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New Zealand: Taranaki backyard vege farmers awarded $100k research grant

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New Plymouth urban farmer Carl Freeman sells vegetables grown from his 1000sqm backyard.

A group of Taranaki backyard farmers have been awarded a $100,000 grant from Massey University to promote growing and selling fresh produce from their gardens.

By Mike Watson
Feb 3, 2020


For the past two years Freeman has grown a range of seasonal vegetables from his 1060 square metre backyard for sale at an inner-city Sunday morning food market in New Plymouth.

The funding project ‘Farm to Flourish’ would help to find out more about how to market and set strategies for growing food organically with more community involvement, he said.

Massey University’s Associate Professor Sita Venkateswar?, Dr Nitha Palakshappa?, and Dr Dirk Roep? from Wageningen University, Netherlands, will lead the project.

Roep had been involved in previous research on alternative value chains and food networks in the Netherlands and Europe.

The research focused on developing new urban farming communities and expand a network of local producers to earn income from their land.

“Regenerative agriculture is gaining momentum among farmers and growers nationally and internationally, Venkateswar said.

“The movement is about improving the health of a farm’s ecosystem, soil health, nutrient content in food and farm profitability.”

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