Cultivate Christchurch combines farming with youth development and community engagement. We provide employment and skills to young people, who also get the opportunity to work alongside community volunteers.
We partner with Untamed Earth Organic Farm to supply fresh, organic produce to Canterbury homes as well as some cafes and restaurants locally. Check out the veggie boxes you can have delivered to your door, and know your money is helping to improve Christchurch youth employment. Partner with us to help support growing people, food and soil.
Established atop earthquake-damaged sites in Ōtautahi (Christchurch) and beyond, our network of urban farms exist to provide training and employment opportunities for Canterbury’s youth.
The Cultivate team of youth development professionals and farmers work alongside young people and their whānau (family) to grow much more than organic produce. We enrich rangatahi (young people) with self-confidence, strengthened wellbeing, life and employment skills, and - most importantly - a sense of belonging and purpose.
We grow to organic standards, local and seasonal, and we use our e-bike to collect food waste from central city hospitality outlets, which we then convert to compost for our growing medium
With your support we can take more of our youth on a journey of self-development, while growing more nutritious produce for our community.
Cultivate is on a mission to inspire and engage young people who are not currently in education, employment or training. Working side by side outdoors, we have the best opportunity to connect with our young people. With all our hands covered in earth, they are happy to open up about their biggest challenges, hopes and fears.
Placing purpose at the heart of what we do, it is that feeling of being part of something bigger than themselves that brings our young people back each week.
When you partner with us, you become part of our purpose, too. You help youths reach for the sky. There are many ways you can help us to grow our youth development programme, you can purchase a veggie box on a regular basis, or you can help us by partnering with us. If you'd like to know more, please contact us.
"We believe that the earth beneath us holds unlimited seeds of possibility for the next generation, over the past five years we’ve built a kaupapa (philosophy/programme) that benefits our city’s youth, the environment and our community. Building better communities together, from the ground up is who we are."
CULTIVATE IN THE MEDIA
Cultivate Christchurch has been featured locally and nationally in news media, here's a selection of our latest stories. If you'd like to talk to us about featuring in an upcoming story, please feel free to contact us.
CULTIVATE ON SEVEN SHARP
Tuesday, 9 March 2021
Cultivate Christchurch has grown a great deal for the community in its urban gardens – from fresh produce to the skills of young people.
Now, it needs your help.
DOES EATING LOCAL MATTER? HOW TO EAT TO SAVE THE PLANET
STUFF - Glenn McConnell, 10 February 2021
Cultivate Christchurch, a community-run, organic, urban farming programme provides produce without any middle men. There are no truck drivers, shipping containers. No supermarkets, either. It provides arable land at four different sites across the city, which the community can use. “My motivation was really around people. I originally wanted to do it outside town, but inside town was way better to bridge the gap between urban and rural people,” says Cultivate Christchurch director Fiona Stewart.
GROWING UP: THE CHRISTCHURCH URBAN FARMS HELPING
Mary Lovell-Smith, 30 January 2018
The long narrow bed of salad greens stretches into the distance. Over it, two young men crouch to weed. Nearby, a woman plants seedlings. Around a rickety picnic table by the packing shed, a group is engaged in a good-natured but intense discussion. The sun beats down through air thick with the mingled scents of lavender and hot compost. It could be just another day in some remote rural idyll, but it's not. The hum accompanying the birdsong is not the sound of bees; it is the distant roar of traffic along Christchurch's one-way system.
CULTIVATE CHRISTCHURCH'S FIONA STEWART IS GROWING FRUIT, VEGES AND YOUNG LIVES
STUFF - Jake Kenny, July 21, 2021
Fiona Stewart’s farm upbringing has shaped her into the person she is today. It taught her the importance of food, animals and wellbeing, and how these can be used to better people’s lives, particularly youths. She was a teenager when she decided she wanted to set up a farm school for underprivileged kids. A keen skier, mountain biker, hiker and rafter, the outdoors have always drawn to her and shaped her chosen career path, with working with young people being the end goal.
THE CULTIVATE EXPERIENCE
If you are a group such as a school, preschool, tertiary provider, organisation, business or another NFP contact us for a 'Walk and Talk' or 'Walk, Talk and Farming Activity'.
Typically this costs $10 per person as a koha (contribution) to support the Cultivate mahi (work).
If you can not pay that, please still get in touch. Our sessions are age appropriate and group specific to the outcomes you want to achieve around organic horticulture, environmental sustainability in a real-world work environment.
"I love the energy that comes with a young person and the wisdom that's generally untapped because they haven't been in an environment where they feel comfortable to open up and share their perspective of the world. I'm learning so much every day from giving them a voice. It's mind-blowing!"
Fiona Stewart - Co-Founder, Cultivate Christchurch
"Cultivate Christchurch is building a network of urban farms propagated and powered by our next generation. With the support of the community we grow skills and provide employment and meaningful work experience while engaging and inspiring young people to live lives they value. Healthy soil equals healthy plants and ultimately health people and communities, Cultivate is creating a future of vitality and abundance."
Please get in touch with any questions about produce, orders, internships, our community projects and more.