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Workshop Notes - Community Supported Agriculture July 2008
updated 18 Nov 2008
- Need an audit of food sources in our region. How much of our food do we produce and how much do we import? Can imports (in particular staples such as grains, seeds & derivatives eg wheat, oats, linseed, bran, rice & grain-based foodstuffs eg pasta, breakfast cereals etc) be replaced by locally-grown crops and processed locally? What are estimated food needs now and in 5 and 10 years? Can we meet them? TT Nelson wants to collaborate on food audit.
- What is and can be grown in Nelson-Tasman bioregion? Nelson City Council & TDC have produced “Primary Solutions” (Project coordinator Jeremy Cooper) – a land use parameter database (soil type, rainfall, growing degree days, rainfall etc) funded by the Sustainability Farming Fund of the Ministry of Agric & Forestry. Check on when it will be accessible to ratepayers via the web.
- What public land is available for planting edible landscapes? Open Orchards (edible landscapes) is an initiative to grow heritage fruit and nut trees on public land as food sources. The DHB (as part of their Nutrition & physical activity program can provide advice and support for eg community food garden and open orchard initiatives. TDC contact for advice on sites in Motueka area for community gardens/open orchards is Beryl Wilkes (away until end of August), Reserves Manager TDC.
- CSA - large scale eg could pastoral farmers be incentivised to seed staple crops( grains, potatoes etc) after soil is fertilised by livestock and they’ve been moved to new pasture?
Canterbury (Ashburton) grower of organic grains, seeds, pulses (wheat,oats,lentils,peas) for humans and stock is Harry Lowe of NZ Biograins: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Could use a shareholder CSA model to assist these farmers to sow and harvest crops.
CSA-small scale eg Steve Richards of Jester House is interested in local suppliers of fresh produce for his restaurant either by purchasing or exchanging.
- Roy Hart: Over 30 years Tree Crop Association has conducted R & D on crops not normally grown in NZ eg walnuts, hazelnuts, chestnuts in early days and more recently kaki, nashi, almonds and 10 years ago olives. Trials are done on small properties where soil can be modified to suit the tree crop. TCA can offer help with planting and upkeep. Contacts: River Terrace Nursery and Bob Phillips.
- Importance of sourcing and propagating heritage varieties and ensuring a large gene pool is maintained. This means several people in different sites growing and exchanging seeds & plant material. Koanga Gardens is often seeking growers throughout NZ to trial different varieties (eg 60 varieties of tomatoes recently donated to Koanga) and prevent cross-pollination prevalent in small growing areas adjacent to each other.
- Consult with the Motueka Community Board and obtain their support for open orchards and community garden initiatives.
1) Next meeting to be decided
2) Audit of food sources, current requirements and future potential. Carolyn to coordinate with TT Nelson on their planned food audit and check availability of Primary Solutions.
3) Form networks to save seeds and heritage varieties. Bob Anderson of Go Lightly Farm has unusual vegetable varieties which are adapted to our climate eg black radish which loves frost. Bob Anderson & Susie to coordinate. Koanga and community gardens good sources.
4) Small and large scale CSA: Go Lightly Farm is planning to grow barley and oats on 20 acres of river flats. Group to provide support where possible.
5) Data base of edible landscape varieties and suitability. Roy Hart of Tree Crop Association offers support with database and advice.
6) Jester House seeking supplies of fresh produce for Jester House restaurant.
-An audit is key -of local food sources
-of public land for food production
-Seeds/heritage varieties need to be protected
-Need to develop collective/community food production
-Need top protect food production capacity of the land
Notes: TT Motueka Community Supported Agriculture/ Agricultural Biodiversity 26/7/2008
Community Organic Gardens Trust has funding to establish 6 demonstration open orchards of 20 plus heritage fruit and nut trees.
In the US people, are paying in advance for a share of the crops to pay for its production. EG. Farmers provide land- co-op organizes a planting and harvesting of the crops.
TDC has a database of soil/climate and crop data that shows what can grow where (Primary Solutions)
Tree Crop Association has a great skill base. Need to learn what to grow where.There is huge scope for planting food trees on public/Council owned land.
While the climates are largely fixed there is great scope for modifying soil types and huge variability in soil types locally.
Need to get a food audit down of the region- what is grown locally.
It makes sense to grow staple crops such as potatoes on a big scale.
Some grain crops are still grown locally eg. Oats.
There has been a huge conversion to dairy nationally- is it sustainable.
Riverside had a 2 hectare garden that feed 200 people (only 6 months of potatoes and 6 months of mung beans). Also has a dairy and an orchard.
Need seed exchange/seed bank.
Need to adapt lifestyle and embrace new technology.