US (HI): Nursery has big plans to grow hydroponic crops

A large-scale project to grow and distribute fresh fruit and vegetables for free to those who need them is underway in Waikato. He Tipu Ltd is transforming a 22-ha site that was home to the Taupō Native Plant Nursery until it closed in 2018.

The company has a dream of supplying fresh fruit and vegetables to the community for free and building up a seed bank of edible and medicinal native plant species. It has also just planted 160,000 native plants that will be used for riparian planting and native regeneration projects and has a labor force available for planting projects, largely made up of people who have previously been out of work.

He Tipu general manager Blandina Diamond said a forest garden would eventually be planted full of edible native species and medicinal plants, along with greenhouses of berries and hydroponic crops, including watercress, leafy greens, and herbs.

“Māori, in particular, traditionally harvested from the bush. So we’re going to help regrow some of those, not only to show people and educate them but also to get seeds from so we can revegetate areas that may be missing them.”

Free food plans
He Tipu was still at stage one of a three-stage development with the long-term goal of becoming a food hub where free fruit and vegetables would be packaged together with other donations and distributed to the wider community through local marae and social service organizations as part of its Free Food Programme.

Read the entire article at Te Ao Maori News

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