By Ruth Greenway
For Neighbours Day Aotearoa 2014, local neighbours got together at Harbour View Reserve in Auckland to have a "community sourced" brunch where all the food came from the local gardens or was home made.
Imagine if your neighbourhood was a place where what you needed to eat was supplied from your own garden or from one of your neighbours. Imagine sharing meals with your neighbours, kids grazing in the gardens, friends sharing fruit from their trees in plentiful harvest. Didn’t it use to be like this at one stage? Perhaps in your parents generation, or your grandparent’s generation? Can it happen again?
For Neighbours Day Aotearoa 2014, local neighbours got together at Harbour View Reserve in Auckland to have a “community sourced” brunch. Food came from the local gardens or was home made. The vision was for it to be zero-waste event and for everyone to bring their own cutlery, plates and mugs. Afterwards, participants even mucked in to do the dishes! Cooking was done on-site by creative chef Benjamin Barton of Pop Dining (link to http://www.popdining.com/) . His huge gas fired plate took central position outside the Auckland Council’s solar powered utility van. Ben prepared dishes with whatever ingredients were brought his way – locally grown figs, pomegranates, fejoas, tomatillos, guavas, beans, tomatoes, eggs, courgettes, salad greens and more! Even snapper caught that morning ended up on the menu.
Viv Heslop first championed the initiative to showcase local sustainability.
“My hope is that communities can engage, support and learn from initiatives like this” says Viv.
Shay Launder, Environmental Programmes Advisor at Auckland Council thinks “events like this are an opportunity for residents to make nice chance encounters in their neighbourhoods”.
Further events are planned for the future, alongside involvement in annual Neighbours Day Aotearoa events.