Looking to support local action to eat well to help the planet in your neighbourhood? There are lots of amazing projects that give us the opportunity to eat well, cheap and local. If you have a local recommendation we’d love to hear from you so we can shout from the rooftop. In the meantime, here are a few fantastic local initiatives happening in Aotearoa.

Papatoetoe Food Hub
A converted netball club alongside the community Teaching Garden in Papatoetoe is in the process of becoming a centre for growing, cooking, learning and sharing good food. Three fridges, two freezers a dishwasher and a coffee machine were donated, and a commercial oven and stove were rescued from landfill. The licensed kitchen and café is the perfect space to get coffee, cook and share knowledge about how to make the most of the food being grown, and ensure it doesn’t go to waste. The plan is to fill the fridges and freezers daily with healthy ‘takeaways’ for people to enjoy at home. Any peelings are composted on site, and containers are returned to be refilled.

Everybody Eats
A passion to reduce food waste, combat climate change and feed people good wholesome food has led Nick Losley to create Everybody Eats. Food that would otherwise go to waste is turned into delicious meals and served by volunteers on a regular basis at cafes in in Avondale and St Kevin’s Arcade on K Road. Free/koha supported meals are for anybody and everybody to enjoy.

Auckland’s first inner-city organic market garden that teaches and demonstrates ways to grow food in the city, to sell to local restaurants and markets. This previously disused City Rail Link site has become a feast for the eyes, stomach and heart with a range of products being grown, rich soil and a place of learning and co-operation. Keep an eye out for local growers’ markets popping up in the city at Griffiths Gardens and other sites.

Gribblehirst Hub
The Morningside Urban Market Garden is another community market garden being developed in Sandringham at Gribblehirst Hub (The Hub). New migrants and refugee women are growing specialist greens and edible flowers for local cafes and restaurants. More and more of these types of urban food growing initiatives are starting to pop up around Auckland. They can be a great place to learn more about urban food production, look out for one near you!

Wesley Community Market
Bicycles laden with fresh produce from gardens in Epsom, Avondale and Mt Roskill arrive twice a week to this vibrant fresh market, as well as seafood straight from the auctions that day. Dev walks to the market three times a week for his fresh fruit and vegies, you can read his story here. It’s also becoming a Zero-Waste Market and has banned plastic bags!

Shamba Letu has found a niche to grow traditional African vegetables like okra to sell at markets or online.

If you would like to grow your own but don’t have the space, check if there is a community garden near you. Have your own projects or recommendations to share? Let us know!

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