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Tour to Inspire Communities to Take Ownership of Their Seed

*****Media release: for immediate release, 9 April 2014


Did you know that a large proportion of the heritage fruit and vegetables on the planet have either passed into extinction or are rapidly headed that way? We live in an age in which we’re rapidly losing traditional knowledge. Many of the handy, practical things our parents and grandparents knew about the world have been lost. During May and June, Kay Baxter, director of Koanga Institute and world-renowned expert in seed-saving and permaculture gardening is conducting a nationwide speaking tour in a quest to raise funds to save New Zealand’s heritage organic seeds by 29 June 2014.

In each area Kay will be conducting two talks in one evening, sharing her knowledge about ‘future proofing your health and designing your own nutrient dense diet’ and about ‘seeds, humans and the process of co-evolution’.

Following this tour there will be a series of workshops run by some of the Koanga team covering practical skills on how to live in a more sustainable way.

“Whether you’re an advanced gardener, you're still dreaming of your future plot, or simply have an interest in food production, these talks are guaranteed to inspire and inform. Koanga Institute is a really unique trust, there is no other seed bank with heritage organic seeds like this in the world,” says Malcolm Rands (EcoMan), director and founder of Ecostore.

Importance of the tour

To secure the future of the heritage organic seed collection, Koanga urgently needs to raise $705,000 by 29 June 2014 and a further $250,000 by the end of September 2014 to buy the land they are currently on and the adjacent hill block which supplies all the water for their plants.

The Koanga Institute, a registered charitable trust in New Zealand founded by Kay Baxter, has spent 30 years building up a living library of hundreds of heritage fruit and vegetables stocks that are in danger of extinction.

In 1994 the United Nations estimated that 94% of vegetables and 85% of apple varieties have already been lost.
Koanga Institute, now based in Wairoa, Northern Hawkes Bay, has saved 800+ seed lines and 400+ fruit trees and berry varieties.

Three years ago, the Koanga Institute, found the right land to literally and figuratively plant their roots. Currently this land is leased.

The speaking tour travelling New Zealand hopes to raise a significant amount of the funds needed to buy the land.

“Koanga Institute is literally in a race against time to save these seeds, the link between our past and our future, do we really want to be the generation that dropped “the ball?” says Kay.

About the talks:
Kay will be doing two talks in each area, across the span of one evening.

Future proof your health and design your own nutrient dense diet
In this talk Kay will show you how she has designed her diet to meet her nutritional requirements and take you through a process to enable you to design your own low-cost, nutrient dense diet.

Seeds, humans and the process of co-evolution
In Kay's other talk, you will learn how critical the age old process of co-evolution is for our future and how we might begin to step back into that circle of life.

“For 99% of the evolution of the human species we have been in a process of co- evolution with our environment. During the industrial revolution we stepped out of this paradigm, with the industrialization of our food supply. This has been a disaster for human health and the health of our whole ecology. It’s time to step back and redesign the way forward into that age old process again,” says Kay.

Sustainability Workshops
Following the speaking tour, some of the amazing Koanga team will be travelling to five locations to carry out some hands-on workshops. The workshops will include:
- A one day urban garden workshop,
- A one day bio-intensive gardening workshop,
- A one day workshop on designing your own forest garden,
- A one day workshop on how to grow nutrient dense food,
- A one day workshop on cooking and preparing nutrient dense food,
- A one day workshop on regenerative systems for urban chickens, rabbits and guinea pigs
- A one day course on introduction to Top Bar Beekeeping
- And finally a one day course on rocket stoves and solar ovens

For more information on these workshops and to purchase tickets please visit www.koanga.org.nz/tour
About Kay Baxter

Kay Baxter holds a lifetime of knowledge and experience in heritage organic gardening and growing nutrient dense food. Thirty years ago Kay co-founded the Koanga Institute and to this day she works to help others grow their own food, save heritage organic seeds, and live sustainably. As many people are now realizing the importance of gardens, Kay is offering inspiration to thousands.

Kay has written several best seller books and gardening resources. Kay’s writing includes a thorough gardening guide, booklets on growing nutrient dense food, saving seeds, urban gardens and starting a food garden. She has recently released a garden planner containing her “life’s work” which is a stunning resource for anyone wanting a productive home garden.

“So this really is a rare opportunity to have Kay come to a town near you and share her knowledge, make sure you don’t miss out,” says Malcom Rands.

Koanga Institute is literally in a race against time to save these seeds. To support the nationwide tour, purchase a ticket to one of the talks and be a part of saving New Zealand's heritage organic seeds.
One lucky person, who buys a ticket to a talk, will win the opportunity to have Kay do a garden consultation at their place AND the first 10 people in each town to register will receive a free booklet of their choice written by Kay.

For ticket dates and prices and to purchase your ticket please visit www.koanga.org.nz/tour

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