A total of six Taranaki community science projects have gained funding support from Curious Minds, the Taranaki pilot of the Participatory Science Platform were announced in November 2015 by Venture Taranaki. We are particularly pleased to be able to contribute to one around vegetable systems.
Te Moeone – Growing for the Future is an exploration of the nutritional characteristics of heirloom vegetable cultivars. The project seeks to develop ways to capture crop production data on a range of traditional crop seeds, and then use this information to increase both the yield and nutritional value. The project is being led by Ngati Tawhirikura hapu, and will involve marae gardeners from Tarereare, Muru Raupatu and Parihaka, Tahuri Whenua – the Maori Vegetable Growers Association – and Taranaki Seedsavers. Scientists from Massey University will help the project develop robust and valuable measurement and data capture that can then inform both current and future generations.
As a part of this project and in conjunction with Tahuri Whenua, Tarereare Marae are hosting a series wananga on vegetables and nutrition. The marae garden Te Moeone and its activities strongly align with the Ngati Tawhirikura hapu aspirations and is a conduit for positive Whanau and wider community engagement. We believe that kai/food and kaitiakitanga/guardianship of land and people are primary foundations for positive health and wellbeing of whanau, hapu, iw and community.
Also our wider community holds a large amount of knowledge about home vegetable gardening and this project seeks to build on this knowledge and test current community observations and practices using science and technology. The ultimate outcome is to move another step closer to Whanau empowerment around our kai and to raise community expertise in nutrient dense vegetable cultivation, Whanau ora, hauora, mouri ora!
We will be updating this page after each wananga sharing the value, insight and learnings.
Glen Skipper (021 607-892)
Tarereare Marae (Katere Marae), 11 Cody Place, Waiwhakaiho, New Plymouth.