New Zealand's first urban food hub Ōtākaro Orchard is set to get planting, after the Christchurch community dug deep to hit its $60,000 crowdfunding target.
Project Coordinator Chloe Waretini says it has been heartwarming to receive so much generosity from the community. “Not only in pledges, but through the contributions of rewards, this has turned into an amazing way to showcase Christchurch businesses.
“Crowdfunding takes a huge amount of time and energy, but it brings in so much more than just money. Throughout the campaign, we have grown awareness about the project and we know our community is definitely behind us now. They really want this to happen."
“The PledgeMe team have been with us every step of the way, offering advice and moral support, and one of their team even put up a reward.”
Anna Guenther from PledgeMe says Christchurch has always led the way in crowdfunding in New Zealand. “We're so inspired by Ōtākaro Orchard’s work to support and collaborate with their local community."
The first priority for the Ōtākaro Orchard team is to get the site ready for planting trees.
“We need to excavate the site, form the pathways, put in irrigation and drainage, electrics, and of course soil. The cost of this first phase of work is $100,000. All pledges that we get above our $60,000 target will take us closer to that goal and mean that we can get started really soon.”
The crowdfunding campaign runs until 8pm Friday 31 March and rewards are still available.
Nineteen Christchurch businesses, organisations and individuals put up almost $15,000 of rewards.
Several are still available, including monthly passes at the new BizDojo co-working space, a photoshoot with Peanut Productions, tickets for Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery School’s Mid-Winter Bash students.
Naming rights for bricks, trees and planter beds are also available, for those keen to put their name to this legacy project.
“We still have four spots left for companies and organisations to join Piko Wholefoods as Founding Family Sponsors for $10,000 each.
Some comments from pledgers to the campaign:
“Wonderful project - thrilled to help with donation - fantastic for Christchurch,” Janet Davidson.
“I love the idea of an urban forest for people who don't have garden space for their own trees,” Heather Holder-Lunn.
“All the best with this great project. Another gem for our beautiful city,” Arron Perriam.
“So stoked to see this project get off the ground - an amazing cornerstone for Christchurch,” Netta Egoz.
“So happy to support this vital and important project for the city and its people!” Jessica Halliday.
“This will be such an amazing project for Christchurch. Can't wait!! ” Katie Coluccio.
“So inspired and floored by this amazing project. Can't wait to eat the yummy foods,” Lucy-Jane Walsh.
“This will be a great central-city feature for our regenerating CBD, providing a focal point of life and greenery beside the river,” Greg Dodds.
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 catalyse 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. The project receives no taxpayer or ratepayer funding.