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It’s coming up to fifteen years since the first orchard planting and many working bees later many of those young trees are now looking quite established. Raumati South Community Orchard is looking more beautiful and fruitful each year.

In the late ‘90s local residents rallied and opposed Councils intention to sell the reserve for residential land. But it wasn’t until around 2008 that Cree Hatfield and other enthusiasts approached Council with a vision for a community orchard. The group received Council approval, applied for various grants and brought our beautiful orchard into reality.

Every day people wander through the orchard, enjoying the serenity, being entertained by the tuis and sampling the fruit when it’s in season.

There always seems to be just enough hands turning up at the working bees for weeding and feeding, pruning, mulching and morning tea. The occasional compost workshops managed by the local young gardening group are hugely appreciated.

Well attended ‘Raumati South Garden Parties’ now occur several times a year, supported by neighbours and made possible by a small dedicated crew who provide sound and lighting. ‘Stone soup’ has been a popular feature (locals are invited to bring something from their garden to bechopped up for the big soup pots) and a couple of burning braziers always create a great community-building experience. It’s a literal manifestation of the whakatauki at the orchard entrance:

Nā tō rourou, nā taku rourou ka ora ai te iwi (With your food basket and my food basket the people will thrive).

Friends of the Orchard would like to thank Raumati Community Board, Raumati South Residents Association and KCDC for their support of the orchard.

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