The Waitaki Community Gardens is growing its community reach.
In the coming months, the gardens will host two different workshops and a new event — a celebration of local food.
Community gardens manager Ra McRostie said the celebration of food would incorporate 10 varieties of native potatoes from the gardens, and involve other local producers of ‘‘high quality’’ food, including cheese, bread and beer. Ms McRostie hoped there would also be a range of wild food, including paua and eel.
After the community gardens hosted a ‘‘fantastically successful’’ event about the journey of the native potato last year, Ms McRostie felt another was needed. She spoke to community gardens board member Gareth Boyt, and they agreed to do it on a larger scale.
‘‘There really is a lot of very beautiful food in this area, so let’s celebrate it. Let’s all get together and enjoy it,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s just to kind of raise awareness, so if anyone would like to be represented in this celebration, they can get in touch with me.’’
The celebration of food event — a date for which is yet to be confirmed — could become an annual event.
The community gardens would also host a native seed propagation workshop before June.
Ms McRostie said she collected a large amount of native seeds, originally to create a nursery, but instead turned it into an opportunity to broaden people’s minds.
‘‘That’ll be a really good information opportunity, because growing natives is a little different to growing things like vegetables.
‘‘Just spreading the knowledge of how people can do it for themselves, because obviously planting trees is just vitally important — it’s desperately, desperately important.’’
Next month, Ms McRostie will also start hosting another seed-to-table workshop series. It would be the first winter edition of the workshops, but it would make no difference to the content, she said.
The workshops focus on an introduction to permaculture, soil health, garden design and general useful practises for the overall health of the garden. Ms McRostie will provide all of the tools, and lunch.
Expanding the reach of the community gardens through new events was exciting, she said.
‘‘It’s all about getting different cross-sections of the community up here,’’ Ms McRostie said.
‘‘We really have such a great venue here now that it’s just a real pleasure to be able to host all sorts of different groups.’’
Anyone interested in any of the Waitaki Community Gardens events could visit its Facebook page, or contact MsMcRostie on 021 115-4884.