One billion trees

The new government want to plant 100 million trees over 10 years to support achieving our climate change commitments. Northland has roughly 5.1% of New Zealand's land area, so that equates to about 5.1 million trees for Northland per year. Of course we should probably have more, as we don't have snow here and trees will … Continue reading One billion trees


Power Plant opens

A couple of years ago it was difficult to find any restaurants or cafes who proudly proclaimed their support for local produce. Things have changed. This month two new Whangarei food sellers advocating for local food have opened. "Down the Road" featured in an earlier post. Around the same time "Power Plant", a wholefood and … Continue reading Power Plant opens

Reclaiming our waterways

Only San Francisco harbour is bigger than the Kaipara Harbour. And the Kaipara has the longest shoreline of any harbour in the world. I grew up near the Northern Wairoa river that flows into the north end of the Kaipara. The water is brown, drenched in colloidal sediment that doesn't settle. I was told the … Continue reading Reclaiming our waterways

Bananas and climate change

The question is not "is climate change happening?" The question is, "what are we going to do about it?" Some people continue to deny it, others choose to look the other way and hope it will go away, and another group only want to take action if it doesn't interfere with economic growth. In his … Continue reading Bananas and climate change

Food policy from our election candidates

The Northland Food Policy Council is asked political candidates from the Far North, Rodney, Te Tai Tokerau and Whangarei electorates five questions. Their responses are published here at Local Food Northland. Please pass this link on through your networks. Here are links to the candidates' responses. Each electorate has its own webpage. Northland (1 out … Continue reading Food policy from our election candidates

The Northland Food Policy Network is underway!

These are the people that gathered at Northland Inc's Orchard on Saturday 27 May for the inaugural meeting of the Northland Food Policy Network. Saba Issa skilfully facilitated the meeting first leading us through an exploration of why we were there. Five main motives emerged: Supporting community based food systems projects, facilitated at the local level. … Continue reading The Northland Food Policy Network is underway!

Conference videos are out!

Thanks to Channel North for doing a great job of covering our conference. Thanks also to Northland Inc for supporting production of these videos. This short video provides an overview of the conference. We are in the process of uploading videos and you can access them from our conference pages. Here is the first … Continue reading Conference videos are out!

Tropical Fruit Growers is on a roll!

On 8 April Tropical Fruit Growers New Zealand had their inaugural public meeting at Northland Inc's Orchard. Attendance exceeded expectations and now the TFGNZ has over 100 members. Here is Hugh's report from the meeting. Some images are added from the TFGNZ Facebook page.  What a meeting! Thank you everybody for your support and TFGNZ is all go. … Continue reading Tropical Fruit Growers is on a roll!

Archeological evidence of pre-European gardens at Whangarei

Heritage New Zealand is hosting "a short archeological walk" that reveals evidence of both pre European gardens and early European settlement. Meet at the riverside of Hatea Drive opposite the Settlers Hotel at 12 noon on Saturday 8 April. Go to their website for more details.

Is the food policy pasture greener in New Zealand?

By Anne Palmer Program Director Food Communities & Public Health Program Center for a Livable Future Johns Hopkins University Anne was a keynote speaker for the Local Food Northland Conference in February this year. In this post she reflects on her time in New Zealand. See the original post here.   A failing dairy industry. … Continue reading Is the food policy pasture greener in New Zealand?

Localising food, climate change and the implications for food security in eastern Northland

By John Clarke The 2016 Climate Change Projections for NZ  predict that the eastern half of Northland will experience hotter, drier summers with less winter rain and frosts. Droughts will become more common, as will extreme weather events. Relative humidity will decrease and evapotranspiration will increase. I believe that planning our landscapes to meet these changes … Continue reading Localising food, climate change and the implications for food security in eastern Northland

The nutritional value of local bananas

Professor Barbara Burlingame provided a compelling case study about the nutrient content of local bananas at our February conference. Before returning to New Zealand she spent 16 years with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation including the last four as Deputy Director of the Nutrition Division as was closely involved with the research referred to here. Professor … Continue reading The nutritional value of local bananas

Banana maths – a Northland banana industry?

What would a Northland Banana Industry be worth to the local economy? Bananas are starting to appear regularly at the Whangarei Growers Market. Consumption per person per year (kgs)[1] 18 Northland population[2] 171,400 Total banana consumption (kgs) 3,085,200 Price per kilo[3] $2.99 Total cost of bananas consumed in Northland $9,244,748 There are many variables to … Continue reading Banana maths – a Northland banana industry?

A successful conference!

Our inaugural conference was a great success... so far. We believe it was the first Northland event to bring together people from diverse interests in food production, distribution, consumption, diet and health, hospitality and education specifically to focus on the move towards more sustainable food systems. The opening powhiri at Te Punu o te Mātauranga … Continue reading A successful conference!

