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Support Local: Cultivate Christchurch

Rātā Foundation loves hearing about all the ways community organisations are adapting to the changing COVID-19 Alert Levels and continuing to provide services to support the community.

This story is part of Rātā’s Connecting during COVID-19 series. Visit our Community Stories page for more.

Supporting local can not only give back to a hard-working business, it can allow that business to give back to the community.

Cultivate Christchurch is a social enterprise which enables young people to get their hands dirty and gain valuable  work experience on urban farms in the central city, which produce organic fruit and vegetables.

Cultivate Christchurch Urban Farm Manager Amra Wallace says the support from the community strengthens what they do every day.

During the COVID-19 lockdown Cultivate has seen a boom in demand for their Veggie Bags, jumping from 30-40 bags a week to more than 200.

Amra says the team has been really resilient has managed to increase production to keep up with the demand.

The Veggie Bags contain a selection of produce in ‘trust the farmer’ style to ensure customers receive the freshest in-season fruit and vegetables straight from the ground.

Every time a customer gives feedback about how beautiful the produce is and how happy they are with it, it makes  all the hard work worth it.

Shopping local can not only support small businesses, it can make a real difference to people’s lives and positively impact the wider community, she says.

Each time sales increase, it enables Cultivate to offer young people more time spend out on the urban farms, creating learning spaces which can make a real, impactful difference to their lives.

Amra says the organisations’ aim is to mentor young people and put them on a path to finding and maintaining employment.

She says the staff at Cultivate are good mentors for the young people who work with them - they have a crew of inspired and motivated young farmers who work hard to create produce in Canterbury.

Rātā Foundation funds Cultivate Christchurch under the Support focus area, which enables organisations to support positive youth development for young people/rangatahi.

Visit Cultivate Christchurch’s website to learn more and subscribe to the Veggie Bag: