24 Mar 2017

With a week to go crowdfunding to build an edible park in central Christchurch is heading for success with over half the $60,000 target met and more than 230 pledges received.

The planned layout of the Otakaro Orchard.

The Ōtākaro Orchard will be sited closed to the Margaret Mahy Playground.

The Ōtākaro Orchard project is led by the Food Resilience Network, a collaboration of over 30 organisations and 150 people working together under the moniker Edible Canterbury to get a strong local food economy in Canterbury.

They have been granted the lease of the $3 million site at 227 Cambridge Terrace, next to the former PGC building site in the Avon River Precinct, by Ōtākaro Limited and are now fundraising $2 million to construct the edible park, cafe and local food information centre.

They are currently trying to crowdfund $60,000 for the first phase of the project.

Project lead Chloe Waretini said the community response to the campaign had been great.

“We're so happy to see our community investing in this project and so many people putting up their hands to say that this is what they want for the new Christchurch,'' she said.

On Sunday from 10.30am to 2.30pm the Ōtākaro Orchard team will be invading the Margaret Mahy Playground, collaborating with students from Discovery Unlimited School to run kids' gardening and art activities to raise awareness about the project and invite parents to make pledges in cash or online.

At 11am, 12:30pm and 2pm there will be walking tours across to the project site for those interested in finding out more about what will be built there this year.

Andy Ellis

Former All Black Andy Ellis is excited about plans for an edible park in central Christchurch.

The project has some high profile backers, including the Wizard of New Zealand, who performed a spell for growth and prosperity on the project site this week and former All Black Andy Ellis, who has a passion for gardening.

“It's a new way of doing things and a new way of thinking. I love the fact that I could bring my kids down here and we can see what vegetables grow at different times of the year and learn about food growing,’’ Andy Ellis said.

Piko Wholefoods Cooperative have come on board as a Founding Family Sponsor with a donation for $10,000. Cooperative member Brigette Unwin said they were passionate about educating and influencing our community about sustainable living and healthy lifestyles by setting a standard of integrity and excellence around organic and local food.

“We give away our profits to community groups with similar aims and principles and supporting Otakaro Orchard is perfect for us."

There are still lots of opportunities for individuals, organisations and businesses to get their name on the site by donating for rewards such as naming a brick, tree or planter box.

The crowdfunding campaign closes at 8pm on Friday, March 31.