, caring for the environment, job and life skills,
- Creating cultural opportunities - welcoming new residents from various backgrounds into the neighbourhood, provide opportunities for community elders to pass on knowledge,
- Providing an inexpensive and hugely satisfying activity for both the young and less-young amongst us, allowing us to interact with each other in a socially meaningful and physically productive way.
- Plus you get to eat things!
How will it work?
The food that is produced will be shared out amongst those that have been involved in the garden. Any surplus from the garden will be made available to community groups who can distribute to those in need in our community.
The progress so far
The project is in its early stages, but we already have the support of CCC and the local community board. An initial committee has been formed (to do things like creating petitions!), and we have some beginning ideas for the gardens:
- Fruit that tastes like "real" fruit: We have already been offered some heirloom fruit trees to plant in July/August to kick-start the community orchard...
- A rainwater harvesting system to provide water for the gardens...
- Storage sheds and tunnel housing for crops and seedlings, so we can grow all year round...
- A food preparation area for community food events, picnics, etc...
- Composting systems to recycle garden waste back into the gardens...
...And we're excited to get other ideas from the community.
Sounds great. How do we make this happen?
The first thing we need is a show of support from the community: Both the Woolston community and the wider Christchurch community.
By signing this petition you will be showing your support and enthusiasm for the Roimata Community Food Hub, and all the opportunities and benefits that come with.
All you have to do is add your name to this petition to show your support. No other commitment is required: You're not signing up to volunteer. We're just looking for a show of hands to say "Yes, this is something we want in the community!"
If support from the community is strong enough, we'll go back to the CCC and local community board for funding, and it will be full steam ahead!
Sign the petition below, lend us your voice, and together we can create a happier, healthier Woolston!
On a personal note: Since starting my own garden it is an amazing feeling to be able to sit down and eat the product of your hard work. It always tastes better, fresher and is always healthier when you have just picked it! My kids eat more variety than they used to because they are involved. It is a win-win for everyone :)
So, please make your voice heard and sign this petition as your show of support. And if you are so excited that you want to be involved at an organising committee level or as a regular gardener please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org,
Please don't forget to tell your friends :)
Project Co-Ordinator @ Roimata Community Food Hub