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A scalable transitional urban farm in Christchurch’s inner city
Agropolis, a scalable transitional urban farm on 154 High Street (in the former Poplar Lane area), launched during FESTA on Friday 25 October. Events over the weekend taught skills and introduced ideas about viable and sustainable food production and catered to anyone interested in growing food.
Agropolis is tailored to a bustling urban environment, an edible landscape and a shared space accessible to all, where citizens support budding students to grow a form of collective enterprise specialising in local food and social goods.
It involves composting organic waste from inner city hospitality businesses as well as the ground preparation, sowing and planting, harvesting, cooking and distribution of the produce. Eventually Agropolis hopes to provide a ‘garden to plate’ experience via a mobile kitchen. It also tests questions about the city’s food resilience, land use and food production and distribution in relation to the planning of the city.
Launch of Agropolis
At 4pm on Friday 25 October, approximately 100 people turned up at the urban farm site to celebrate the opening of this new transitional urban farm, including Christchurch City councillors Yani Johanson and Paul Lonsdale.
Agropolis shed building workshop
Several workshops were offered over the course of Labour Weekend by CPIT School of Architectural Studies. Groups gathered at the Agropolis site to construct a shed from earth materials.
Working with their lecturer, Dr Kerry Mulligan, CPIT School of Architectural Studies students had designed the shed, the majority of which was constructed during the festival. Illustrating earth as a building material, the build involved using adobe, rammed earth, straw-bale and cob – sustainable materials that are easily accessible. The public was invited to learn more at this hands-on workshop.
Introduction to composting
Keen to learn about making good compost, a group of people turned up on Saturday morning (26 October) with their gardening gloves and green waste.
Seed raising 101
On Sunday 27 October, a group gathered to learn about seed raising from Garden City 2.0’s Bailey Perryman.
Food, people and urban design
On Monday 28 October in the afternoon, guest speakers gathered at the Agropolis site to discuss the connections between where our food comes from and how we can secure an abundant food future through urban design and community-supported agriculture.
Agropolis is a collaborative initiative between FESTA, Garden City 2.0, AECOM, A Local Food Project, Juliet Moore, Andreas Wesener (Lincoln University), Liv Worsnop (Plant Gang) and Rosie Brittenden (Christchurch Youth Council). The site for this project was brokered by Life in Vacant Spaces