Givealittle appeal for a new $26,000 seed ‘tunnel’ house

Koanga Institue is NZ's largest heritage food plant collection

Koanga Institue is NZ's largest heritage food plant collection

HELP WANTED: Kay Baxter, Koanga Institute founder. The institute, home to New Zealand’s largest heritage food plant collection, needs a new tunnel house in time for spring.

THE Koanga Institute near Wairoa has launched a Givealittle fundraising appeal for a $26,000 seed tunnel house that is needed by September to ensure a fruitful seed collection.

The institute is the home of New Zealand’s largest heritage food plant collection.

“The Akaroa Long Red carrot, Ponsonby Red tomato, Ruapehu cauliflower, and many more are under threat of extinction,” said Koanga Institute founder Kay Baxter.

“We are urgently seeking funding for a new tunnel house to produce heritage seed crops this spring.

“The concern is not that we are short on seeds, it’s the unpredictable weather patterns around the time of harvest which has the potential to cause devastation to these heritage seed varieties.”

Kay said the unpredictable weather conditions were particularly problematic for seed collection.

“Periods of very wet weather can seriously affect production, sometimes resulting in complete loss of seed if the wet weather occurs around seed harvest time.

“As climate change continues to disrupt our weather patterns, it is of extreme importance that we not only continue to preserve seed biodiversity, but that we also increase the amount of seeds produced to ensure nationwide accessibility.”

She said for the Koanga Institute, a tunnel house would ensure produce was well-protected from the elements.

“It will ensure our heritage seed biodiversity is protected for generations to come.”

The tunnel house will be used to grow New Zealand Heritage lettuces, including Odell’s, Lightheart, Half Century and Mignonette tomatoes including Kings Gold, Hawke’s Bay yellow, Ponsonby Red, Dalmatian Oxheart, and more. People can contribute to the purchase of the seed tunnel through Givealittle.

THE Koanga Institute near Wairoa has launched a Givealittle fundraising appeal for a $26,000 seed tunnel house that is needed by September to ensure a fruitful seed collection.

The institute is the home of New Zealand’s largest heritage food plant collection.

“The Akaroa Long Red carrot, Ponsonby Red tomato, Ruapehu cauliflower, and many more are under threat of extinction,” said Koanga Institute founder Kay Baxter.

“We are urgently seeking funding for a new tunnel house to produce heritage seed crops this spring.

“The concern is not that we are short on seeds, it’s the unpredictable weather patterns around the time of harvest which has the potential to cause devastation to these heritage seed varieties.”

Kay said the unpredictable weather conditions were particularly problematic for seed collection.

“Periods of very wet weather can seriously affect production, sometimes resulting in complete loss of seed if the wet weather occurs around seed harvest time.

“As climate change continues to disrupt our weather patterns, it is of extreme importance that we not only continue to preserve seed biodiversity, but that we also increase the amount of seeds produced to ensure nationwide accessibility.”

She said for the Koanga Institute, a tunnel house would ensure produce was well-protected from the elements.

“It will ensure our heritage seed biodiversity is protected for generations to come.”

The tunnel house will be used to grow New Zealand Heritage lettuces, including Odell’s, Lightheart, Half Century and Mignonette tomatoes including Kings Gold, Hawke’s Bay yellow, Ponsonby Red, Dalmatian Oxheart, and more. People can contribute to the purchase of the seed tunnel through Givealittle.

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