Cultivate operates on short-term lease sites which we restore soil health and then plant to grow healthy produce that is sold to hospitality and community customers. Our farms are the environment where the magic of youth and community development happens. Working together with our hands in the soil or processing the goods post harvest, you are sure to hear meaningful conversations and banter that is within what our young people call 'their safe place'.
Peterborough Street is our central city farm and our original site - we've been building the soil since 2015.
As our flagship farm, we love being able to supply fresh greens right from the heart of the city, this reduces the amount of transportation and gets the freshest possible product to people.
In the last 5 years, our focus has been building healthy and bio-active soil and if you happen to walk past the site, you will see how high the growing area is compared to the rest of the site. This has been achieved through green waste collections and utilisation of other 'waste products' within the city i.e. wood chip and leaf mould.
In our time here, we have been consistently tweaking our systems and experimented with different growing methods from bio-intensive to bio-dynamic and our current systems are a mix of all that we have learnt in our time here. We use a 'beyond organics' approach, which focuses on no-till methods and and lots of beneficial companion plantings.
The accessibility of the site means we have lots of beautiful community engagement, as people often poke their heads over the fence to see whats going on.
Come down and see us at 156 Peterborough Street on the corner of Manchester Street, Christchurch.
We have been happy to have our Halswell site since 2016 and we have been able to focus on intentionally slower human scale cropping systems.
We try to lean into the strength of each site, so this is where we grow most of our root crops, fennel and large leafy greens like chard and kale. Being less constrained by space (than our Peterborough site) we have been able to expand the produce we have on offer to include these kind of crops.
Every site has its challenges and Halswell's was shelter, but right from breaking ground there we started biodiverse shelter plantings, which are now well established and protecting our growing area, as well as feeding the birds and the many insects that share the area.
RICHMOND, REGENERATE RED ZONE
This farm is where we aim to call home. Within the next two years it will be the focus of youth and community engagement and less of the commercial growing space while we work to remediate the soil through biological practices and beyond organic growing techniques.
We are exited to be 'Kai Maara Coaches' supporting whanau in need with real world skills and knowledge in horticulture, environmental sustainability, employment, and well-being. The site has a significant archaeological interest, including from Ngāi Tūāhuriri as Mana Whenua. In addition to the archaeological interest, there is strong cultural significance in the site with respect to Māori.
This site and its location along te awa Ōtakaro - the Ōtakaro river (Avon River) is a historic mahinga kai pathway and the significance of this can not be overlooked.
Prior to Pākeha settlement, mahinga kai for Ngāi Tahu was currency, the cornerstone of their survival and an intrinsic part of their cultural identity. Mahinga kai, and whenua - the land - is taonga. It is also whanaunga - it holds ancestral connections and is the root of kaitiakitanga, tūrangawaewae and whakapapa. It is the source of shelter, kai and manaakitanga.
Ruia nga o te tumanako i roto i mara o te hinengaro
Sow the seeds of hope within the garden of the mind