The Garden City will soon become an edible garden city with construction of the Ōtākaro Orchard back underway.
The orchard will include a food forest, an edible garden, educational and event spaces, a local food information centre, an outdoor amphitheatre, dome greenhouse and a café.
After construction commenced in June 2019, foundations were laid and above-ground structural steel work began on the Cambridge Terrace site. Activity paused when the project hit a funding roadblock that September.
A scaled-back version of the project resumed last month following a $150,000 lottery grant and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Once completed, the orchard will include a food forest and free edible garden, educational and event spaces, a local food information centre, an outdoor amphitheatre, dome greenhouse and a café.
The site will also feature composting toilets, a green roof, and storm water retention and recycling system for irrigation.
“The photo voltaic solar array will have to wait at this stage, but we will make sure that the building is solar ready so that it can be added without fuss at a future time – hopefully during construction as support and excitement grows,” Chair of the Ōtākaro Orchard Project Control Group Murray James says.
He says there is an approximately $120,000 funding shortfall, which the board hopes to bridge with donations and “assistance from the construction supply chain”.
“The team is pleased that within our substantially lowered budget we have been able to retain many of the sustainable and exemplar feature that were part of the original design,” he says.
The Ōtākaro Orchard is a project of the Food Resilience Network, an organisation centred around the philosophy of creating accessible and sustainable food sources.
The project emerged from the council’s post-earthquake Share an Idea campaign, which invited locals to submit concepts for a rebuilt central city.