The local motive

Thanks to all of those who attended our conference. It was all about supporting the shift to sustainable food systems, characterised by strong integration of health systems and primary production systems. We drew on the experience of those in the state of Vermont in the U.S. While it has a colder climate than ours, and … Continue reading The local motive

Dr Barbara Burlingame presenting at the Local Food Northland conference

Dr Barbara Burlingame will be presenting at the Local Food Northland conference on 13 and 14 February at NorthTec next year. Dr Burlingame achieved her undergraduate degree at the University of California and then was awarded a PhD from Massey University. She is returning to New Zealand to take up a new role at Massey. … Continue reading Dr Barbara Burlingame presenting at the Local Food Northland conference

Fresh food co-op Onerahi hub

Story and photos by Jacqueline Low (thank you Jacqueline). Originally published in the September edition of the Onerahi Orbit. Since the article was printed, the Onerahi hub has opened! And in late September, The Fresh Fruit Collective achieved 100% local supply for the first time. Here is their Facebook page. David and Sylvia Moore of … Continue reading Fresh food co-op Onerahi hub

Northland Food Policy Council Hui

As part of our food re-localisation project we have initiated meetings with interested parties across Northland. This is about discussing options and developing membership of a “Food Policy Council” from a wide cross section of education, health, growers, processors and so on in Northland. The first took place in Waipapa and involved people from Four Seasons Farms (eco-biological production … Continue reading Northland Food Policy Council Hui

Changes to the Northland Regional Council

A growing number of us are aware that "business as usual" just isn't good enough anymore. Those who privilege economic priorities over social and environmental concerns are yesterday's men. Its hard to determine who to vote for in local body elections. Several NRC candidates make generic statements about growing the economy and enhancing the environment. … Continue reading Changes to the Northland Regional Council

Change will come at the local and regional levels

There have been some great results in our local body elections. I am happy that Sheryl Mai has been re-elected in Whangarei. She is a supporter of Local Food Northland, hosting our first formal meeting in her office and is a strong supporter of the Whangarei Growers Market. Tricia Cutforth has been re-elected. She campaigned tirelessly … Continue reading Change will come at the local and regional levels

A new mid-week market

By Lesley A'Court Growers are planning a mid week market to provide a daytime and after work venue for business people and others who would like to buy the same fresh vegetables, fruit and produce they already enjoy on Saturday.  Prices will be basically the same along with many stallholders. Starting Wednesday, October 19th 2.30pm - 6.30pm at … Continue reading A new mid-week market

What is the value of healthy fresh food?

By Lesley A’Court Lesley is a well known local grower, selling delicious strawberries, fermented foods and preserves in markets around Northland. Image from Home Remedies Natural Cures Growing and gathering ‘food’ be it fruit, veg, fish, dairying, cereal or collecting honey as a business is a fulltime job. The results are what we all need to … Continue reading What is the value of healthy fresh food?

The Fresh Food Collective achieves 100% local food!

The Fresh Food Collective reached a milestone last Tuesday. For the very first time they achieved 100% locally grown produce. They have often hit 80% and the goal of procuring all produce from local growers with in 12 months seemed at times very challenging. George Lavich and the team are very excited about achieving this milestone and will continue to work … Continue reading The Fresh Food Collective achieves 100% local food!

Food recovery in Northland

Dr Laupepa Va'a of the Northland District Health Board (DHB) is working on a major project investigating the feasibility of a more integrated approach to food recovery. He is busy engaging people involved in food recovery and food access. Globally, we waste one third of food produced. The good news is that we produce enough to … Continue reading Food recovery in Northland

A Local Food Northland conference?

Local Food Northland is in the early stages of planning a local food conference. A big part of the shift to a more sustainable food systems is working together - so the diverse people and groups that have an interest in food and health can learn about what each other are doing and build productive … Continue reading A Local Food Northland conference?

Kaiora honey

Manuka honey has enabled the Murray whanau in the Far North to re-establish a strong economic base back on their rohe (tribal lands). The story of Northlanders re-establishing their cultural and economic base on the land is a important and encouraging step in our move towards sustainable food systems. Their story is told in this Country … Continue reading Kaiora honey

The Gocks save the kumara

Here is a short video from Loading Docs featuring the Gocks and their story as refugees. When kumaras in the Northern Wairoa were afflicted with black rot, Joe and Fay Gock provided new disease free kumara from their Mangere farm. Hear more about them from this Radio New Zealand podcast. This is a … Continue reading The Gocks save the kumara

Winter Banquet 2016

On Wednesday evening, 20th July over 120 people gathered  at 116 Bank St (Company of Giants venue) in Whangarei to celebrate local food and good company.    The event was organised by Sean and Rowan Stanley of the Whangarei Food Co-op. The cost of $30/person was an amazing bargain considering the quality (and quantity!) of the food, consisting … Continue reading Winter Banquet 2016

A Food Policy Council for Northland?

While current sustainable food system initiatives in Northland are admirable, as yet, they remain relatively poorly connected. If this were to continue, such initiatives will remain as a counter-culture in the prevailing industrial food system. Local Food Northland believe that developing a Northland food policy council, founded democratically as a “grass-roots” initiative with the task … Continue reading A Food Policy Council for Northland?