WorkerBe Oasis news

Maybe you’ve started wondering why I don’t post as regularly as you may expect. Well, I get so busy and tangled up in the work around WorkerBe Oasis, the urban farm, that I forget about it! So here are the news:

Erin Todd, from WorkerBe, a social enterprise, and myself have recently founded WorkerBe Oasis. It’s an incorporated society dedicated to the creation of a series of urban farms all over Wellington – sites where we grow vegetables (and fruit, nuts etc) in the most efficient manner we can come up with, and distribute to people in need. To start with, distribution will be through Kaibosh, who rescue supermarket & café foods for charities to use.

We’ve just signed the licence to use the very first vege-production site is at Hospital Road in Newtown, and I’ll start prepare it mid-october. We’ve also managed to raise $4000 through The Funding Network last Thursday, which will go towards the estimated $16000 in set-up costs. There’s a GiveALittle page linked to that, if you feel so inclined. A PledgeMe campaign is next in line to make sure we can finance the set up of this site – I’ll let you know when that is up.

But we don’t want to rely on funding applications for our ongoing expenses, so we’ve got an agreement with WorkerBe: they pay the same sum every week, and get a share of the produce. Some weeks they’ll get more, some weeks less (although the Oasis will try and provide as best we can!) but we get the same income every week. That creates stability. The other income streams will be memberships (you!) and workshops – you again 🙂 . As a member, you get a nice range of advantages: Discounts on workshops and courses, access to internships, weekly newsletters and of course the possibility to influence what WorkerBe Oasis is doing. You can sign up to become a member here – you’ll get a confirmation email once your payment is cleared.

I’m working on a workshop schedule, and if you have specific topics you’d like to see covered, or specific times when you’d like to see the workshops happen, please comment below or email me! I really want it to be possible for you to come.

There will be volunteer opportunities as well, and plenty to do to run the incorporated society. We are looking for people to take on roles in marketing and membership coordination, but also other domains – please get in touch if it speaks to you!

So, to what I’m (unfortunately not) doing in my oasis this week – but you might have the time to do it in yours 🙂

  • pull out spent crops and build that spring compost pile (with that seaweed I was talking about)
  • cut the grass that’s grown so much over the last weeks, whenever it’s dry enough for that!
  • spray the peachtree (all stone fruit) with seaweed on a dry day
  • weed when they’re still small
  • aerate beds with a fork or even better, a u-bar when they’ve dried out a little after the rain
  • sprinkle Nature’s Garden fertiliser on prepped beds and spread cocoa husks for mulch
  • order seeds
  • get your first potatoes in
  • direct sow broadbeans, radish, and possibly carrot
  • plant out lettuce, spinach, kale, chard, and other leafy greens you’ve got as seedlings
  • dust with diatomaceous earth if you start to get slug/snail damage

Hope that helps! I’d love to see you at the forst Workerbe Oasis site this spring!

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