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

Feeding the world

The convergence of rapid population growth and climate change threaten our ability to feed everybody. But our thinking about solutions has been a monocultural reflection of how we grow our food. A recent Guardian article suggests switching to organic farming could cut greenhouse gas emissions and still feed the world. What we don't need We don't need … Continue reading Feeding the world

Trees and dairy

We have to deintensify dairy for a whole lot of reasons. Uppermost in public discourse is water quality, but also intensification has to be sustained by increased inputs that place a burden on the environment. For example, imports of palm kernel meal has risen from 96 metric tonnes in 2003 to 1,600 metric tonnes in … Continue reading Trees and dairy

Miraka milk showing the way

New Zealand has just been through a parliamentary election and elections breed dichotomies like still water breeds mosquitoes. We saw the town/country, farmer/environmentalist, economic growth/environment dichotomies in play. If you are the champion of one side, dichotomous thinking encourages you to be the enemy of the other side. One of the biggest issues was around … Continue reading Miraka milk showing the way

The food solutions to climate change

Wow. Who would have thought that there are so many ways that we can reverse climate change. The Drawdown project, led by Paul Hawken is a game changer.  His project team details 80 ways we can take carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the atmosphere. Drawdown is the point where globally we start to reduce atmospheric … Continue reading The food solutions to climate change

No more agrochemicals please

I've stopped using glyphosate on our land a couple of years ago - and I think that Papatuanuku likes that I am not pouring poison on her anymore. I only sprayed paved surfaces and now my efforts at weed control are more labour intensive - but its worth it. I know when I harvest food … Continue reading No more agrochemicals please

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

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

Managing agrobiodiversity and our conference

Professor Barbara Burlingame, professor of Public Health (Nutrition) is a keynote speaker at our conference. She has recently contributed to a chapter in Maintaining Agrobiodiversity in Sustainable Food Systems published by Bioversity International. Cover of Maintaining Agrobiodiversity in Sustainable Food Systems executive summary. Photo credit: Planting rice in Nepal. Bioversity International/Sriram Subedi, LI-BIRD, Lamjung. The executive summary of the … Continue reading Managing agrobiodiversity and our conference

Growing the sticky economy

The defeat of Labour leader Andrew Little's procurement bill is another reason to have a regional food policy council. The bill, Our Work Our Future, proposed an amendment to the the Principles of Government Procurement, and the Government's Rules of Sourcing to include two considerations, job creation and fairness. The bill was supported by Labour, the Greens, New Zealand … Continue reading Growing the sticky economy

Why the food movement is unstoppable

In this remarkable article Dr. Jonathan Latham outlines 5 reasons why the food movement is unstoppable: it's a leaderless movement it's a grassroots movement it's international it's low-budget it's a movement of many values. He asks "could the food movement be the missing vehicle for transformative social change?" His conclusion encourages those supporting the move … Continue reading Why the food movement is unstoppable

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

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

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!

Jeff’s travels in Sweden and Denmark

Earlier this month Jeff Griggs returned from visiting Denmark and Sweden. Here are his reflections on his time there. Both are amazing countries that look after their people. Most are bi-lingual especially the young people. Very old histories makes New Zealand seem very young. They both have high tax rates that pay for a lot of social … Continue reading Jeff’s travels in Sweden and Denmark

A better environment and sustainable food systems

We waste too much food because it is too cheap according to Jason Clay, the Senior Vice-President for Market Transformation at the World Wildlife Fund. If we were to include the cost of the impact of food production (the externalities) food would cost twice as much. The World Wildlife Fund was established over 50 years … Continue reading A better environment and sustainable food systems

Free fish heads

Here is a great example of software facilitating better resource use. The ability of software to facilitate direct connections between producers and consumers are important in developing more sustainable food systems - in this case, reducing food waste. Free Fish Heads from Tightlines Television on Vimeo. Here is a link to Free Fish Heads.

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

Co-operatives

Ken Ross returned recently from Italy excited about their co-operatives. The Emilia Romagna region is one of the most prosperous in Europe and the home of luxury car manufacturers, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and Ducati. It has a population of 4.5 million with two out of every three citizens in co-operatives. This Prezi has more background. This map … Continue reading Co-operatives

Fruit and nuts unlimited

Earthcare Education Aotearoa are finding inspirational stories about local food across Aotearoa (New Zealand). Their latest video explores plantings of fruit and nut trees in public spaces from 50 locations around the country. This video introduces the project. Fruit & Nuts UNLIMITED! - TRAILER from The Localising Food Project on Vimeo. Here is a link … Continue reading Fruit and nuts unlimited

Kaicycle- food waste recycling

Wellington's Kaicycle is supporting the shift to sustainable food systems with urban food waste recycling. They use bikes to collect organic waste from homes and businesses, compost it, and use that compost to grow food. Half of that food is given away to organisations such as Kaibosh. It is inspiring to see sustainability embedded in … Continue reading Kaicycle- food waste recycling

The u.Lab free course is highly relevant to local food

Have you done a MOOC yet (Massive Online Open Course)? I have completed Otto Scharmer's u.Lab course twice now, because it was so good. It is on again in September. It is highly relevant to our aspirations for local food for at least two key concepts in the course. Otto Scharmer uses hi Theory U to … Continue reading The u.Lab free course is highly relevant to local food

What do food policy councils do?

Local Food Northland is exploring how a food policy council might work for Northland. In 2015, there were 282 food policy councils in the U.S. and Canada. We anticipate that a food policy council will complement the grass roots initiatives supporting the shift to sustainable food systems. So what do food policy councils do? The  Center … Continue reading What do food policy councils do?

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?