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For The Love Of Bees: Communities of Regenerative Learning Programme

Image shows participants on the The Love of Bees Communities of Regenerative Learning Programme. The Jenkins Foundation. Auckland, New Zealand.

Participants on our weekend of site visits and workshops in November 2023.

In November 2023 For The Love Of Bees launched a long dreamed of programme called Communities of Regenerative Learning. This programme gathers together a mentoring network of 27 people from six Tāmaki Makaurau community-connected growing spaces for a year, to provide site specific mentoring and group learning.

The participating farms are Growing Point at Dignan Street Community Gardens in Point Chevalier, Kelmarna Community Farm in Herne Bay, Ihumaatao māra kai in Māngere, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei māra kai, Pourewa, Tāmaki Urban Market Gardens in Glen Innes, and For The Love Of Bees model urban farm OMG in Eden Terrace.

The aim of this network is to support a community of farm teams - so they can further support their local communities with kai and knowledge about how to grow it in ways that are good for our pollinators, people and planet.

Image shows soil health measuring and crop planning at OMG. The Jenkins Foundation. Auckland, New Zealand.

Top left shows head farm Jake Clarke at OMG measuring soil health with a penetrometer. Top right shows farm mentor Jenny Lux guiding us through her comprehensive crop planning methods for plentiful and diverse crops year round.

Each farm is supported to increase; their knowledge and confidence in regenerative organic growing, productivity and ability to feed its community. All of these farms have had some members participate in our Earthworkers Programme Regenerative Horticulture 101 across our cohorts from 2020 - 2023. This new programme is an opportunity to build on the knowledge they learnt in this five day course, which focuses on soil health, a low-carbon footprint model, feeding a hyperlocal community with diverse, nutrient dense, package-free produce. 

Investing in localised food production using regenerative growing practices is what we call climate change ready infrastructure. It fosters local resilience and offers places of diverse green abundance for locals to engage in new knowledge, informed optimism and practical tools for gardening in a time of changing climate, as well as offering fresh local produce in various ways.

Image shows Regenerative Argomnomost Daniel Schhurman at For The Of Bees Regenerative Learning Programme. The Jenkins Foundation. Auckland, New Zealand.

Image above shows Regenerative Agronomist Daniel Schuurman offering advice on our November site visit at Kelmana. 

Our mentoring team is led by Sarah Smuts-Kennedy founder of For The Love Of Bees, Regenerative Agronomist Daniel Schuurman, Farm mentor Jenny Lux, Data mentor Rebecca Swan and Project Led Kathryn Tulloch. The programme includes onsite visits, 1:1 mentoring and group discussions on zoom, an online chat channel, farm data collection as well as data collection, soil tests, reports and recommendations and drone photography at the beginning and end of the programme.

We are very grateful to our supporters, The Jenkins Foundation, Auckland Council Climate Fund, Awhero Nui and Foundation North for enabling this programme to happen.

The potential of regenerative organic urban farms as climate change ready infrastructure is immense!

Together we can grow radical hope through food!

Image of participating farms in The Love of Bees Communities of Regenerative Learning Programme. The Jenkins Foundation. Auckland, New Zealand.

Top left: Growing Point, Kelmarna, OMG Bottom left: Pourewa, TUMG, Ihumaatao.

We wonder what a climate change ready farm within walking distance in every community look like? These are our participating farms at the start of our programme November 2023...