Ōtākaro Orchard has been part of the rebuild vision from the first public consultation, and is the only community led anchor project.
Co-created through community consultation, Ōtākaro Orchard is a living learning hub for growing food, a local food information centre, with café, office and event spaces, and HQ for the Food Resilience Network. Outside is a food forest, a free edible garden, living classroom, outdoor amphitheatre, and garden venue in the heart of the city.
PHASE 1 : Community Garden
An Edible Garden featuring a public food forest, multiple herb and vegetable beds showcasing a variety of growing techniques, space for educational workshops and an open air amphitheatre for public gatherings and events.
PHASE 3 : DOME GREENHOUSE
A Dome which will serve as an indoor food production and classroom space - will even grow bananas!
PHASE 2 : LOCAL FOOD HUB
A Local Food Information Centre and Café housed in Christchurch's first Living Building.
40% of Cantabrians struggle to afford healthy food. Ōtākaro Orchard will produce 1,000 kg of fresh produce each year, a free edible landscape for everyone.
Ōtākaro Orchard is a living learning environment where people can grow, cook, and preserve their own fruit and veggies. Community experts will share their skills, teaching us where our food comes from and how to grow it ourselves.
Ōtākaro Orchard connects people interested in food and community, encouraging intergenerational knowledge transfer.
Supports social good
Attracts visitors drawn to Christchurch’s living laboratory
Community in the heart of the city
At the heart of the Orchard will be our local food hub, a beautiful space created to the world’s most rigorous standards for sustainable building. When the building is finished it will the first Living Building in Christchurch, a space that gives more than it takes from our environment.
The building includes green roofs, solar energy, rainwater tanks, grey water recycling, composting toilets, and is built with entirely non-toxic materials. Reclaimed elm from Hagley Park, and the walls will be built with 4,000 adobe bricks handmade by 109 volunteers.
A True Social Enterprise
Once Ōtākaro Orchard Hub is built it will be self-funding. We’re creating a new model for charities, breaking the cycle of hand outs, freeing Ōtākaro Orchard from continual requests for public funding, and making a space for business opportunities to blossom.
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 few years 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 & Field Studio we now have a implementable designs for the garden and building, & ENTOS/Constructent have signed on as our construction partner for the project. We’re currently finalizing the detailed designs and will be applying for building consent soon!
The project has received over $1,000,000 in public donations and grant funding to date. Now we’re firming up final details and getting ready to start construction of the second phase!
IN THE MEDIA //
Battle of the Mayoral Pumpkins - The Press
Christchurch Urban Food Production - ChristchurchNZ
Edible Paradise - Growing the Food Forest Revolution - the Localizing Food Project (Video)
International students help at Otakaro Orchard - Christchurch Educated
New Zealand's first 'edible park' under way - ChristchurchNZ
Putting the garden back in the Garden City - TVNZ News (Video)
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.