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Sowing the seeds of aroha in Wellington

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

March is all about bringing people and communities together - with Neighbours Day, Local Food Week and the newly introduced Seeds to Feeds festival events happening all over the capital in the next few weeks.

Neighbours Day (27 March-5 April) is a campaign of events and activities designed to build relationships, and connect people and communities - turning strangers into neighbours and streets into neighbourhoods.

Local Food Week (16-22 March) is an annual festival showcasing and celebrating locally produced food, organisations that support these groups, food sustainability, and embracing a growing public demand for locally grown food.

Seeds to Feeds is a community led festival bringing neighbourhoods together around local food production. The Seeds to Feeds team has been working with community gardeners, foragers, urban farmers, brewers, bakers, and community centres in six Wellington neighbourhoods (Mt Victoria, Vogelmorn, Newtown, Miramar, Houghton Valley and Berhampore) to grow and produce local food throughout summer. These efforts will culminate with a series of six local food feasts during Local Food Week.

The Berhampore Seeds to Feeds event is a great example of a neighbourhood coming together around local food production.

The Berhampore team has food for its feast coming from seven locations: Te Wharepouri Community Garden, Ahmed’s Garden, Stan’s Edible Garden, Tapu te Ranga Marae, Island Bay/Berhampore Community Orchard, Berhampore School and the Mornington Golf Club, says Seeds to Feeds Festival co-organiser, Elsa van Boxel.

"The Seeds to Feeds festival is about providing a platform to foster community connectedness and celebrate local food. We've been inspired by the dedication of all the volunteers involved. Wellington has an amazing food scene and it's awesome to see this at a grass roots level."

Tickets for Seeds to Feeds events are available now at www.seedstofeeds.nz.

Council Resilience portfolio holder Councillor Malcolm Sparrow says Wellington is home to a culturally diverse population, in a wide range of dwellings and environments, so these initiatives are important for connectivity.

"Our people are our greatest asset, and we need to keep considering ways to build connected and resilient communities. Neighbours Day and Local Food Week have been effective tools in achieving this for many years - and Seeds to Feeds is a welcome addition to these already successful events.

"The combined efforts of the Council co-ordinators, event teams, community leaders, and neighbourhood organisers provide a strong sense of collaboration, interaction and engagement - which is key to increasing people’s wellbeing and resilience."

There will be Neighbours Day events and activities happening at Community Centres and Libraries and, most importantly, in many residential streets across the city - and it’s not too late to organise an event or activity in your community, then share on social media with photos, comments, and #wellynextdoor.

You can register your Neighbours Day event and find lots of great materials like our Getting Together Guide at wellington.govt.nz/neighboursday, learn more about Local Food Week and Seeds to Feeds at wellington.govt.nz/localfoodweek and www.seedstofeeds.nz

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