TEACHING DISADVANTAGED YOUTH TO GROW FOOD INSTEAD
Grow Food Instead founders, Brad Harding and Rachel Yeats, are on a mission to address social disadvantage in accessibility to healthy food and are ready to share their 20+ years of knowledge to grow and change it at a community level. You have the chance to help!
The local Tauranga based enterprise have just launched a PledgeMe campaign at http://pldg.me/growfoodinstead to help raise funds to kick off their small scale educational market gardens dedicated to showing disadvantaged youth how they can earn a living growing nutrient dense food in their own communities.
The couple, with their young family, has been putting together this project for the last year. Now that they have everything lined up – land to farm, suppliers, local knowledge gained and customers ready – they need support to kick off their venture. With $10,000 needed to cover their set up costs (purchase pumps and irrigation, tools, cloches and nursery, seeds, washing stations etc) – they are calling on everybody who has something to give, whether that be in funds or spreading the message!
The first step in their plan is to set up a profitable, small scale, biointensive market garden just ten minutes from the Tauranga city centre. This will be an educational hub, providing community workshops, summer internships for high school students, and paid apprenticeships for socially disadvantaged youth. Once the youth are fully trained, Grow Food Instead will help them set up a market garden of their own.
Brad and Rachel are passionate changemakers who want everyone to have the power to grow and eat healthy, nutrient dense food. They realise that not everyone wants or has the time to grow their own food, but communities are about supporting others with individual strengths. They believe that setting up small scale market gardens around Tauranga is the first step towards regenerating a local food system, leading to increased food security and food sovereignty.
“Our current food system is unsustainable and disadvantages the people that most need access to healthy food, Grow Food Instead is giving that power back to those people!
The United Nations says that small scale organic farming is the key to feeding the world and improving food security. This is a global movement, that you and the rest of Tauranga have the chance to be a part of and embrace the regeneration of local food systems,” says Brad.
The enterprise aims to sell their produce direct to restaurants, consumers, and local food distributors such as Ooooby. They intend to skip the supermarket middle man to increase accessibility and have produce that is healthier because it is fresher and more nutrient dense, with lower food miles and no nasty chemicals.
“Being a profitable enterprise is super important – it makes us sustainable in the long term and enables us to hire more apprentices and employees, who can then go out to replicate the model and be self-reliant,” says Brad.
Grow Food Instead is part of a growing New Zealand movement of social entrepreneurship, which values a triple bottom line that seeks environmental and social profit.
The team want to start building communities that take ownership of their food sovereignty, and put systems in place so that knowledge and health benefits aren’t constrained to individuals but throughout families, whanau, and generations. “The trickledown effect doesn’t work – our team are going to the core where the problem is felt the most, and working our way outwards, together we can build something magnificent!” says Rachel.
To help please:
If you are a business and may want to sponsor or donate equipment please get in touch with Rachel at firstname.lastname@example.org.