CHANGES AT CULTIVATE
It’s been more than 7 years since Cultivate’s inception, can you believe it!
We’re super proud as a team and organisation to have achieved some amazing things over the years.
Our youth program has been really successful, since 2014 we have employed 46 young people through our programme, and over 70% of those into further employment or training.
At times it’s been a rocky road, trying to make the complicated puzzle of urban farming, veggie sales, and charitable outcomes fit together. With so much support and aroha along the way we’ve been able to accomplish some really meaningful changes for our rangatahi, our whenua and our community.
We have loved being able to provide our customers with fresh organic produce each week, but unfortunately over the past 12 months we have realised that our small scale model of urban farming is not a viable business in the competitive Canterbury organic veggie market.
We are currently working on a pre employment programme for young people with mental illness and who are on the benefit. The programme will expose these young people to outdoor careers, they will do an outdoor day trips around Canterbury and help other existing community/ businesses with their mahi.
We aim to pilot this programme during the last quarter of 2023 so keep an eye on our social media or sign up to our webmail for updates.
As such, we’re very excited to announce that Cultivate will be partnering with
Untamed Earth is a regenerative, organic farm in Halswell. The directors, Penny, Ollie, and Isaac, set up Untamed Earth with a community and educational focus.
They have always looked to the Cultivate youth programme as a model for how to integrate youth work with farming. And they are excited at the opportunity to host the programme. Read on below to find out more about Untamed Earth, their ethos and why they’re a great fit to be our partner for the youth programme.
We’d like to acknowledge our amazing team of staff who have worked tirelessly - in all kinds of weather and covid alert levels - to develop our farming and sales systems and grow beautiful veggies. We are so sad to see them go as we close our farm down, and we are so grateful for their contribution over the past 7 years.
We are so thankful to the landowners who have given their space so we could do our work - Peterborough street family, Wayne Francis Charitable Trust Halswell site.
We also want to thank Wayne Francis Charitable trust for their parental like relationship with Cultivate, they have been our sounding board, advisors, funders and general unconditional support and care one could ever ask for from great parents.
We promise to continue this care and support for future interns who are carried in the 'Cultivate Intern Programme' as Cultivate 2.0 version alongside Untamed Earth as our host certified organic farm.
We are excited about this new direction and hope we continue to be supported by our huge community. We look forward to updating our supporters about our new programme as we begin to deliver it.
Alongside Ollie, Issac and Penny they have a team of ten other growers, working 50 acres of fertile land at both Hōhepa in Halswell and the family farm at Brookside. They grow staples like carrots, broccoli, and lettuce, as well as some other things you won’t find on the supermarket shelves. They sell vegetables through farmers markets in Lyttleton, Ohoka and Opawa. They also offer veggie boxes for home delivery, and supply Piko Wholefoods, Liberty Market and some of Ōtautahi’s top cafés and restaurants.
The farm at Hōhepa is one of Aotearoa’s oldest organic farms, with a long history of working in the community. Untamed Earth is about more than just growing vegetables. Their hope is to become a hub of innovation and learning that will help us adapt to a changing world.
Untamed Earth farm offers the youth programme space to thrive.
As a commercial scale farm, the interns will have the opportunity to learn diverse skills in a busy and exciting workplace. Their farms showcase the best in organic, regenerative horticulture. Alongside the vegetable production there are opportunities to learn about orchard management, pasture systems, and waterways restoration.
Penny, who also works at the BHU as a horticulture teacher, will be able to support the youth programme with her wealth of farming knowledge.They aim to teach young people the skills to manage land and grow food using innovative, sustainable farming methods and want everyone to head home at the end of the day with a sense of purpose, newfound knowledge, and an armload of fresh vegetables for their whānau.