Richard Main: Can other NZ cities and towns copy Auckland’s 100 community gardens?

Interviewed by Tim LynchMay 1, 2019
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Auckland today has 100 community gardens in all - 75 as a result of Richard and his small team and 25 other independent community gardens. We now ask -
what does this effort portend for a healthy, ecological and socially coherent Auckland?

With the original intention to combat, diabetes 2, obesity and heart disease - this initiative has over 2,000 participants and growing. There are hundreds
of others involved that are now taking these learned skills back to their backyard at home.

Today - especially with COVID lockdowns it's imperative to become very localised and grow your own healthy, organic food. Once empowered to garden and produce your own food - a certain amount of fulfilment and independence emerges.  No matter what - 'the time is now' to start growing your own food, even if it is just parsley and chives. Start today.  We cannot rely on current 'factory and industrial' food to offer you and your family total health and vitality. 

NZ a Nation of interlinked Community Gardens?

We ask, can Auckland be the template for the whole of NZ, becoming interlinked in a vast network of community gardens nationwide?

Imagine if this could be championed by someone - so that no child would go to bed hungry, when it has been ascertained that when the new Government took
power in NZ, 18 months ago there was said to be 295,000 children living under the 60% income poverty line in New Zealand. That being 28% of all children.

That today 155,000 children are living in material hardship in New Zealand. That is 14% of all children. How could this come about in this country?

It is a known, that high quality whole food and vegetables, preferably organic has a very beneficial effect on brain function.

When we feed our brain, the dendrites are able to function to their highest potentiality - and in the decades to come - we need to have all children living
at optimum levels of being. That nutrient dense food, in a loving family setting - is an imperative.

Community Gardens

Cooperative Community Gardens are increasing throughout the suburbs of greater Auckland and this subject is becoming a talking point for people wanting
increasingly better health, wellbeing and a feeling of connection with community working together in camaraderie and joy.

Availability of land is becoming an issue.

Obtaining the use of more land is becoming a priority. As we all know, land is at a premium and Richard is keen to find more opportunities for land to
be gifted, even for a few years. So if you know of any situation, he and his team would be very keen to hear from you.

Free Practical Advise

Gardens4Health provides free, practical advice and support to community groups, organisations, workplaces and schools for the setting up of new community
gardens and ongoing maintenance of existing gardens. The Gardens4Health team is currently involved in over 50 community gardens or initiatives across
Auckland and provides access to a wide network of other gardens and useful resources.

Being a gardening expert is not required, but time, enthusiasm, and commitment are. The experienced Gardens4Health team are there to provide practical
advice and support for all seasons of food gardening in Auckland conditions.

For more information please download our one-page information sheet and contact the Gardens4Health manager at [email protected].

He aha te kai o te Rangitira? He Korero, he korero, he korero.

What is the food of the leader? It is knowledge, it is communication.

ps, I took a large number of notes regarding this interview, but even with the latest Mac tech - these can be lost in an instant, never to be retrieved
- so with this sad loss - please instead, have a listen.

Richard is very embedded in community and garden settings - and it shows across a greater scope as in physical health of good high quality organic food,
but the mental health of working with fellow humans with a common aim. Plus, with the added surroundings of nature and of both plants and flowers -
caresses - ones soul - giving all involved - a deep sense of peace.

Richard says that working alongside various Pacific Island groups, Moslem women, Maori, Hindu, and many other ethnic and cultural groups, too many to mention
here, it has allowed him to experience deeply, the happiness of people working and even singing together.

The camaraderie and friendship of working the soil and bringing forth a huge array of fresh vital vegetables and fruit gives everyone involved - immense
satisfaction - that when shared with family and friends validates the vision of the good people behind this in the Health Board and Councils involved.


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Tim Lynch

Tim Lynch, is a New Zealander, who is fortunate in that he has whakapapa, or a bloodline that connects him to the Aotearoan Maori. He has been involved as an activist for over 40 years - within the ecological, educational, holistic, metaphysical, spiritual & nuclear free movements. He sees the urgency of the full spectrum challenges that are coming to meet us, and is putting his whole life into being an advocate for todays and tomorrows children. 'To Mobilise Consciousness.'

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