There’s a new-ish farmers’ market in Auckland, the Te Puna market in Henderson. While the market launched in February this year, it has taken them eight months to get to business as usual mode. Kai West is the group behind the birth of the Te Puna market. Kai West is a collaboration between Healthy Families Waitakere, Panuku, and other community organisations that work towards connecting people to local growers so we can be aware of what we are eating and where that food comes from.
Together, they have created an affordable fresh food market in Henderson’s heart on the Falls Reserve using an unused car park earmarked for redevelopment. The market came about when the local supermarket closed for a refurbishment, and the community had nowhere nearby to buy fresh produce. There are also many unhealthy fast food options available in that area. Kai West wanted to counter this by creating a healthy and affordable food source that connected the community to local backyard growers.
Jason Dodunski, the market co-ordinator for Te Puna market, has had a rocky journey as they had to stop the market just five weeks after launching. They were one of the first markets to move to a click and collect model using the Open Food Network to support their vendors in selling food already growing in the ground that would have otherwise gone to waste. It helped them tide through the lockdowns, and Te Puna reopened as a regular farmers’ market in September.
On the show, Jason and I talk about:
- Utilising unused space to create something new that connects the community
- Building sustainable food systems by supporting local backyard growers
- Shopping hyper-local and what that teaches us about where food comes from
- The challenges involved in taking a farmers’ market online
Listen to the Podcast Here:
Quotes from the episode:
“We always had a vegetable garden at home. It gave me an appreciation of our connection to the natural world, how great it is to get your hands into the soil and know exactly where your food came from.”
“At Te Puna, we focus on small scale growers and help them create micro incomes for their family. A local market is as much about local food and affordability as it is about social connection.”
Are you looking for a new farmers’ market to visit? Head to Te Puna market this Saturday or check out Te puna Market on Facebook.