Mark Thursday 8th October in your calendar and start offering or buying locally-grown vegetables, fruit and eggs. This is the seventh season Ōtaki’s Sustainable Food Group has opened its stall, proving this is a popular move towards a more self-sufficient community.
“It’s an ideal opportunity for home gardeners to share their extra produce with the community,” says Bernadine Bloemgarten, one of the group’s initiators.
“We make it easy for them to distribute their surplus, and allow locals to buy fresh vegetables, fruit and eggs at affordable prices. And it’s fresh and mainly organically grown”
Produce is bought at 80% of the price at which it will be sold. The other 20% goes to cover expenses in setting up and running the stall. Any excess produce, or profit over and above expenses, is given to local community groups.
This year the group wants to encourage more people to start growing their own veges, herbs or fruit. “You don’t need a big garden to do this – everybody with a little outdoor space can start. Use black growing bags, old tins (don’t forget to make a hole at the bottom to let surplus water out) or plastic containers or an old wheelbarrow”
“We plan also to open some of our members’ gardens at weekends to show interested people what can be done and learn hands-on how to start. We’ll be offering seedlings grown by our members at very reasonable prices.”
The stall operates every Thursday, on the green area by the Council building in Main Street, Ōtaki, from 11am till 12 noon, or until sold out. Growers should bring their garden surplus to the stall between 10.30am and 11am.
“We are looking for more growers to bring their surplus, and value volunteers to help on the stand. The work is lots of fun and only once per month on a roster system. Contact us, or call in to the stall if you’d like to help.”
- Bernadine Bloemgarten 06 364 7762 | 021 105 796
- Belinda McLean 06 364 5573 | 021 262 9374