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Help Okiwi Passion grow more local food on Great Barrier Island, New Zealand
$33,320 raised
48% of $69.5k goal
144 contributors
3 Days left

Okiwi Passion Crowdfunding Campaign  

Hello! We are Gerald and Caity Endt of Okiwi Passion on Aotea/Great Barrier Island, New Zealand.

We grow a wide range of produce, including vegetables, fruit and herbs, for up to 100  families in our small island community. Truly local food. We also grow hundreds of seedlings for island home gardeners enabling them to be partially self sufficient.

Everything is grown according to organic principles.

The work we do is important in helping life on our island be more sustainable. Most of the food on Great Barrier is brought by boat or by plane, and the freight costs are horrendous.

We need your help for several vital projects which will help us serve our community even better, by being able to grow more seedlings and vegetables, while conserving some very important commodities: soil, water and time!!

Project Outlines

Project One: A new 120 m2 Greenhouse for seedling production  

 

Why do we need it?

Our two small, homemade greenhouses (totalling 77m 2 ) that Gerald built when we first got here 13 years ago, are starting to limit the amount of plants we can grow, not just for our customers, but also for our own cropping needs. The COVID crisis has also forced people to think more about food security. We had a massive surge in demand for our seedlings in April and May, when we were in lockdown and we predict this trend will continue. A larger greenhouse is essential.

 

How will it change things for us?

Just to show the impact that this could have....two years ago we privately crowdfunded for a 63m 2 Taylor Built Crop Topper greenhouse for our microgreen production. It made an incredible difference to our sales, improved our efficiencies big time and enabled us to employ our first, wonderful, full time member of staff.

The new greenhouse we want to build will almost double our covered seedling production space, as well as save us a lot of time otherwise lost juggling plants around for space in the busy spring and summer months.

The greenhouse will be built on a platform to enable us to roll a trolley with several trays of plants straight out of the propagation area into the greenhouse. Currently, we can only carry one or at the most two trays of plants, down a ramp to our old  greenhouses. It is slow and tedious. Up until now, all our nursery  tables have been made from recycled pallets, but they need rebuilding every 2 years, as they deteriorate with all the constant watering. Amazing how quick that 2 years comes round! Galvanised nursery tables  with wheels will replace them in the greenhouses. We have done this in the microgreen house and they are awesome, more hygienic too.

The platform will be extended to include the outdoor nursery and will double up as a space for events such as Farm to Table meals and workshops.

 

When do we need it by:

Haha yes well spring sowing starts end of July....

 

How much will it cost?

(all costings inclusive of GST)

  • 8 x 15 m Crop Topper Greenhouse from Taylor Built : $10,900
  • Posts plus Timber for platform: $15,000
  • Concrete plus holes for piles: $3,800
  • Labour (estimate): $7,000
  • Tables for plants: $ 6,500
  • Freight: $1,800                                                
  • Total:  $45,000

 

From this:       

Old Greenhouses

To this: 

New Greenhouse mock-up                             

Project 2: Purchase a PaperPot Transplanter Complete Kit

Why do we need it?

This will enable us to more efficiently and consistently grow crops such as rocket, spinach, beetroot and lettuce for our boxes as well as for the shops.

 

How will it change things for us?

As an example, to plant out a bed of 360 lettuce plants would take one person at least an hour. Using the PaperPot Transplanter would reduce this to 5 minutes. Really!!

 

Another example: many crops such as rocket usually are sown directly into the soil. The soil needs to be flushed of weeds several weeks in advance, which means the soil is bare for that long (bad for soil and time lost not growing a crop). Once sown, the first 2-3 weeks are pretty touch and go, seedlings can be eaten by slugs, birds, or simply not germinate due to temperature or dry conditions. With the PPT,  the rocket is seeded into the paperpots using seeder plates (264 plugs takes 3 minutes), the seedlings germinate and grow in a more protected environment (the new greenhouse!) with 95 to 100% success and are planted out with the PaperPot Transplanter  in 5 minutes. And it saves lots of kneeling / squatting / bending while planting.

 

When do we need it by?

Early August at the latest

 

How much will it cost?

