The Veggie Garden Project is a response to the call for rediscovering the joy of simple fresh food through learning and discovery of the natural world. As a community the desire to eat simple food fresh from the garden is increasing, yet there is a generational lack of knowledge and experience for growing and cooking our own food. The Veggie Garden Project addresses the skills shortage which is hindering our ability to grow food at the community, school and personal level.
Our vision is luxuriant gardens full of seasonal organic vegetables, herbs, fruits, and flowers throughout Christchurch. These gardens will be places of learning and connection where people will learn the skills needed to grow, harvest and cook their own delicious, fresh food. They will learn to teach these skills to others while working in schools and communities. The garden is a setting where people learn respect for the natural world while building friendships and lifelong relationships.
The Veggie Garden Project
Our project has 4 themes:
- Creating skilled organic gardeners who are able to teach children and adults as well as work with volunteers in both community and school garden settings.
- Growing and cooking fresh organic food which nourishes not only our bodies but our homes and communities.
- Providing stability and support to gardening projects which rely on skilled volunteers, enthusiastic teachers and other community members.
- Enabling people to engage in the natural workings of a growing environment, where people will expand their knowledge of the natural world. This supports participants in decision-making and action in their own lives and their community.
Achieving the project
We have identified the following steps to achieving the project:
- Initially funds will be held through Delta Community Trust while a Charitable Trust is set up. The Trust will hold the vision and governance.
- Visit a wide range of people who are actively interested in growing simple fresh food and community. These relationships will form the roots of The Veggie Garden Project.
- Secure initial and long term funding.
- Continue to develop foundation gardens and increase the number of gardens in schools and community through the apprenticeship system.
- Design apprenticeship and workshop programmes to create skilled community gardeners who can grow, cook and teach.
- Develop management systems.
There are four programmes in our project, each is important and ties into the others. Each programme has its own document with detailed information.
- Foundation Gardens is the luxuriant environment that will be the energy driver for the whole project.
- The Apprenticeship Scheme will pass on organic growing, harvesting, and cooking skills as well as teaching and community skills in a positive, enthusiastic and appreciative environment. The apprentices will in turn pass on these skills through the formation of additional gardens.
- Workshops will be regularly held. These workshops will be a forum through which gardening and environmental knowledge and experience can be shared throughout the wider community.
- Community Connections will naturally flow from people coming together to creating nourishing environments.
- Responsiveness – working within a framework which allows for responsiveness to the needs of individuals, communities and places.
- Appreciation – the project will operate within an appreciative environment and highlight the use of natural learning processes.
- Encouragement – the gentle giant. Encouragement is acknowledging the process of working and learning. Cheering on effort but allowing the rewards to be the natural outcome of endeavour.
- Information and knowledge freely passed on to the garden community.
- Diversity – The organic world maintains strength through diversity. Diversity of plants, gardens and people will be a guiding principle.
- The project is not for profit. It is considered that the food/seed/plants produced will be available for teaching and learning which includes sharing with the community. The project will focus on the natural Gift Economy. If people are encouraged to grow food/seeds/plants for money then it is our experience that the need to produce for money overrides the purpose and focus of finding abundance in the local world.
Who will be involved?
Incorporated Charitable Trust
- Four to five members who are passionate about community-based organic food production
- Maintain the vision and strategic planning
- Manage finances
Directors of The Veggie Garden Project
The directors are Jacqueline Newbound and Mary Tingey, who will:
- Set up the initial gardens
- Design programmes for teaching apprentices organic growing skills, harvesting and cooking, learning and teaching skills, community skills
- Engage with wider community for support and input
- Develop the workshop programme
- Develop management systems
- Participants in the garden – children and adults
- Workshop leaders and experts
Details for the participants in this project are in the supporting documents: The Children, The Apprenticeship Programme, The Board of Trustees.
You can support The Veggie Garden Project
Interested? Would you like to get involved? We would love to hear from anyone interested in joining in with The Veggie Garden Project. For example, you can:
- Let us know about a garden in your school or community that could be part of The Veggie Garden Project
- Share your skills in a workshop
- Lend your skills and experience to support a school or community garden
- Donate equipment or funds
- Work collaboratively to support the project
- Pass on information about The Veggie Garden Project to others
- Write a letter or email of support on our behalf as we look to build and develop The Veggie Garden Project
Please contact us if you would like to get involved or know more.