WATCH: Local sustainable kai for Wellington plates
The WorkerBe Oasis is the first suburban farm in a network of vegie growing sites.
The small farm next to Wellington Hospital is tended and harvested by a mix of volunteers and staff.
Erin Todd is the co-founder of the WorkerBe Oasis, and takes pride in growing nutrient-rich, sustainably-grown, local produce.
“We grow good food with a lot of love, and a lot of science and education behind it.” Erin says.
The farm gives half of the food they produce to the local charity Kaibosh, who sorts it and distributes it to community organisations that help people in need.
The other half of the food produced is sold to restaurants around Wellington through Erin’s company WorkerBe.
So far, WorkerBe sells to La Boca Loca and Beobab cafes, with others to sign up soon.
“It’s the freshest [food], picked today, on the restaurant table that afternoon.” says Erin.
WorkerBe Oasis also uses nutrient-rich compost made from organic waste, and created by KaiCycle.
KaiCycle is a bicycle-powered waste collection service, picking-up compostable waste from businesses and households in Wellington.
The food scraps are biked to KaiCycle’s bins at the WorkerBe Oasis, and combined with carbon-rich coffee chaff, a waste product donated by L’affare café.
The waste is turned and managed by Compost Queen, Kate Walmsley.
“Essentially what we’re doing is making a really nice environment for all of the micro-organisms to do all of the composting work,” says Kate.
“We keep turning it, and after six weeks it’s finished compost. We can leave it out to cure for a bit, and then we can apply it to the gardens to give the nutrients to our crops.”
Education has been an important part of how the Oasis gives back to the community.
They have volunteer workshops every Saturday where anyone can come to contribute to the farm, and learn skill for growing their own gardens.
“The community is a huge part of what we’re growing here,” says Erin, “getting people more in touch with their food, their land, their neighbourhood, their neighbours, other community groups… it’s time to just get together! “
“What better thing to get together over that good nutrient-dense food?”