PaperPot Transplanter Complete Kit plus extra plates $5000 inc GST

  • Import Licence $400
  • Freight $600
  • Total $6,000

From this: 

 

To this:

 

 

A no brainer, right?

Project 3: Walk-In Chiller 

 

Why do we need it?

In summer we harvest hundreds of kilograms of produce per week, which we manually chill down in recycled polystyrene containers with ice packs that need to be changed daily, sometimes twice daily in the hottest part of summer.  The ice packs have to be frozen down again ready for the next day. It is a repetitive, tedious job, taking at least 30 minutes per day. That’s 3 ½ hours per week. 

 

How will it change things for us?

With a walk in chiller, crops that have been harvested in crates will simply be wheeled into the chiller and retrieved as needed. It will preserve the quality of our produce much better! 

 

When do we need it by?

November when we start our box service again.

 

How much will it cost?

  • Chiller: $17,000
  • Freight: $900
  • Installation: $600
  • Total: $18,500

From this: 

 

To this: 

 

Walk in chiller

 

Thank you for reading about our planned projects! We hope you are inspired! 

Please, if you would like to support us to make these projects a reality, click on Contribute.

We have some lovely rewards donated by other Great Barrier Island businesses and individuals to support Okiwi Passion.

How else can you contribute?

Please share this campaign with your family, friends or other like minded people are passionate about local, sustainably produced food.

A TREMENDOUS THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!

"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." – Helen Keller

Visit us on our:  Website,  Facebook,  Instagram

 

Caroline's Block

Some of our blocks in all their glory!

 

Height of summer 

 

 

Caity, Gerald, Speckles by the lemon tree

Caity, Gerald & Speckles 

 

Box day!

Produce boxes for our island community - going out twice weekly most of the year

 

Variety of produce changes throughout the seasons

 

Salad in action

Our mesclun mix is harvested fresh and delivered around the island every week 

 

Mesclun - Fresh as can be!  Beautiful bounty!  Alex & onions

Alex and his onions 

 

Seedling mayhem!

 Maggi arranging the seedling mayhem 

 

Tomato seedlings

 We grow over 20 different varieties of tomato seedlings 

 

Chickens and peaches

Our hens lay golden yolked eggs and fertilise our soil with their rich manure

 

Flowers We also grow flowers for the birds, bees, and bugs 

 

Seeding a rocket bed 

Seedlings

Our small but busy nursery grows vibrant seedlings for home gardeners

Van ready for the market

which we bring to the Saturday market.

 

Glorious produce on it's way to a happy customer

 Glorious produce on it's way to a happy customer 

 

A view from above

 

A flight through the blocks

 

 

 

Lovely beds from above

Highlights

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Updates

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Activity

$30 NZD
Packet of hand-collected seeds from our farm
$50 NZD
Punnet of seedlings of your choice
Reward only available on Great Barrier Island
More ... Less ...
$100 NZD
Wholefoods Handbook 2020
Co-authored and edited by Aotea resident Joanna Piekarski
More ... Less ...
$200 NZD
Aotea Embrace Felted Soap
$200 NZD
Aotea Made Kawa Kawa Balm
$300 NZD
Jacques Bees Manuka Honey Blend
Local & ethically produced Great Barrier Island honey 500g
More ... Less ...
$300 NZD
Produce Box
A delicious $30 produce box packed with our fruit and veg

Available from December onwards

Reward available on Great Barrier Island only
More ... Less ...
$500 NZD
Good Heavens Dark Sky Tour
Reward available on Great Barrier Island only
More ... Less ...
$500 NZD
Okiwi Passion Tour & Workshop
Get your Hands Dirty at the Farm. Come for a conducted tour of the Farm and learn a skill such as taking cuttings!

Reward available on Great Barrier Island only
More ... Less ...
$600 NZD
Produce Box
A $60 produce box packed with our fresh fruit and veg

Available from December onwards

Reward available on Great Barrier Island only
More ... Less ...
$1,000 NZD
Farm to Table Dinner at Okiwi Passion
Invitation with a friend/partner to a scrumptious Farm to Table meal at Okiwi Passion on January 23, 2021 prepared by chef Yael Schochat of Ima, with a complimentary cocktail prepared by Andi Ross, chief distiller at Island Gin.

Reward only available on Great Barrier Island
More ... Less ...

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