Building a hub for local food in the heart of Christchurch, an exemplar for a 21st-Century Garden City.
Ōtākaro Orchard will be a welcoming front door to the “patchwork of food producing hotspots woven like a ribbon into the fabric of our community”
Elements of Otakaro Orchard :
Public Food Forest
- Producing 1,000kg / year
- Open-Harvest for public use
- Organically managed
- Gabion Amphitheatre
- Permeable Pathways
- Solarium / Outdoor Classroom
Cafe & Information Centre
- Living Building 180-person capacity
- Small & Large venue spaces
- HQ for Food Resilience Network
- Social Enterprise Café
- Green roofs
- Compost toilets
- Grey water recycling
- Solar energy
- Rain water tanks
We are raising money to get our Ōtākaro Orchard Information Centre and Café on its way to completion! With this money raised, we can finish our green roof and get the building wind and water tight. This will get us on track to finish the building by the end of this year!
In 2017, a Pledge Me campaign was extremely successful in getting the Ōtākaro Orchard project underway. Since then, a beautiful community garden has been put in place along Cambridge Terrace. This includes a food forest and various herb and vegetable beds which are visually appealing to the surrounding community, while also demonstrating a variety of growing techniques for educational workshops.
Ōtākaro Orchard is the welcoming front door to the local Food Resilience movement in Christchurch.
A project of the Food Resilience Network to build an urban hub for local food in the heart of our city. As the only community-led anchor project of the rebuild, Ōtākaro Orchard is a rare example of grassroots community vision backed by both local & national government, and the private sector. Additionally, this project won the tender from CERA for the North Frame Community Garden in 2015. This project is a critical anchor for our thriving local food movement, a central nexus for inter-generational learning, and a world-class exemplar of what’s possible for New Zealand and other cities around the globe.
Ōtākaro Orchard has demonstrated how using urban spaces as edible gardens is a key factor in promoting community and food security. Further use of this space for educational workshops will continue to prove how these spaces promote food resilience.
The Plan for the Information Centre and Café
Once completed, the Information Centre will be used to host educational workshops for school educators, local businesses, and independent gardeners alike to teach skills for planting healthy, regenerative systems. This will become a living learning hub for growing food and environmental awareness. The building is to have a green roof, solar panels, compost toilets, passive solar heating, internal adobe earth bricks, grey water recycling, and a cafe along Cambridge Terrace.
Signficant work was put into the building site in late 2020 under the Food Resilience Network’s Project Control Group. Murray James from Maiden Group has been the acting project manager at no cost to FRN, with the commitment to do whatever necessay for as long as it takes to ge the building fully up and running.
The incredible work of the Voluntary Project Control Group cannot go unnoticed: The Group re-worked the $1.8 million budget down to $690,000, plus GST. Despite construction costs escalating as much as 40% across the last two years, the team has managed to keep to budget with the support of awesome volunteers and supply chain supporters!
The FRN was also lucky enough to win a 36 panel solar array from LightForce Solar. This was granted to us because the mahi and kaupapa of the FRN showed how we are committed to sustainability and education. This was a significant cost avoided thanks to LightForce Solar which we could not be more grateful for.
It has been a (sometimes difficult) journey to get the building to the stage it’s in now. With significant support from volunteers and generous suppliers, the building only has a small way to go. We don’t want all this hard work to go to waste, and better yet: we want to show off the amazing effort that’s gone into it!
Progress so far:
So far, we’ve completed the structural steel and timber framing of the building. Grey and foul water drainage, electrical mains and live power, the roof sub-structure and ply sheathing, the membrane roof, and windows have been installed. The building has been wrapped, weatherproofing installed to the openings.
The building has lots of awesome aspects, but there are a few that really stand out:
Outside, there has been a garden wall built on the east side, which is made of recycled bricks.
Inside, an air to water hydronic heating system has been installed, which in conjunction with the solar array, concrete slab, and adobe brick thermal mass, will provide free energy delivery and constant temperature to the building. The handmade adobe bricks, which will line half of the internal walls, have been salvaged from an adjacent site. These add to the sustainable aesthetic, as well as providing thermal mass energy for the interior of the building.
We have had some amazing supporters who’ve helped us get here. Supporters who have contributed to the building thus far are more than worth a mention as part of our story: A huge thanks to Maiden Group, Mitre 10 Mega Ferrymead, Hagley Windows and Doors, Brooklyn Services, Entire Commercial Electricians, Avon Brick and Block, and Red and Black Roofing for getting the building to where it is now.
It’s easy to see why we’re so excited to get the building finished and put all its amazing features to use!
The building already shows off the warm insulating adobe mud brick internal walls with lovely open spaces made for hosting educational workshops and a large area for the cafe and social functions.
The building truly is in its final stages. In fact, the space is already being used to host events. So far, events such as educational hui, food workshops with Garden to Table, and our AGM have been hosted in our Information Centre to be. However, it would be much better utilised with a few finishing touches such as running water and solid walls!
Help us finish our green roof!
Some of the funding we’re hoping to raise will go towards purchasing the pumice based substrate for our blue green roof. This roof will be Aotearoa’s first “blue green” garden and solar roof. The technical aspects are all sorted, and even some of the plants (salavged from a now-residential building site) are ready to be planted!
Here’s where you come in:
The building is in its final stages and in need of just a little more funding for completion! A lot of work has already gone into it, and it just needs that final push. For transparency, we have shared a spreadsheet of our estimated costs so you can see exactly what funds will be used for and the direct impact of your donation! We have various rewards provided by our amazing sponsors that you can choose from based on how much you would like to donate.
Visit www.pledgeme.co.nz and find our Ōtākaro Orchard campaign to support our cause!
If we reach the $60k target, we’ll be able to complete the green roof and get the building wind and water tight.
Anything over the target will not go to waste! Firstly, money will be put towards weatherproofing, and any surplus will get the building on its way to completion. Not to mention, there are many more future costs of getting the Information Centre and Cafe up and running.
We look forward to finishing the building so we can finally share it with the Christchurch community!
PHASE 1 :
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 2 :
Local food hub
A Local Food Information Centre and Restaurant acting as a window to display and promote the abundant network of local food producers, community gardens and organisations that contribute to our food security in Canterbury.