Articles and Videos

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Urban Farming – Feeding the Community

This beautiful NZ documentary from Happen Films. It’s the perfect antidote to the cynical narrative that says people are inherently selfish… This film will melt your heart. Guaranteed. It tells the inspiring story of a thriving hub helping to build resilience into its local community by farming in urban backyards, sewing with recycled materials, repairing bikes… Website

Too many of our communities, here and around the world, are facing housing crises, food insecurity, social isolation, and more. In addition, the multiple impacts of the Covid pandemic and climate change are current and ongoing. How can we most effectively confront these challenges, and help our communities thrive in an economic system that leaves many feeling trapped in poverty?


In Defence of Real Food

Although many prefer a 6 minute summary of what is wrong and what to do next in our modern age, it is worth setting aside an hour to listen to this stunning presentation by Michael Pollan. An author of several books related to food. His best discussion and review was this clip from 2008 at Google, “In the Defense of Food” Buy a copy of his book here

5 Reasons Growers Need to Be Online

Farmers markets have long been a cherished tradition, offering consumers the chance to purchase fresh, locally grown produce directly from the source. However, the digital age has introduced a new dimension to this model – online sales. This transition to the online marketplace has brought about a multitude of benefits to farmers markets, from increased reach and convenience to improved inventory management and customer engagement.

Expanding the Customer Base

Traditional farmers markets are limited by their physical location. They can only serve customers who live nearby or are willing to travel to the market. With online sales, this limitation is removed. Farmers can sell their products to anyone with an internet connection, regardless of where they live. This significantly broadens the potential customer base, which can lead to increased sales and revenue.

Convenience for All

Online sales offer convenience to both farmers and customers. Farmers can manage their online store at any time that suits them, without needing to physically attend a market. This can save them time and make their business operations more flexible.

For customers, online shopping allows them to browse and purchase products at any time, not just during the specific hours that a physical market is open. They can also do this from the comfort of their own homes, without needing to travel.

Ensuring Business Continuity

Physical farmers markets can be disrupted by many factors, such as bad weather or public health crises. Online sales are not affected by these issues, allowing farmers to continue selling their products even when their physical market stall cannot operate. This provides a more stable source of income for farmers.

Streamlining Inventory Management

Online sales platforms often include inventory management features. These allow farmers to easily track their stock levels and update their product listings in real time. This can help them avoid selling out of popular items or overstocking items that are less in demand.

Building Stronger Customer Relationships

Online sales platforms also provide opportunities for customer engagement and relationship building. Farmers and growers can use these platforms to communicate directly with their customers, sharing updates about their farm, new product launches, and more. This can help to build a loyal customer base and increase repeat business.

In conclusion, moving to online sales can provide many benefits for farmers markets and growers. It can help them reach more customers, operate more conveniently and efficiently, and build stronger relationships with their customers.


Amazing Permaculture Food Forest 

In the small town of Riverton at the bottom of New Zealand’s South Island is Robert and Robyn Guyton’s amazing 23-year-old food forest. The 2-acre property has been transformed from a neglected piece of land into a thriving ecosystem of native and exotic trees where birds and insects live in abundance. Robert and Robyn are a huge inspiration to us, not only for their beautiful approach to healing the land and saving heritage trees and seeds, but for the way they’ve impacted on their local community.

Supermarket consumers are getting ‘screwed’

April, 2023 – A group of New Zealand grocery suppliers say supermarket consumers are being “screwed” after revealing the price they sell their goods to the major players.

This is not new. I recall a particular discussion between my late father and our neighbour market gardener in Pukekohe in the early 70s. They discussed, angrily, how these supermarkets always dictated the price paid to growers and if they wanted a special on say carrots or potatoes that week, it was the poor grower that provided the discount, never the supermarket. If they didn’t agree, they lost the contract to someone who would comply. Seems they’re still as evil as ever, to both their suppliers and customers…. Ed.


Charles Dowding’s No Dig method

For the past 40 years, Charles Dowding has pioneered the No Dig method of growing flowers and vegetables. A successful market gardener, teacher and author, Charles shares the technique with Julia and me, and view the bountiful results.

Understanding Soil

Another classic interview from Richard Vobes. How do we return depleted soil from intensive farming to a wholesome state so that we can grow healthy food? Richard Higgins, chairman of Good Gardening International Charity, joins me to explain the impressive Howard-Higgins Organic Cultivation system. It will blow your mind… Check out Richard’s website here:

Homeland Community Garden – Kerikeri

Homeland Community Garden in Kerikeri has been going strong for 20 years. Lida and Asha visited to speak to some of the long term volunteers about what makes the garden successful and why they enjoy being part of the community that gardens together.

NZ Permaculture

A selection of video stories of how New Zealanders have started their own gardens

One small town concept

Fascinating interview here. The ultimate in community-building.

The use of town, market or community tokens for food or other services is an amazing concept, and it’s not new, although rare ‘downunder’. Tokens avoid all the uncertainly and risks associated with crypto payment and blockchain tools. Our system is similar to the system Michael discussed, but more optimised for NZ farmers and communities. It’s all 100% legal, safe, secure and monies/tokens tracked and audited using normal accounting processes.

Online seminars will be run shortly to explain it all and the immense benefits to NZ growers, large and small. We’ll certainly need this option if the government goes rogue with their own draconian digital currencies and social controls. Our eCommerce page outlines the basic features included.