The Ōtākaro Orchard  will be New Zealand's first urban food hub. Located in the heart of the Avon River Precinct between the Town Hall and Margaret Mahy Playground, it will be a place that locals and visitors alike can gain knowledge and inspiration about sustainable food systems in practice. 

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The project has three parts :

  1. An Edible Park featuring a heritage orchard, multiple herb and vegetable beds showcasing a variety of growing techniques, space for educational workshops and an amphitheatre for public gatherings and events.
  2. A Local Food Information Centre and Cafe housed in what we envision will be Christchurch's most regenerative building.
  3. A Dome which will serve as an indoor food production and classroom space.

 

The Ōtākaro Orchard  will serve as the welcoming front door to the local food resilience movement with has been gaining momentum since the earthquakes shook our city apart.

In that time we realised that supermarkets carry only 3 days worth of food and if our supply chains get disrupted we go hungry. Community gardens became important places of refuge and connection as well as sources of fresh food.

In the past few years the Food Resilience Network (aka Edible Canterbury) has been holding a collective vision of Christchurch as an 'Edible Garden City'. A city where every citizen has access to the fresh and healthy food they need to live well. Research has shown that up to 40% of Cantabrians are food insecure which means they can struggle to have access to the food they need. Reimagining our urban green spaces as edible ones is a key way we can start to change this. We hope that by establishing the Ōtākaro Orchard as proof that these kinds of spaces can work, that many more can become possible in the city.



Progress so far //

In 2015, almost 200 people from over 30 groups and organisations worked together to craft the proposal to CERA to develop this site.

In the past year since this proposal was approved we’ve built an amazing team to bring this project to fruition. Each Wednesday landscape and building architects, engineers, permaculturists, composting toilet fanatics, project managers, construction companies and community activists come together to progress this vision.

Thanks to the generosity of Goom Landscapes we now have a buildable design for the park and City Care JFC JV have signed on as our construction partner running the project on a cost reimbursement basis. We’re approaching suppliers of the landscaping materials to come on board as in-kind sponsors.

The project has received over $365,000 in public donations and grant funding to date. Now we’re firming up final details and getting ready to start construction of the first phase!