On Terra Madre Day, the Slow Food network is invited to organise local actions and events to celebrate the diversity of our food identities and cultures and to hold on to them against the ongoing commodification and standardisation of food. Sharing was the at the heart of our Auckland event – meeting old and new friends with a stall at the Buono Gusto Market in Parnell and Aperitivo with our members and supporters. We brainstormed our 2023 programme with a focus on defending local biological and cultural biodiversity.

Terra Madre Day 2022 Auckland

Terra Madre Day 2022

In January we hosted the inspirational Mayu Ino from Japan who has made a second home in Vietnam. Mayu who studied in Hanoi (and has a background in Participatory Rural development and environmental education projects) founded the NGO Seed to Table. She is based in the Mekong Delta promoting eco-friendly agriculture and community development. You can find out more about Mayu and her work here. Despite January being a quiet time in Auckland Mayu got to experience some great examples of organic and community gardening and farming. A big thanks to everyone that hosted us. We started with a delicious dinner at Everybody Eats and ended with a fun winetasting at the beautiful Westbrook Vineyard. In between we visited Pourewa Nursery and Gardens in Orakei, Kelmana Gardens in Herne Bay, the Sanctuary Mahi Whenua Gardens and Food Forest at Unitec and the Grey Lynn and Parnell Farmers Market. We are keen to share them all in 2023 as part of our local/biodiversity programme.

Garden Visit People

At Pourewa Orakei

It was our first visit Pourewa Nursery and Gardens (Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei) and we were blown away by the hospitality of Eli and the crew and the work they are doing in the nursery and the māra. The nursery is playing a crucial role in preserving the plant biodiversity of the Auckland region “in terms of the protection and development of the Tāmaki plant collection, as well as the development of a seed bank of Tāmaki species”. This is the nursery that provides Auckland council with its native plants. The māra kai and māra rongoā plantings are part of a garden that interfaces with the public. They are being developed to provide hands on education, research and good food. On the day we visited we got see the compost making machines in action, volunteers harvesting produce, the impressive Italian seed planting machine and meet the nursery team. It was great learning experience.

Garden Collage

Gardens and Nursery at Pourewa

And now to 2023…