Garden your way to happiness
21 May 2020

The happiness people experience when we’re gardening is similar to that of biking or walking, a new study has found. That’s not news to us at Kaipātiki Project, an EnviroHub on Auckland’s North Shore, who want to help all to be able to source fresh, healthy local food by teaching people to ‘grow their own’ and by supporting sustainable teaching gardens.

With time on hand over Lockdown, people flocked to their backyards, weeded their neglected gardens and planted seeds from the last season. By the end, they were enjoying their own produce and could simply ‘walk out to pick some lettuce’. A recent Princeton University study has now shown gardening lifts our emotional wellbeing, and growing vegetables even more so than ornamentals.

We, at Kaipātiki Project, know all too well about the positive effects of working with plants, having worked with thousands of volunteers over 21 years of operation. Our vision is that everyone's food needs are met from local sources, so we support backyard gardening and as well as community and teaching gardens.

Building a sustainable edible garden is a circular process working with nutrient-rich soil, planting strong seeds and working to the environmental conditions. Composting food scraps are great to build and restore soil, drawing down carbon and reversing climate change.

We help lead The Compost Collective to offer free composting workshops all around Auckland. We are now responding to growing demand by expanding our Birkdale community Teaching Garden, for volunteers to come and learn how to grow their own food through sharing the gardening and the produce.

Visit our Teaching Garden Appeal on Givealittle to help make it a reality and bring even more wellbeing into people’s backyards. Or get involved with the gardening yourself!  

Five benefits of growing your own food:

  1. Nutrient dense, nourishing and organic, plus eating what's in season.
  2. Zero waste! No plastic packaging, no food miles… just walking out to pick a lettuce.
  3. Convenient and cheaper. We can use, borrow and share what's available.
  4. Increased wellbeing regardless if you are home alone or in a group.
  5. Building and restoring soil helps draw down carbon and reverse climate change.