Kelmarna is a majestic place between Grey Lynn villas where you can pick your own organic fruit and vegetables, buy fresh eggs and pat friendly farm animals. The community garden's annual Harvest Festival is a chance to recognise the effort put in to maintain the space and give back so the initiative can grow and thrive. Anyone and everyone is invited to enjoy a day of food, music, workshops and more. While the event is free, the funds raised at the festival are vital for the continuation as an open community space for environmental education, organic gardening and horticultural therapy.
This year's edition on Sunday, 10 March will play host to a collaboration from four Auckland restaurants, each pushing the boundaries of local and sustainable food. Chefs from Orphans Kitchen, Cazador, Paris Butter and Culprit will meet over the wood-fired barbecue to create food inspired by the season and the gardens. The feast always has a habit of selling out, so make sure you book lunch in advance. In addition, there will be sustenance from longtime supporters Bread & Butter, Little Bird Organics, Millers Coffee, Serious Food Co and Karma Cola.
Workshops are also a key part of the festival, and if past events are anything to go by, you can expect organic bee-keeping, planting winter gardens, home composting and urban chicken keeping. For the first time, food culture magazine Stone Soup will also present the Food Matters program with a selection of talks, discussions, and demonstrations, focusing on how we can be part of creating a more sustainable food system.
Of course, the spotlight won't just be on the gardens — attendees are invited to bring their own homegrown goods for the harvest competition. You'll have to turnip to see who will take out the biggest pumpkin, biggest marrow and best homegrown bouquet.
All that plus live music, a kids zone with activities all day, an obstacle course, the Kelmarna seedling sale and organic produce for purchase.
Image: Kelmarna Gardens.