Fifty-eight Rotorua families and eight local kindergartens are to be given free vegetable gardens and taught to grow and compost their own food.
My Backyard Garden Project‘s Brent Mags is once again teaming up with local community garden coordinators Te Rangikaheke Kiripatea and Bernie Hornfeck, along with a team of volunteers, to build the gardens and compost bins from donated and recycled materials.
The passionate gardeners first got together in December 2016 to build a community garden in Ngongotaha, and have now set themselves the challenge to build vegetable gardens and compost bins in 66 locations around Rotorua in just one weekend.
“It’s going to be a mammoth task,” says Te Rangikaheke. “But we will have enough teams of people to be able to bring it all together.”
Te Rangikaheke says more help is needed leading up to the challenge during the week beginning 19 March, to break down, stack and load pallets in preparation for the build.
Once the gardens are built, volunteers will then help families to plant their first vegetables including kale, spinach, silver beet, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and parsley.
“It’s about engaging families in sustainable living, as well as improving their diets through backyard gardens,” Te Rangikaheke says.
The My Backyard Garden Project hosts a supportive Facebook community of families who are all learning to grow and harvest their own food.
“We are also working with the Rotorua Local Food Network to partner up our families with local gardeners who can offer them support and tips during the first six months of having their garden,” Te Rangikaheke says.
“We are looking for volunteers who can spare an hour a month to help a family learn about maintaining their garden.”
The Rotorua Vegetable Garden Challenge will be held from 19 to 26 March.
Volunteers are encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Alan Scicluna on 027 389 3505.
For all media enquiries, contact Te Rangikaheke Kiripatea directly on 0211 375 777.
The Rotorua Vegetable Garden Challenge is being supported by a large number of volunteers, businesses and organisations. These include:
- Healthy Families Rotorua
- Rotorua Lakes Council Neighbourhood Matching Fund
- Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust
- Rotorua Youth Centre
- Auckland Council
- RoomMate Cabins
- Mainfreight Rotorua
- Mainfreight Auckland
- TW Moore Earth Moving Contractors
- Sequal Lumber Kawerau
- Rotorua Multicultural Council
- Rotorua Local Food Network
- Countdown Central Mall
- Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology
- Salvation Army Rotorua
- Rotorua MENZ Shed
- Sustainable Backyards Rotorua
- Te Arawa Whanau Ora
- Tipu Ora